The winding coastal roads and beautiful picturesque overlooks of Carpinteria give way to the scenic inland farms and vineyards of the rest of Santa Barbara County. Like much of California's central coast, the culture and architecture of this area have been influenced by its Spanish mission history and rugged natural beauty.
While you're visiting Carpinteria, explore the old Spanish missions built by early settlers, some of which are now museums. Take in the vistas of the Santa Ynez Valley. Take a sea kayaking eco-tour along the coast or visit the Santa Barbara Zoo to learn more about the native animal life in this area.
And of course, experience the offerings of the fertile central coast farmland by sampling the work of Carpinteria's world-class restaurants and wineries. The oldest organic farm in southern California is located close by, and it's open to the public. Take a self-guided tour, and then sample dishes prepared by Carpinteria's award winning chefs.
Here are a few additional suggestions as you plan your trip:
- Hike the trails: There are more than 30 regional, state and national parks in Santa Barbara County. The central coast is the home of Big Sur and Point Lobos, among many others offering countless miles of trail for hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting.
- Take a culinary and winery tour: A Santa Barbara winery tour is a wonderful way to experience the true beauty and rolling vineyards of the California countryside.
- Go whale watching: Take a chartered boat trip with a knowledgeable guide and see dolphins, minke whales and grey whales depending on the season.
- Take a surfing lesson: Surf culture has been influenced by the beaches of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara County for generations. Take a lesson and hit the waves yourself.
- Visit Seaside Gardens: This charming local botanical garden offers exhibits of a wide variety of exotic and native plants species.
- Play on the beach: Carpinteria State beach is a popular place to swim, snorkel, go parasailing, or just find a place in the sun and relax.
Like most of southern California, Carpinteria is beautiful all year round. Despite the area's popularity among travelers, it's still always easy to find a beautiful vacation rental here. Reserve a trendy condo downtown or find a luxury home close to the beach. No matter where you decide to stay, Carpinteria is a wonderful place to relax, enjoy the sun and create lasting vacation memories. While you're exploring Santa Barbara, you may also want to schedule a visit to sunny San Diego if your vacation plans allow.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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