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Carpinteria State Beach was rated 7 out of 10 based on 44 user reviews. Phone: (805) 968-1033
CGID302

Carpinteria State Beach

Camp Information
Sites
261
Date of Stay
March 2014
Latest Rate
$75



Hookups
Electric
yes
50amp
no
Water
yes
Sewer
yes
Wireless Internet
no
Cable TV
no
Accommodations
Pull-Thru Sites
no
Big Rig Access
no
Waterfront Access
yes (Ocean)
Shade Trees
yes
Pool Access
no
Pets Allowed
yes
Tents Allowed
yes
Family Friendly
yes
Latest Review Information
Ratings (Last 10 Newest/Oldest)
9   7   3   9   2   1   5   1   2   8   
Clean Restrooms (Last 5 Newest/Oldest)
question  question  question  yes  no  
Clean Showers (Last 5 Newest/Oldest)
question  question  question  yes  no  
Review Rating
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[ 9 / 10 ]
March 2014
$75
We stayed in beach row site #133. Sites 132-134 have a tree and bushes blocking the beach view from your table and fire pit. Minor inconvenience with the breaking waves less than 75 feet away. Our area sites were not angled so make sure you know how to back up really well. The only down side for me was the sites are really close together. With my awning out, it was only 5 feet from the neighboring RV. All and all, a great experience. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

Adertisement:
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[ 7 / 10 ]
January 2014
$45
The beach is fantastic and was nice even though it was January. You are right inside the little town of Carpinteria and you can walk everywhere. In the campground 95% of the sites are too close together. Even in the dry camping section where we always stay, most of the sites are doubles, triples, and quadruples where there is one pad that is split for multiple sites. Its a very poor design unless you are camping in a group. There are also dedicated group sites. This time the camp hosts were on the job and checking for generators running after the 8 PM cutoff. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 3 / 10 ]
January 2014
$50
We came in 32 foot motorhome for a 2-night stay. Reservations on-line not available the day or two before arrival, so we arrived early to register. Beach and terrain are excellent, but tough policies. Beach sites limited to 24 foot units, across the lot are 35 foot sites, but that depends upon being able to overhang the curb in back. Sewer entrance is horizontal, tough making good connection. They will only give one night at a time to non-reserved. You return at 8:30 am to renew. But then they wanted us to move to another space for the second night. Quite crowded, like a city. So we moved out, will not use again. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
June 2012
$70
Location, location, location! This campground is right on the beach, while being near to town with groceries, etc. Beach is not groomed, but it is still wonderful. Watch kids play, watch the surfers, catch a sunset. Washrooms and showers are about what you expect from a state park (clean but rundown) and sites are very close to each other: pretty much a parking lot. Those are the only reasons I am not giving it a 10. I would go back in a minute. Note that if you are less than 2 days from arrival, you cannot reserve. You have to show up and hope for the best. You can only get 1 night and then need to go in the lottery the next morning for available spaces. If you are lucky, you will get an unserviced site right next to the beach for $60. We also had a serviced site in the 3rd row for $70 (and there are water electric sites too). Expensive, but worth every penny. We camped here in a Truck Camper.

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[ 2 / 10 ]
April 2012
$50
Of the nearly 90 RV parks we have stayed in over the last year this ranks about the worst. State uniformed staff are rude. No hookups and you can run the generator only from 10am to 8pm. Big construction project blocked off the beach. Tent City included drug dealers pulling business off the beach. Spaces COULD accommodate up to 40' but they won't allow it. What could be a fantastic RV park is a dump and the State of California should be ashamed of itself for such poor management of a public facility. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 1 / 10 ]
March 2012
$50
The only positive aspect of this park is the location. I have had more privacy and better sites at Walmart! We parked a Truck Camper and at only 24' we still had a hard time backing in, as the sites are so close to each other. To add injury to insult, when we dumped our tanks we learned that the septic was plugged. The "Camp host" was no where to be found, so we finally flagged someone down in a state truck so they could cordon off the mess and fix the problem. We cleaned to the best of our ability, but since the bathrooms here were awful we used the toilet more than normal, what a mess. We will never return here. We camped here in a Truck Camper.

