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Carpinteria Beach Camping Pictures

Here's a slide show of the beach & campground areas at Carpinteria SB--

In the photo slide show above, you can see pictures of lovely Carpinteria State Beach and its campgrounds. On this page, you'll see still more pictures of the Carpinteria State Beach campground and its features. You'll also find the links you need to pick out your spot and make your reservations at this popular member of the California State Parks camping system.

Carpinteria State Beach Camping and Day Use Areas

Picture: Carpinteria State Beach If you're looking for a scenic-but-quick camping spot that you can enjoy without leaving the comforts and convenience of the city, then Carpinteria SB has both the beach and campground that's "just right" for you. Located just blocks from the US 101 Freeway, you'll wind through a residential area...and pass by shopping, banks and restaurants...on your way to the beach area. Forgot something at home? No problem; go buy it. Too tired to grill tonight? Grab a taco or sub sandwich!

Yet, despite being located in town, Carpinteria State Beach is quite pretty, as you can see in the camping and beach pictures on this page. As you might expect when you're camping in town, the campsites themselves are not overly spacious, and may seem downright crowded in a busy period when every space is filled. (Solve that problem by camping off season! You'll have much more "elbow room.") Yet, the beach itself is wide and roomy, so you'll be certain to have a place to throw down your towel and create "your" spot.

Carpinteria State Beach has a large, 261-site campground with is divided into for separate camping areas (or camping loops, whichever you prefer.) Two of the camping loops are "mixed use," for either tents or RV's. These campgrounds are "traditional-looking" spaces with campsites lining both sides of a ring-shaped paved road. You'll find grass lawns, and in some places trees. Some of the sites have close beach access.

The second two loops are RV-only camping grounds which have been described as some as "parking-lot style" camping. Nevertheless, the campsites closest to the ocean are very pleasant, with nice ocean views, shady picnic areas, and direct beach access.

We'll talk about both type of camping areas at Carpinteria SB on this page.

In addition, we'll talk about Carpinteria SB's day use facilities. You don't have to camp to enjoy Carpinteria State Beach! Its wide sand and view of the Channel Islands makes it a nice spot for a family day at the beach.

Carpinteria State Beach Tent Camping Areas

Motorhomes, Vans, Pop-up campers, and trailers are all welcome in these sites, as well

Picture of beachside campsite at Carpinteria State Beach near Santa Barbara, CA Not every campsite at Carpinteria State Beach is created equal. While all of the campsites are within a quick walk to the sand & shore, most of the tent camping sites are not beachfront spots.

And, of those which do come closest to the ocean, most have ice plant-covered sand dunes blocking the view. It's not that the sand dunes aren't scenic; they're just not as enticing as a sweeping Pacific Ocean view.

To your left, you see the picture of a tent camping spot at Carpinteria SB which has one of the best ocean views on the 2 tent loops of the park. Not everyone likes a site so exposed to the ocean breezes or close to the path where fellow campers will be hiking to the beach. Those camping at Carpinteria SB on the day these photos were taken had all chosen other spots, leaving this one open. Nevertheless, there are plenty of scenery-lovers, and if you're going to be camping during the busy season, it's a wise idea to reserve the campsites closest to the beach plenty ahead of time, if you'll want one of them.

Picture: Carpinteria State Beach campsite separated from the ocean only by a sand duneBe prepared to pay extra for the lovely beachfront spots, however! Beachfront camping sites cost $50 at Carpinteria. (The park's non-beachfront campsites cost only $35 per night, by comparison.)

To your right, you can see the picture of another beachfront campsite. This time, you're viewing an example of the sites at Carpinteria State Beach which have a sand dune between the tent site and the ocean.

As you can see, a shade tree nestles the campsite, giving it both shade and beauty. As with the other campsites at Carpinteria Beach, it has a picnic table and a BBQ grill.

Not many sites, though are actually on "oceanfront property." Just below, you see a scene where campsites seem more like they were plopped onto an open field than nestled into a snug & quiet alcove. The sandy soil can make it hard for the grass to stay lush & lawn-like, as you can also tell from the photo.

Picture: grassy camping area at Carpinteria State Beach campground in California

Families with small children would find an advantage to these "inland" campsites. Being farther away from the beach, there's less of a chance that a toddler will wander off suddenly and head towards the water.

Picture: Campsite at Carpinteria State Beach; this site is partly shady, partly sunny, and located away from the water As you can tell by these pictures of the Carpinteria Beach campground, some campsites are shaded, while others are in the full sun. Each type of site appeals to a different type of camping enthusiast, however. On this mid-winter off-season day, campers had spread themselves fairly equally throughout all parts of the campground, despite the fact that all types of campsites were available. Beachside vs. inland; shady vs. sunny; there's someone who seems to like each different type of campsite (which is why our website doesn't try to make specific campsite recommendations.)

To your right, you see the picture of an attractive campsite at Carpinteria State Beach. The lawn has grown in more thickly near this camping site. The nearby trees mean you'll have shade if you want it...and yet, the sun-lovers will get their wish, as well.

Carpinteria State Beach RV camping loops

Picture: Beachside RV campsite at Carpinteria State Beach While the two RV campgrounds at Carpinteria State Beach (named "Santa Rosa" and "San Miguel") may look like a parking lot when you're driving through them, those on the beachside tier will think they've discovered a camping paradise, nevertheless.

In the image to your left, this picture of the Pacific Ocean at Carpinteria State Beach was taken only a dozen steps from the door of our camper!

A narrow picnicking area buffers the campground from the beach. And yet, it really is quite a good buffer zone, with the trees being so thick in many cases that very little sunlight hits the picnic table area (as you can see in the 2 photos of Carpinteria's RV campground picnic tables below.)

