California State Beach campgrounds are like the dirty, little secret for California campers. Those who know, are willing and able to do what it takes to secure a reservation 6 months in advance. Those of us not in the know never seem to be able to reserve a spot so we don’t know what we are missing.
Well, we were lucky enough to start our 2018 camping season off at Carpinteria State Beach. We did a quick 2 night stay in our 16’ Wolf Pup travel trailer the beginning of May.
Neither my husband or I had ever been Carpinteria beach or the campground so we had no expectations. Carpinteria State Beach campground is broken up into 4 distinct camping loops, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. All the loops have specific camping attributes and are divided by the Coastal Vista Hiking Trail, a well maintained hiking path, surrounded by indigenous vegetation.
When we pulled in, we were greeted by very professional, nice, Park Ranger who explained all the campground rules, and provided us with a map and directions on how to get to spot #334 in the Santa Rosa loop. Without a doubt their customer service and friendliness was top notch. This is something that I found extended, not only to the Rangers, but the camp host and anyone associated with the campground.
We pulled up to out spot and my husband said, “That can’t be it. Is someone parked in our spot?” I got out of the truck to look and our teeny, tiny, spot was clearly marked and free from anyone else’s vehicle or rig.
Once we got the truck and trailer parked and the utilities set up (spot #334 had water, electric and sewer hook ups, picnic table and a fire pit) we realized there wasn’t much room to use the picnic table or fire pit because our spot also housed a large electric transformer that ate up what little room was left.
Now, one could gripe about the small accommodations, but the minute we stopped talking we realized we could hear the roar of the ocean and smell the invigorating scent that belongs only to the sea. At that moment, everything became alright
Carpinteria State Beach has a no dog on the beach policy, but just a short jaunt down the Coastal Vista Hiking Trail, after the San Miguel Loop, the state beach turns into the county beach where dogs are allow as long as they are leashed. Our two year old German Short Haired Pointer, Norman, had his first beach experience and loved it.
Cool Stuff we did:
- Bike Riding
- Hiking (Coastal Vista Trail)
- Harbor Seals/Pups Sanctuary – (December – May)
- Shore Fishing
- Watching Amazing Sunsets
If you can get a spot, go. It’s absolutely bad ass. There is plenty to do for the adult, dogs and kids. If you can, aim for a spot in the San Miguel Loop. The spots a little longer, wider and angled for easier parking. If not, take what you can get!
- Anacapa Loop – Tents, motor homes, trailers – No hook-ups
- Santa Cruz Loop – Tents, motor homes, trailers – No hook-ups
- Santa Rosa – All full hook-ups – Max length 21’-30’ depending on the site
- San Miguel – Water/Electric Max 21’-30’ depending on the site.
Reservations: Reserve California