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Carpinteria State Beach, California - A Family-Friendly Vacation

Carpinteria State Beach, California - A Family-Friendly Vacation

Carpinteria State Beach, California is a great family travel destination. With its soft sandy beaches, beautiful Pacific Ocean views, nearby mountains, wine country, and warm weather year-round, it's the perfect spot to relax and make lasting memories.

The boys and I had the wonderful opportunity to join our friends for a few nights in celebration of their little boy's Birthday. Hubby had to work, so I opted for a hotel stay, while our friends camped in their RV. While I love camping, a hotel stay felt like the better option without hubby.

I have to say, I love that there are so many options to make your stay. For us, the conveniently located and family-friendly Holiday Inn Express & Suites was the only way to go. This hotel offers comfortable rooms and plenty of amenities to make your stay a memorable one. Read on to learn more about the great family travel experience awaiting you at Carpinteria State Beach.


Carpinteria State Beach, California - A Family-Friendly Vacation
Enjoying our friend's RV

Carpinteria State Beach has four campground loops: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel named after the Channel Islands. Campsites are open year-round and reservations can be made through or by calling 1-800-444-7275. Reservations for Carpinteria State Beach can be made day-of or in advance up to six months to the day of the arrival date. But friends, while you can technically make a reservation the day of your stay, believe me, you do not want to take that chance. If you are planning ahead, do make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure that you get a space. They sell out.

Now, your stay can be as short as 1 night, or 7 consecutive days from March 1 through November 30, and up to 15 consecutive days from December 1 through February 28, When the maximum consecutive stay is reached, you will have to vacate the campground for 48 hours before returning for another stay. The maximum stay limit for camping at Carpinteria State Beach is a total of 30 days in any calendar year.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Carpinteria

Carpinteria State Beach, California - Holiday Inn Express & Suites Carpinteria 2 Queen Room
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Carpinteria 2 Queen Room

Again, while I love camping, my family is a little more about hotel stays and amenities. Believe me, I'm not complaining. A complimentary breakfast can definitely make life easier for a mom of two boys. And the Holiday Inn Express & Suites did just that.

We booked a two queen room, which was absolutely perfect for the three of us. Our room came with a little couch area where I was able to work a bit after I put the boys down for the night. It can also make for a great extra place to sleep if need be.

Carpinteria State Beach, California
Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Carpinteria, Pool

The hotel is only a couple of miles away from Carpinteria State Beach, making it the perfect base for a California Travel adventure with your family. It's also conveniently located near a great shopping plaza, featuring a great supermarket, Starbucks and more. Restaurant row and some amazing shopping are both only about a five (5) minute drive away. No matter where your travels take you, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Carpinteria will make sure you have a comfortable and convenient place to stay during your family travel vacation.

Things to Do in Carpinteria

Carpinteria State Beach, California

With its miles of beaches, small-town atmosphere and stunning views, Carpinteria is a great destination for family vacations in California. From kayaking and paddle boarding to exploring nature trails, there are many activities to enjoy during your stay in Carpinteria. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a tranquil escape, there are plenty of things to do to create lasting memories.

One of the most popular activities in Carpinteria is the beach, which offers a range of activities for all ages. You can relax on the sand and soak up some sunshine, go swimming and surfing, or explore the tide pools and find local wildlife.

Speaking of wildlife, our boys literally spent an entire day finding, then catching tiny sand crabs, and creating enclosures for these adorable little animals. It was the sweetest thing to watch. We strolled the beach and truly enjoyed the day.

Carpinteria State Beach also offers several nature trails for hikers and cyclists of all levels. Stroll along the beach and watch for dolphins, pelicans and other marine life. Explore the unique tide pools to discover hermit crabs, starfish and anemones. Or take a trek up the hills and admire sweeping ocean views.

Carpinteria State Beach, California
Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve

The boys and I took a long, yet easy hike along Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. It was beautiful. We saw seals, birds, and sweeping ocean views. We walked along the train tracks and simply enjoyed a morning admiring the beauty of nature.

For families with younger children, Carpinteria also has a variety of parks with play equipment, picnic areas and restrooms. You can also enjoy other family-friendly attractions like the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History or the Carpinteria Seal Sanctuary. And don't forget to visit Bluffs Park for spectacular sunset views over the ocean.

No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of fun things to do in Carpinteria when you’re looking for a great California travel destination.

Where to Eat in Carpinteria

Carpinteria, California, is a beach town with plenty of restaurants to choose from when planning your family vacation. Whether you are looking for fresh seafood, classic American cuisine, or Mexican dishes, Carpinteria has something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. One great spot to enjoy some delicious food is Teddy’s by the Sea. This seafood restaurant serves up fresh-caught seafood and other delicious eats while offering a wonderful view of the California coastline. Perfect for a family dinner or romantic dinner for two.

We joined our friends and their family in celebrating their little boy's Birthday at Teddy's. We sat at a table large enough to hold four (4) families, with a kid's table just next to it. It was a lovely atmosphere, and more importantly, there was food that the picky eaters enjoyed.

Teddy's by the Sea, Carpinteria, CA
Teddy's by the Sea, Carpinteria, CA

Speaking of picky eaters, there is a McDonalds in Carpinteria and it's a great option if your little one's simply refuse anything else. It did save me one evening after a full day at the beach. It was fast and easy, and did the trick before we headed to our hotel for a great night of sleep.

Whether you're camping or taking it up a notch, Carpinteria State Beach, California truly is such a magical place. The sights, the sounds, the wildlife, it's perfect for families traveling together. We love it, and we hope you love it too.


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