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[ 5 / 10 ]
March 2012
$50
Online registration website very misleading with regarding camp site sizes and suitability for various RVs. Nearly all sites are merely separated by lines on the blacktop. Very congested campground. Staff was friendly, but limited in ability to deal with Reserve America reservation screw ups. I would not camp at this site again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 1 / 10 ]
July 2011
$65
The only good thing to say is the LOCATION. Some sights are almost on the beach itself. CONS: camp ran by volunteers with Nazi attitude. Gross bathrooms. Sites are so cramped and close to one another that you might as well be sleeping with your neighbor. Not my idea of relaxation. Everyone is on top of everyone else. Horrible. Forget about slideouts and reversing is very difficult. We stayed in the area with no sewer hookups which was more spacious and you didn't feel like you were on top of your neighbor but the sites with sewer hookups were out of the question. We will not be back as the staff was constantly into our business and very unfriendly. Harassing us about leaving even though we had 15 minutes left before checkout. We will NOT be back although you can't beat the location. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 2 / 10 ]
May 2011
$35
Nothing good to say about this place. Like a parking lot-line up three side by side. Even though no one beside us told we couldn't park in the empty space. Moved vehicle parked six inches on the weed patch - told to move vehicle. I guess they were afraid the weeds wouldn't grow. Park rangers rude. Host was unfriendly. This park is typical of California state parks going downhill fast. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
March 2011
$50
Wow, what a location! 15 min to Santa Barbara and directly on its own incredible beach with pounding surf. Sites are somewhat parking lot style with dirt patch behind them but the setting made up for it. Train behind park is Amtrak so I didn't notice anything before or after 8am-8pm and wasn't bothered by it. Definitely on the spendy side but worth it for a few days. Staff was friendly but camp host was a little rude and intrusive. There is almost no lighting so carry a flashlight at night, it was pitch dark. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
February 2011
$35
Beautiful beach, overpriced considering we had no hookups but plenty of wake ups from the trains running right by the campground. We were the only ones parked on our loop, besides the hosts' rig, and turned on our generator just to make a cup of morning tea (at about 9:00 am) and a young man in a park uniform who happened to be walking by ordered our generator turned off. There was no one else in sight in any direction. It seems California's state parks (we tried 3 last week) are underused, overpriced and over-staffed. Pismo Beach North Campground had no campers, but 3 park pickups with uniformed staff just sitting and staring. It was sad, considering our wonderful state park experiences in both Utah and Florida. California needs to make some thoughtful changes to park management: quick! We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
September 2010
$65
We camped here one night in September before Labor Day in an ocean view full hookup site. The sites are close together, but that's to be expected. Lots of kids everywhere having fun, a great family atmosphere. We enjoyed riding our bikes into town for dinner, and thought the campground was great. Camp hosts and park employees were very helpful. The camp host even delivered firewood to our door. We parked the motorhome and just used our bikes. Can't wait to go back. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
August 2010
$65
If you want to RV on the beach, backed right up to the sand with full hook-ups, this is the place. Size limited, though, to 24', and there are only 23 sites like that (124-146 Santa Rosa Campground). You can park up to a 30' rig if you can be one row from the beach. Absolutely wonderful beach for sunbathing, swimming, playing, boogie boarding, surfing, surf fishing. Very few shells though if that's your thing. You will see dolphins and seals cruise by all day long. Amtrak comes by several times a day but that's all part of the fun. Everything close right outside the gate. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 6 / 10 ]
June 2010
$35
This is a nice place to stay for a quick getaway. You can’t get closer to the beach, and having Carpinteria within walking distance is a real plus. There are numerous good restaurants and at least to full grocery stores. The sites are simply on asphalt with a small dirt area with a fire pit and picnic table. I would estimate that the sites are about 20 feet across. There are a very limited number of sites for large motorhomes or travel trailers. These sites are full hookup. The rangers are pretty strict, and there are problems with theft. They recommend locking things down or better yet, putting things away under lock and key, especially at night. We love the town, but it is definitely not our favorite campground. We have camped here many times, but it will be harder now since we upgraded to a 29 foot travel trailer. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
