Camping at Carpinteria
I was very excited when I learned that my family was going camping at Carpinteria State Beach. I went there a lot as a kid, with my whole huge Italian family, as the last bastion of a fun time at the end of summer just before school started, but I hadn’t actually camped there in a several years. The memories flooded back to me as we pulled in, towing our tent trailer behind us. Even though it was only my immediate family in attendance this time, I felt like a kid again.
The weather was warm and the campground was full. It’s a great campground that usually sells out months in advance, but we were able to jump in when someone cancelled at the last minute. There are many options for happy campers, with one campground that allows all manners of tents and RVs, and another that provides hookups for those that like to be plugged in. All sites are a maximum of a two-minute walk from the beach, and are divided by a large freshwater lagoon that the state park system is trying to maintain as a natural marshland by protecting it and replanting native fauna.
The campground and state beach are parks that have survived the recent California budget cuts that devastated the state park system. I don’t see how they could afford to close down Carpinteria anyway; it’s a huge income-earner. The campground has its own sense of community among its campers, often complemented by activities and events hosted by the park administrators. This time, there was a Johnny Cash tribute at the small amphitheater (I didn’t attend, everyone in my household likes to go to bed at 8pm. WTF?). During the daytime, there are many things to do if you decide you don’t want to indulge in a bit of sun-worship. There are natural tide pools located a short walk south down the beach, extensive bike paths throughout the campground and beach area, as well at the cute little town of Carpinteria itself. There are many places in short walking distance from the campground to get something to eat, or the town is just cute enough to walk and enjoy the late summer sunny weather.
I, however, chose to sun-worship. I took a walk down the beach with my dad, and then decided to enjoy some rays so I could add a little to my (non-existent) tan. That’s what I chose to do this time around in Carpinteria, but every trip has been different and has brought good memories to add to my archives. I strongly suggest making a visit to Carpinteria to experience its mix of charm, culture, and natural setting that inspired the California politicians to rescue it from the chopping block.