As in the two campgrounds which allow tenting, each of the Carpinteria Beach RV camping sites has its own picnic table and grill. As you can see from the pictures, you'll get an ocean view as you cook & eat if you have an RV camping space on the beach side of the campground.

Families with small children would have to be particularly cautious if choosing one of these RV camping sites. A toddler could make a beeline for the ocean in no time flat. There is no sand dune separating the campsite from the water in this area.

Picture: RV Campsites at Carpingeria State Beach
To your left, you can see a picture of the RV camping sites at Carpinteria Beach (as seen from the beach looking back towards the campground.)

You'll find hookups available, as you can see from this image. Unlike some beach campgrounds in Southern California...which really ARE just parking lots for self-contained'll be able to enjoy the comforts of home in your RV, trailer or 5th wheel. Your electric appliances will run, your water will flow, and many of the sites have sewer hookups, as well. (The campground has an RV dump, if your site doesn't have sewer hookups.) When you make your reservations (see link below on this page,) you'll be able to check the specific amenities of each particular site, and select one with the hookups you desire, if available for the date you want.

Carpinteria Campground Amenities

Carpinteria State Beach is hardly the place to go if you want to "rough it!" It's beautiful and offers campers a number of amenities that they're sure to enjoy. Here's a list of creature-comforts you may expect to find---

Picture: Bathrooms at Carpinteria State Beach near Santa Barbara, California

Carpinteria State Beach has flush toilets. It's an amenity that some families want first and foremost when looking for a campground, and Carpinteria's in-town location is handy for providing amenities which are like the comforts of home.

In addition to running water and showers in the campground itself, you'll have a beachside shower (cold water) for rinsing off the sand before you leave the beach. (The picture of a beach shower is to your right.)

Picture of beach shower at Carpinteria State Beach in Southern California Other amenities in the beach area include volleyball nets; an exercise area; day-use picnic pavilions (pictures of these features are seen in the slide show at the top of this page.)

Another "plus" is that the Carpinteria State Beach is located within a nice, safe neighborhood. You'll run across some light industry in the vicinity, but mostly you'll see neatly-kept homes and apartment buildings.

As mentioned in the opening paragraphs on this page, you'll also be very close to shopping, banks and restaurants. The freeway (US 101) is close enough to be handy, but far enough away to be able to forget about traffic, hustle & bustle as you spend your beach vacation worrying about nothing more than missing a spot of skin with your sunscreen.

Picture of beautiful mountains around Carpinteria, California

The town of Carpinteria, California is graced with the beauty of tall mountains, and you'll be able to enjoy this mountain view from the beach campgrounds.

Palm trees have been planted in the area, and add a "castaway island" touch to the scene. least they make the scene very pretty. Once you're on the beach, the sand dunes hide the homes and apartments surrounding Carpinteria State Park, and you can almost forget they're there as you gaze up at the scene from the shoreline!

Two problems at Carpinteria State Beach are the train and the summer crowds. Since train tracks are in the area, you'll have the noise of an occasional passing train. This is a frequent problem at Southern California beach campgrounds, since the many hills of SoCal make the flat area hugging many beaches a logical choice for putting train tracks.

Crowds are thick during the popular camping months. Almost any campground is more enjoyable when the crowds are thinner. If your schedule makes it possible, camping in the off-season is a great idea at Carpinteria State Beach. You'll have a better selection of campsites, and more room between yourself and your neighbor. Nevertheless, many people must take their vacations during the summer season; and, though it's busy, Carpinteria camping during the summer is no more annoying than anywhere else. (But, you WILL have to reserve your space as far as possible ahead of time for the summer vacation season!)

Carpinteria State Beach Camping Reservations, maps, phone number

View Carpinteria State Beach camping in a larger map

Reservations for Carpinteria State Beach Campgrounds: Like many other California State Beach campgrounds, Carpinteria SB uses the Reserve California reservations system. During the off-season (especially mid-week) you probably won't need reservations. On the other hand, Carpinteria Campground is extremely popular, and during the busy summertime or on holidays, you most likely will NOT get a camping space without having made prior reservations. (For the most popular dates, you may want to try selecting your space several months in advance.) Here's a link to the website. From Home Page, type "Carpinteria SB" and your camping dates, and you will be served a calendar showing the open campsites during that time frame. Dates with campsites still available will be marked GREEN on the park's calendar. Those dates marked with RED signify that all spaces have already been reserved for that day. If you'd like to take a look at a campground map before you make a reservation, here's a Carpinteria SB camping map which also includes a list of campground rules. This is a PDF map that you can print up at home to bring with you, if you like.

Carpinteria Day Use Fees: You may decide that you'd simply rather enjoy Carpinteria State Beach on a day-trip. If so, there's a fee to pay which includes parking and the use of their recreational facilities. Here is a link to the new California state park camping and day use fees for your information.

Carpinteria State Beach Address: 5361 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, California 93013 (mailing address.) However, the entrance to the camping area is at Palm Ave and 4th St in Carpinteria. Here's a Google map to Carpinteria State Beach's camping entrance.

Carpinteria State Beach Website: Carpinteria SB's website is actually a section of the California State Parks website. You may use the following link to reach the Carpinteria State Beach section of the California Parks website.

Other good camping near Carpinteria State Beach

Picture: Seagull sits atop a post at Carpinteria State Beach
There are a number of good campgrounds not far from Carpinteria which would make great places to stay if the park is full...or if you're planning a coastal road trip. Here are some ideas:

  • Other Santa Barbara beach campgrounds, including El Capitan State Beach, Refugio Beach State Beach and Gaviota State Park.

  • Morro Bay State Park campground

  • The Pismo Beach State Park's Oceano campground

  • The San Simeon state park campgrounds

  • Ventura's McGrath State Beach campground

  • Big Sur Campgrounds

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