June 2010
$35
We have been camping here for over 25 years and have seen many positive changes. We have a 35' class A and this time camped in space A9 Anacapa. We love it here because although you're in the middle of the city, you don't feel it. The staff has gotten stricter in recent years but I guess thats typical of all CA state parks as they are facing budget issues and have to enforce more rules. Most of the sites are very spacious, with restrooms within very close proximity. The camp ground is pretty quiet during the week and louder on weekends, but aren't they all. We will definitely come back next year and the year after, etc. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
March 2010
$50
The town is very nice to visit. The beach is spectacular. The only complaint I have about Carpinteria is that it is so hard to get a spot for the big motorhomes. This is one of my favorites. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 4 / 10 ]
November 2009
$50
Nice and helpful staff. The high prices ($50 for an oceanview with no power, no water) could be accepted if the restrooms and sites (sand, fire-rings, tables) had been clean. It seems nobody cares about this. In three months we never met a similar situation! We wrote this feedback to the responsible ranger. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
September 2009
$41
Our third time at this campground in September. Nothing has changed: no improvements. They don't even clean the site between campers. But I was told and I checked on line that they raised the rates $20.00 a night. Now the ocean row is $65.00 a night. I'll have to think long and hard on this campground. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
July 2009
$25
Love this place. We have gone there many times and we will continue to come back. The Campground Hosts were nice and helpful too. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
June 2009
$40
We were in Anacapa, which is dry camping, site #9. We love it. We have stayed here for the last 20 years and even though Reserve America makes it harder and harder to get reservations, its worth it. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 4 / 10 ]
June 2009
$35
This campground is on a beautiful beach, but the sites are just in a parking lot. They are very small and close together. The park rangers were very friendly, but the camp hosts were extremely rude and abused their power. One host raised her voice at a 2 year old for not wearing a helmet on his big wheel that he was scooting around on. Our reservation said, "full hookups" but it didn't include sewer when we got there. We will never go back in the future. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 3 / 10 ]
June 2009
$35
Very nice beach, but we would not return. Spaces are hard to get into with a long trailer. "Full hookups" in San Miguel loop do not include sewage, so we had to use camp showers. Campground hosts, who were volunteers, went around hourly with a clipboard, citing people for numerous silly things. Our friends brought a golf cart but were not allowed to drive it because it did not have a license plate. The camp hosts must have been exempt from this law, because they had a cart with no plates. My son was not able to ride his electric scooter in the campground either, even though he was wearing a helmet. The park rangers were very professional, but camp hosts were extremely rude to us and abused their authority. We were hassled daily about our dogs barking at people walking by. Our neighbors were evicted during a previous visit because of barking dogs. It did not make for an enjoyable camping trip. We will never go back! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 5 / 10 ]
April 2009
$34
This was a hectic campground, full of kids and families. Quiet hours were enforced by rangers in police type cars. We saw at least three talking to campers. We stayed in the San Miquel area which is next to the village park so we could walk our dogs on the trails. This was our first experience in a California State Park and we were shocked at how dirty and unkempt it was. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
February 2009
$35
We stayed here over Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago and we loved it! (I entered Feb 09 above because it won't let me post for previous years). We were lucky enough to get an unusually private spot (lots of spots are right up on each other in parking lot fashion), with shade trees. We will definitely be back, but will have to get a reservation for that spot again! There was a sand berm with greenery growing on it and our kids had a blast playing along the sandy berm hills. The beach was beautiful, we enjoyed taking strolls together and sitting by the campfire at night. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. We did not have hook-ups, but the space we had was worth the trade off. We walked all over this state beach to scope out the sites and decided that we will never camp there unless its a beach front site or we are just driving through and need a place to stay for one night. I'm sure I wouldn't have given it a 9 for the rating if we stayed in a spot away from the beachfront. I don't remember how much we paid for the site. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
