Carpinteria Beach Activities

Santa Barbara County

Nearby Activities and Events

Carpinteria Triathlon

Carpinteria Beach, Carpinteria, CA
September 24, 2017
Olympic distances or sprint distances
Carpinteria Triathlon

First Friday

Carpinteria, CA
The First Friday of every month, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Music, entertainment, special offers by local merchants
Carpinteria's First Friday

Avocado Festival

900 Linden Ave., Carpinteria, CA
October 6-8, 2017
Free admission, four stages of entertainment, food, arts and craft, fun and games
Avocado Festival

Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

956 Maple Ave., Carpinteria, CA
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Admission free, donations appreciated.
Exhibits on Chumash, asphalt mine, Spanish period, American period
Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

Lake Casitas

Highway 150, 17 miles east of Carpinteria
Boating, fishing, camping
Lake Casitas

Carpinteria Beach Activities

Carpinteria State Beach and its neighbor Carpinteria City Beach are advertised as among the safest swimming beaches along the California coast. An off-shore reef which causes waves to break far from shore and a gently sloping bottom reduce the hazard of rip tides. Families enjoy gathering here for a day of sun and relaxing. Walkers find miles of beach and bluff trails to explore. Surfers know where the best waves are breaking.

Lifeguards are on duty at both beaches during the summer months. Picnic tables, BBQs, restrooms, and showers are located nearby. At Carpinteria State Beach there are covered ramadas which may be reserved for picnicking events (805) 684-7487. At Carpinteria City Beach visitors will find volleyball nets, restrooms, and picnic tables. The Beachhouse there rents kayaks and other beach recreation items.

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center at Carpinteria State Beach features an indoor tide pool with live marine animals. It also has displays providing information about the Chumash Indians.

Hiking the Coast

Hikers can set out in either direction along the coast and enjoy scenic walks. Heading southeast hikers pass Jellybowl, Tar Pits Park, the oil company pier, and then the Harbor Seal Preserve. There hikers turn inland, if they have not already, to avoid disturbing the seals.

Ambitious hikers can return to the beach (or stay on the bluff) beyond the preserve and continue all the way down the beach to Rincon Point (3 miles one way). Another choice is to turn inland, cross the railroad tracks, and pass into the Carpinteria Bluffs Natural Preserve.

The Bluffs Natural Preserve has a parking lot at the end of Ballard Avenue off Highway 101, about 2 miles from the picnic area of the State Beach.

Walkers heading north along the beach in less than a mile encounter the sometimes substantial flow of Santa Monica Creek emptying into the ocean at Sand Point.

Surfing at Carpinteria

While the expert surfers gather to the south at Rincon Point, beginning and intermediate surfers find some nice waves along the Carpinteria shore. At nearby Santa Claus Beach, just north of Carpinteria City Beach, gentle waves make a good place for beginners to develop their skills.

two surfers sitting on the beach, CA

Surf Happens Surf School

Surf Happens has been providing surfing lessons around Santa Barbara since 2000. Throughout the year they offer private and group surfing lessons, surfing camps, and after school programs. They are based at the southern end of Santa Claus Lane, 2 miles north of Carpinteria State Beach.
(805) 966- 3613   Surf Happens

Local Surf Shops

A-Frame Surf Shop
3785 Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria, CA
Sales, rentals, lessons, camps
(805) 684-8803   A-Frame Surf Shop

Rincon Designs
657 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, CA
Rentals, custom surfboards, wetsuites, clothing
(805) 684-2413   Rincon Designs

Blue Pacific Surf Shop
905 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, CA
(805) 566-4990

Carpinteria State Beach Programs

Campfire Programs

Campfire programs are held regularly at the amphitheater in Carpinteria State Beach beginning in May. A sample of topics in the past have been . . .

  • Tidepools of Carpinteria State Beach
  • Marine Mammals
  • Journey to the Stars
  • Carpinteria Tar
  • Channel Island Fox
  • Chumash Life
  • Kopacetic Kelp
  • A Whale's Tail

Nature Walks

Volunteer docents at Carpinteria State Beach lead nature and birding walks once a month on a Saturday. The walks usually begin at the Visitor Center around 8:30 AM and last about 2 hours. If you don't have your own binoculars for bird watching, the docent has several available to loan.

Carpinteria City Recreation Programs

Every summer the City of Carpinteria offers a variety of beach and ocean connected recreation programs for children and adults. Complete information on these programs, including registration and fees, look in Carpinteria's Summer Recreation Guide.

Junior Lifeguards

Children and youths ages 9 to 17 with basic swimming skills are eligible to participate in Carpinteria's Junior Lifeguards Program which runs from mid-June to early August Participants learn lifeguarding skills, including first aid, beach safety, CPR, and physical fitness. Activities range from surfing and kayaking to an overnight at Carpinteria State Beach and various competitions.


Beginner and intermediate surfers ages 8 and up can learn surfing safety and surfing etiquette and techniques from certified lifeguards. Week long sessions run from late June through early August. There is even a daily drop-in rate.

Kayaking and Stand-up Paddleboarding

Ages 10 and up can learn kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding skills during weekly sessions from late June through the first week of August. Participants will explore the Carpinteria Reef and kelp beds.

Kayaking the Carpinteria Coast

Kayakers at Carpinteria enjoy exploring the reef and the nearby kelp beds. Kayaks are often used as a base from which to fish, snorkel, or dive. Kayak rentals are available on weekends and afternoons at the Boathouse at Carpinteria City Beach from early July through Labor Day. Rentals include life vest, paddle and helmet.
Cost: $15 per hour for adults, $10 per hour for children 12 and under with a paying adult

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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