Carpinteria State Beach Camping
With four adjacent campgrounds and plenty of room to sprawl out, camping at Carpinteria State Beach offers fun and relaxation to all kinds of visitors. While there are many excellent oceanfront campsites throughout California, this has to be one of our absolute favorites.
Of course, making the most out of a camping trip here on the Southern California coast means preparing ahead of time.
If you're looking to take a trip up to Santa Barbara for a night under the stars, come dive in with us as we explore the ins and outs of camping at Carpinteria State Beach.
ADA, Group, RV, Tent, Trailer
# Of Tent Sites: 111
# Of Hook Up Sites: 105
205 Palm Ave
Carpinteria, California 93013
Phone Number: (805) 968-1033
Carpinteria lies just 12 miles south of Santa Barbara, making it an excellent place for a weekend getaway for central coasters. People often refer to Carpinteria State Beach as "California's Safest Beach."
You'll find four adjacent campgrounds nearby, including San Miguel Campground, Santa Rosa Campground, Santa Cruz Campground, and Anacapa Campground.
With miles of sandy beaches to enjoy, as well as many unique attractions, such as Tar Pit Park, Tomol Interpretive Play Area, the Harbor Seal Reserve, and Jellybowl Vista Point, there are so many ways to experience camping in Carpinteria State Beach.
There are 216 campsites in all, about half of which are designated as RV sites. No matter which campsite you choose, they are all within walking distance of the beach and the main campground facilities.
The beach-front sites are the "premium" sites, and they often book up quickly.
For added comfort during your stay, you'll find amenities such as an on-site camping store, hot showers, and a visitor center. Carpinteria State Beach Campgrounds also offer interpretive programs during the summer, which is why it is one of the most popular campgrounds along the coast of Santa Barbara.
PRO TIP: We recommend bringing quarters for the showers, as there is nowhere to get change within the campground.
Every campsite in Carpinteria State Park has a table, fire ring, and grill, perfect for cooking up your own meals throughout the day and night!
If you're traveling with large groups, we highly recommend checking out the group sites. There are seven group sites at Carpinteria State Beach Campground, five of which can accommodate 40 people, one of which can accommodate 40 people, and the last of which can accommodate 65 people.
Note that none of the group sites at Carpinteria State Beach Campground have hook-ups.
Dogs are allowed at Carpinteria State Beach Campgrounds, though you must keep them on a leash and under supervision throughout your stay. They are not allowed on the beach and must be confined to your vehicle or tent after sundown.
As for fires, you can have them in the fire rings that the campsite provides, though you may not light fires on the beach.
If you want to get the salt and sand off your body before laying your head down at night, comfortable coin-op showers are located in the campgrounds.
Quiet hours for the campground are between 10 PM and 6 AM.
PRO TIP: During the summer months, putting your food away at night is essential, as there are many raccoons throughout the campsite.
Whether in a kayak or on a paddleboard, paddling is a very popular activity at Carpinteria State Beach. You have a good chance of seeing the seals, sea lions, whales, and dolphins that call the area home. From December to May, you can often find the occasional gray whale popping up.
If you want to go for a walk, there are plenty of neat dune trails to explore. Plus, when the tide is low enough, you can walk down to the tide pools to look at sea urchins, snails, crabs, starfish, sea anemones, and other tide pool wildlife.
There are plenty of opportunities for fishing near the beach-front sites, as well as clamming.
When the day is done and the time for beach activities has come to an end, you're just a short walk away from the main part of town, where you can grab a bite to eat at one of the many great restaurants.
If you're in the mood for a massive breakfast burrito, we recommend going to Renaldo's Mexican Bakery on Linden. Then, at night, head out to Rusty's Pizza for a huge slice of pie!
For young children ages 7 to 12, Carpinteria State Beach offers a Junior Rangers program. Your children can learn about animals and ocean safety or get in touch with the local environment, all while earning a badge for every day that they attend.
As we said before, Carpinteria Beach has four adjacent campgrounds, all of which are named after the Channel Islands. The Santa Cruz and Anacapa sections are the only two that allow for tent camping. For those who want to camp adjacent to the shoreline, Santa Cruz is the only one of those two with a beach row.
If you want to camp next to the shoreline and have an RV, you will have to choose between the San Miguel or Santa Rosa loop.
Carpinteria does not allow for tents set up along the paved areas of the campsites.
Carpinteria Camping Reservations
If you want to make camping reservations at Carpinteria State Beach, you will have to head over to Reserve California. Beyond the Carpinteria State Beach campgrounds, this website has access to all of the information regarding booking campsites up and down the state of California.
This campground is open year-round and you may book your site up to six months before your date of arrival.
The sites are first-come, first-served, so make sure to check out the map.
The beauty of the area is that you have more than 200 campsites to pick from, spreading across four separate campgrounds, including San Miguel Campground, Santa Cruz Campground, Anacapa Campground, and Santa Rosa Campground.
Make sure that you confirm the campsite configuration when making your reservation, as Carpinteria camping configurations can often change.
When campsites are full, Carpinteria will open up en-route camping, which is for self-contained vehicles. These campsites do not allow for fires, tents, or slide-outs.
All camping fees are good for up to eight people and one vehicle. If you want to bring an extra vehicle, it will cost you an extra fee.
Carpinteria RV Camping
There are 105 RV sites in total, all of which provide full hook-ups for campers. The maximum vehicle length for an RV site is 35 feet. However, not all campsites can accommodate trailers, so make sure to check the reservation website ahead of time for more information.
If you are unable to find RV camping in Carpinteria, you can head a few miles south or north to one of the alternative RV campgrounds, including:
Some of these parks have additional amenities, such as cable TV, laundromats, pools, and more.
Carpinteria State Beach Camping Map
There are plenty more beautiful beach campgrounds to be discovered on our Beach Camping California resource page!