December 2008
$29
Had a full hookup site in the Santa Rosa loop. Great sunset right from our spot (site 108) even though we were not right on the beach. Had to move to another site as original site was reserved for the weekend. Wish California state parks could give the rangers at least a two day list of reserved sights for better assigning of spots for those campers who haven't reserved. Still Carpenteria is one of the better state parks and worth this annoying problem. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
July 2008
$25
This is one of our favorite campgrounds. We always stay in the non-hookup side. When I was kid in the 60s this was also my favorite campground. Carpinteria is just as nice as it was 40 years ago. Swimming is very good, and Carpinteria's motto is "World's safest beach". If you plan your trip during a minus low tide the tide pools are some of the best in S. California. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
April 2008
$26
OK for a one or two nigher. Beautiful beach, but check shoes before returning to motorhome or tent. The tar is mostly at the San Miguel loop, but little blobs of it everywhere. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
April 2008
$25
This was our 2nd trip to this park. We stayed in the Anacapa loop, which is non-hookup. There are four loops, and this is the furthest from the ocean. We stayed mid-week and it was still quite full. Very close to town if you need anything. Did not use the bathhouse/restroom. Trains do go by quite close to campsites, but you can still hear the ocean waves. Tidepools are fun too. As this is the beach, things do tend to get sandy and it can get windy as well, but we enjoyed our stay here. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
February 2008
$29
We got a site in the Santa Rosa campground which is all full hookups. Beautiful views of the beach. Each site is pavement marked with lines to separate you from your neighbour. Site 105 is next to the campground host and has more privacy than anywhere else. No laundry in the park, but there is a good one downtown. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
November 2007
$20
TIGHT does not even begin to tell the whole story. These sites are literally on top of each other. Our neighbors left for the day with their awning open and we could not pull out to leave - we ended up closing their awning and leaving a note just so we could pull out of our spot. We figured it was better than the alternative of ripping off their awning with our trailer. The sites are that close together - you are literally awning to siding with each other. However, we did enjoy our time there and this will not stop us from going back - albeit we will go to the no-hookup side if we go back for a couple of days as they appear to be larger, more spread out and nicer. If we go back for more than a few days we will reserve some other spots in the full hookup section that we saw that afforded a bit more room. We are too big for any of the ocean front spots anyway. Be warned that the Amtrak train/commuter train does go throughout the night and you will hear it but it didn't bother us much. We are already planning a return trip so you can see the tight spots didn't scare us away but it is the reason I rated them a 7 and not higher We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
July 2007
$25
Other than the problem of actually getting a reservation through the state system, this campground is GREAT. Its a family friendly campground right in the middle of town that feels like you're out in the wild. Walk to the beach day or night, campfire in the fire rings at night, ride your bikes all around the 4 campgrounds or through town or get in your car and enjoy Carpenteria or Santa Barbara. The Palms Restaurant in Carp is a MUST and Sterns Wharf in Santa Barbara can't be missed. We have been coming to this Carpenteria campground for over 20 years and absolutely LOVE IT, we will definitely be back time and time again. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
July 2007
$35
We have been coming here for the last 4 or so years. This is a great site to come with the kids. This is a definite must. Great for the family. Sites are quite close, but you get use to it. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
June 2007
$37
The sites at Carpinteria State Beach are very close together. There were a few near the visitor center that had more room and were fairly big. The sites along the coast (sites 200+, I think) had great views and were on a cliff just above the water. If you don't mind listening to the pounding surf all night, these sites are wonderful. I might return if we could get an ocean view site. Otherwise, the sites were just too cramped for my taste. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
