Carpinteria State Beach

We took a camping trip to the central California coast.  We started by driving to Burbank to visit with our son, then headed north up the coast.  Our first stop was at Carpinteria State Beach.  Our real interest in this park was that it is close to Ventura where we caught the boat to Channel Islands National Park.  More on that trip later...

Our neighbor grew up spending a LOT of time on Carpinteria State Beach, so we decided to make it our base.  There are two sets of campgrounds.  One set are more traditional campgrounds with grass between you and your neighbor, although they also had a strange way of putting two or three campgrounds together by sharing a parking space.  It seemed awkward for parking a trailer, and they have no hookups there, so we opted to go to the other set of campgrounds, the ones for trailers and RVs.  But they have their own issues.  They do have hookups which always make it nicer to camp as you can brew coffee and make toast a lot easier than without electric.  We chose space 338 in the Santa Rosa Loop.  The loop is basically a parking lot with the spaces marked off with painted lines.  We chose a space at the end of a row so we would have no one on the door side of the trailer and we were also close to the restroom.  You can see it in the photo.  I didn't really think about the location relative to the beach, so we were one row off the beach.  The view was of our neighbors and the beach beyond them but we spend so little time in the trailer when we are camping that it wasn't a problem.

Carpinteria State Beach has several interesting features beside the beach.  There is a tarpit along the beach and I guess it is one of just five in the world.  It was rather large.  Most of it was big black piles on the beach but there were several places where we could see the tar in its liquid form.

Just south of the beach is a harbor seal rookery next to the oil pier.  We walked out to the bluff above the area and look down on the seals relaxing in the sun, or so it seemed.  

And we were reminded of the significant number of offshore oil rigs along this part of the California coast.