The Carpinteria State Beach Campground is an expensive but beautiful place for road warriors to rest their head off the 101 near Santa Barbara.
I can’t in right mind give a campground that charges over $60 per night a raving review. That being said, I joined my friends Chelsea and Ryan at their smaller campsite, and since we were both sleeping in our vehicles we could both fit in one space. If you’re using tents, that may not be possible. The fee for an additional vehicle in the area we chose was $10. Plus we woke up with a view of the waves splashing on the beach… glorious!
The bathroom facilities are pretty nice and include showers as well as decently sized sinks (sometimes a camping rarity). Deep sinks are available as well. Check out is at noon, which is later than many other campgrounds I’ve visited.
When I arrived at ~10p, a Ranger showed up to see what I was up to and ended up leading me to the site where I could meet my friends. At first this was a little alarming, but turned out to be super helpful and very much appreciated. He stopped by one more time that evening just after midnight to let us know we were being a little loud– put loud mouths Chelsea and I together, it’s sort of inevitable. He was really nice about it, and we were left to our own devices for the rest of the stay.
While I am one of those people who sees campsites for over $20 and goes “no way, Jose” it was a really nice overnight stay. Having access to nice toilets and showers while being able to walk the beach and great breakfast restaurants is something Carpinteria State Beach campground has over most in the area. Up and down the 101 through Ventura County you’ll find beachside campsites, but most suffer traffic noise, bad facilities, and high prices.
My view of the Pacific Ocean from the back of the Purple Prius Eater in the morning.
No one seemed bothered by me checking fluids and doing some truck inspections, either. In an area this bougie, I was concerned about this.