April 2007
$30
The camping atmosphere was great with the ocean waves in the background and the occasional train passing by. Overall the campground was clean and quiet. Close to shopping and Santa Barbara. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
March 2007
$33
We lucked into a ocean side site here, which is unusual as this is a VERY popular park - with good reason. A little pricey (like all California State Parks) but beautiful, close to a great town, and as near the ocean as you can safely be. Reserve WELL ahead during high season - which pretty much seems to be all the time here. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
February 2007
$30
This is a gorgeous campground if you can get a reservation (it is very tough). The sites that do have hookups are very, very small- so if you have a larger rig- you'll have to go without any hookups. The strict generator hours (10am to roughly 5 or 6pm) make it tough to do much cooking that requires the generator- but with all that said, there are some great sites right on the beautiful and clean beach. The town is also very charming and a great place to visit. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
February 2007
$27
You cannot beat this site when it comes to location. Every spot is just short walk to the beach. We could hear the waves crashing on the beach from our RV which was wonderful. The bathrooms were very clean and the park itself was clean. Park Rangers were everywhere and camp hosts also checked the park quite often adding a real sense of security to the place. We had noisy neighbors the first night, but after we complained to the camp host, they were virtually silent the next night. Only drawbacks to this campsite is the RV spots are VERY close together. We watched one guy in a 5th wheel take nearly a half an hour to back his trailer into his spot. He came late and night and nearly all the spots were full (yes, even in February) and so he had a tough time maneuvering into his spot. You are literally 5 feet from you neighbor, but we found everyone to be very friendly so it was OK. There is also no camp store, so come prepared! Overall, we had a great time and would recommend this campsite - if you can get a reservation! We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
October 2006
$41
The park was located right on the beach and we had a lovely view looking out over the setting sun. Sites were fairly close together but overall we really enjoyed the park and would have liked to stay there longer. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
September 2006
$42
Not much room in each site. But then you got the beach. Bathroom, and showers were clean. Rangers very friendly. Short walk to the town, lots of interesting shops, and restaurants. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
July 2006
$35
This is an excellent CA State park. Everything was clean. There are plenty of park rangers to patrol; so security was great. You can walk or ride your bike into town. The beaches are nice and clean. Some of the sites are a little cramped, but the ones closer to the railroad tracks have a lot of space. Saying that the train noise isn't too bad. This is definitely and annual event. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
May 2006
$34
This is an excellent park if you want to RV along the coast near Santa Barbara. I recently stayed here in the Santa Rosa section (full hookups) on Mother's Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend. The place was full, but that's to be expected. If you are in Long Row or Beach Row, you are treated to wonderful beach views, and the sound of waves putting you to sleep at night. Long row is about 20 feet from the beach, but even Inland is just a few steps more. The beach is clean, uncrowded, and steps away. Most of the people I have met here are very friendly, and will help you back your rig in. They will even move their cars if it makes it easier to get you in (we returned the favor as well). Bathrooms are cleaned each day around 8am, so plan accordingly. For showers, you must pay quarters (about 2.5 minutes each quarter), so don't forget to bring some. Some sites are wider than others, but every site is wide enough to put up your awning. Besides access to the beach, the town of Carpinteria is wonderful to explore. The people there are very friendly and unpretentious. There is a local burger joint (The Spot), a steakhouse (The Palms), pizza (Tony's, Giovanni's, and Rusty's)-- you can even get pizza delivered to your campsite! There's even an old fashioned candy store, a Foster's Freeze, and many other shops and restaurants. There are lots of kids here, especially summer, spring break, and weekends. Bike riders tend to fill up the camp roads in the mornings and late afternoons. Nothing better than being able to spend all day at the beach, then walk back to the old RV and sit around the campfire. The pros are