Top 5: Carpinteria
Carpinteria, Calfornia is a West Coast gem if ever there was one. A small, seaside town, it sits a few miles down the 101 from it's more well-known neighbor, Santa Barbara. If you love the Pacific Ocean but aren't a big fan of the crowds associated with the American Riviera, Carp is the place for you.
1. Carpinteria State Beach
Obviously the beach is the #1 attraction here. Just look at it!
2. Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve
The trails here are well-maintained and easy to follow. You can choose a quicky hike just to glimpse the amazing views from the bluffs or take a longer walk - whatever suits your fancy!
3. Pacific Health Foods
Okay, no extra points for that name (health food?!), but this grocery/deli has the most amazing sandwiches. Try the Avocado and you will not be sorry.
4. Rincon Designs
There's just something about surf shops within earshot of crashing ocean waves. They have a certain romance about them and suddenly you must have that t-shirt, that wet suit, that hoodie that will transform you into a beach person. Plus they have top-notch customer service - win win!
5. Rincon Bike Trail
If spending the day relaxing on the beach isn't your thing, hop on your trusty beach cruiser and head down the Rincon Bike Trail. Your Instagram account will thank you.
6. Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery
A seasonal activity - check out the baby seal pups (and their mums) from January through May.
7. Best Western Plus
For the biggest bang for your buck, book a room at Best Western Plus (no, we're not being paid to say that). Carpinteria is all about the understated, which means you might not expect their Best Western to be anything extraordinary. Prepare to have your expectations exceeded!