Just about a 15 minute drive south of Santa Barbara and you will find yourself on the beautiful and safe beaches of Carpinteria, CA. A coastal community that offers sparkling shoreline living as well as flower nurseries, polo fields, avocado orchards, and horse ranches. A weekend could be spent perusing the town on foot to visit local antique shops, restaurants, and breweries— but when in season, you won’t want to miss a polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club.
Rincon Bike Trail
The Rincon Bike Trail offers both beautiful views of the Santa Barbara Channel and an important alternative to US 101 for bicyclists. The trail begins at Carpinteria State Beach’s Rincon Point and Rincon County Beach Park, a popular surfing spot just outside of Carpinteria, and heads south between the coast and the highway with a decorative railing separating the trail from traffic.
The trail begins at the Santa Barbara County line but runs through Ventura County and is part of a larger network called the California Coastal Trail, a developing multi-use route spanning 1,200 miles from Oregon to Mexico.
Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. Although dogs are not allowed on beach, we have a great picnic area where they are allowed to enjoy the outdoors as well. Lifeguards patrol the beach year round and lifeguard towers are staffed roughly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The Spanish named the area Carpinteria because the Chumash tribe, which lived in the area, had a large seagoing canoe-building enterprise, or “carpentry shop” here. This was because of naturally-occurring surface tar, which was used to waterproof the canoes.
Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May, as well as an occasional gray whale. Tidepools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopi and sea urchins.
Santa Barbara County is the third largest avocado producer in North America, with Carpinteria being a major contributor. The idea of the California Avocado Festival began in 1986 and has evolved into one of the largest festivals in California with three days of fabulous food, terrific music, and great safe family fun. It is one of only a few community festivals still operated in the heart of downtown.
As the Festival grows, so do the number of participants and festival-goers. This year over forty non-profit groups will benefit by catering to 100,000 avocado visitors. The California Avocado Festival itself is a non-profit group that generates it’s own operating revenue each year. The annual event is completely organized by a committee of volunteers, and includes one part-time staff person.