many, but there are a few cons to consider: First, it can be very difficult to book here. If you want to stay here on a holiday weekend, you will need to book in the first couple hours the sites become available: That is the first of the month, six months ahead of time (If the first date of your stay begins in July, then you can book it Jan 1). Lots of families come here year after year (including ours), so competition can be fierce. We always like to complain (in fun, of course) to the family that took "our spot" on holiday weekends. If you're a full-timer, it's best to avoid this place in summer (especially weekends, and ESPECIALLY holiday weekends). Second, the place gets a LOT of use and can be crowded holiday weekends. That is to say that sometimes the bathrooms can be dirty, and there's no guarantee a really loud group won't be next to you. But hey, that's the same just about everywhere. Third, there's the tar. No big deal, if you invest in a cheap pair of water shoes/water socks. Tar seeps naturally from the Santa Barbara channel, so you may step in a bit of tar from time to time. Easily cleaned with baby wipes or any oil-based liquid and a paper towel. Finally, there's the trains. The tracks pass right by the campground, and there's about a dozen or so per day. Most people make a game out of it, seeing who can be the first person to call "TRAIN!" when they hear the train go by. It's a minor annoyance, but the upside is that there's a train platform about 100 yards from the north side of the campground. We have used it in the past if someone has to come late or leave early. On the plus side, you can stay at the beach without having to pay $2,000 or more per week. The beach is wonderful and right there. The volunteers and state employees are efficient and pretty darn friendly, too. You can get away from it all, yet still be close to convenience. The sunsets are beautiful, and the sound of the waves is so soothing. Definitely worth it, which explains why we visit several times per year. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
April 2005
$22
I love this campground personally. I've been camping here since 1976 with my mom and dad, and now I do it with my wife and child. Just got back from a great weekend there. This park has full-hookups as well as non-hookups. I like the non-hookups better just for the fact that in the full-hookups, you're in a parking lot type of setting. The beach is right there and it is beautiful, but you are right next to the guy next to you. It is a very well maintained park and a great place to camp! The biggext reason I enjoy it is probably because niether the campground or the town of Carpinteria has changed in the 25 plus years I've been going there. This is a highly recommended campground. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
2004
$20
This state beach is very popular, especially around summer and holidays. Reservations are highly recommended, see "Reserveamerica." These book up on the first available day, 6/7 months in advance. There are several areas of the park: Anacapa/Santa Cruz, which are dry camping spots. These have grassy areas with space between sites (except for group sites). Santa Rosa and San Miguel are for RV's, with some beachfront sites. However, the beachfront sites are rather short, nothing over 25' will fit. There is a "Long Row", which the site says will take up to a 30' rig, but we fit our 32' Storm in without a problem, and we even helped a 36' rig squeeze in. Don't try it with a 40-footer, though. Santa Rosa has W/E/S, but San Miguel has no sewer. There is a dump station at the park entrance. Great for families, the park is full of them. The town of Carpinteria is great for exploring. Be sure to get a burger, tostada, or special quesadilla at The Spot, located next to the RR tracks on Linden Ave. Kids will love Robitaille's, an old fashioned candy store just up the street. Don't feel like cooking? Call up one of the local pizza places as they deliver right to your site. Staying awhile? There is a firewood guy by the tracks just north/west of the park, look for his flag. You can get as little as an eighth of a cord of wood, and pay a lot less than the wood in the campground. Rangers are pretty nice here, but are a little frazzled between July 4th and Labor Day. Weather is very mild year-round, which is why it also books up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We camped here in a Motorhome.
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[ 8 / 10 ]
2004
$22
Very popular spot just south of Santa Barbara. If you plan on coming on a weekend, better make reservations. The full hook-up sites are pretty tight, forget about putting up your awning. I actually preferred the non-hookup sites, more grassy and spacious. Some sites are right on the beach, the others pretty close. Some train noise, not too bad. Bathrooms had nice hot showers. Tidepools, swimming in the ocean and lots to do nearby. Great for a family weekend away. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
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