Walking Carpenteria

One day we took a side trip from Santa Barbara to check out a few towns we’d only heard of before. We visited Carpenteria on the way out and the way back.

Driving along the coast was great but getting into town with the beach and ocean at the end of the street was better. And not every town has a public pingpong table next to picnic area and the State Beach –

Carpenteria pingpongor a place for our dog to chill with the non-dangerous or endangered wildlife

Cole with seals in CarpenteriaAh, the beach

Carpenteria State BeachCarpenteria State Beach has a mile of beach, more picnic areas and a couple of campgrounds – one along the creek.

Carpenteria State ParkAccessible from the park or Linden Street is this unusual play area – Tomol Interpretive.

Tomol InterpretiveBack on the road (we’ll be back in Carpenteria) we drove along the coast and meandered in Ventura and Port Hueneme. We started to notice that bougainvillea was growing in hedges – marvelous.

Ventura harborAs with many a trip, when we get home and I start doing more research on a place, I realize that we missed the Carpenteria Tar Pits south of town. They are one of the five natural asphalt lake areas in the world. Now that would be something to see.

But back on Linden St in Carpenteria, we saw a sign that seemed to indicate that dogs were allowed to run free on the beach north of town. So at Ash Ave we found beach access. Signs there said no dogs, but there was a bag dispenser. Conflicting signals? Or recognizing that people were going to take the dog to the beach anyway? Our dog had developed a sore paw and was happy to sit silent on the beach. Here’s the view south

Carpenteria beach southand the view north looking back to Santa Barbara.

Carpenteria beach northNext to this area is a salt marsh tended to by the University of California. Along Ash Ave. there is a quarter mile trail to experience some of Carpenteria Salt Marsh Reserve. (No dogs here either.)

Salt marshOur salt marsh view

Salt marsh viewAnd from up there an osprey will have another view, probably more geared to finding food.

Osprey perch above salt marshAnother great day on the road with a lot of beach and salt marsh thrown in.

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar available upon request.

Back in Santa Barbara next, to the best botanical garden ever and a great natural history museum too.

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