Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carpinteria - "Safest Beach"

Visit the Charming Carpinteria Valley 

Incorporated in 1965, The City of Carpinteria remains a small and charming seaside community just 12 miles south of  the idyllic City of Santa Barbara, and 15 miles north of Ventura along Highway 101 and the blue Pacific. Known as having the "safest beach" in California, the beautiful public beach area includes a campground and miles of sandy beach and easy free parking.

Linden Street on the ocean side of Hwy 101 is known for its charming local boutiques, vintage-antique shops (see my post on Vintage Treasure Hunt II), candy and chocolate shop and lots of locally owned restaurants. Dining ranges from super casual to fine dining and include The Spot (fabulous hamburger stand at the bottom of Linden near the beach), the Hot Dog Man, on the Casitas Pass off-ramp), Clementine's in the purple house on Carpinteria Street; a family owned restaurant which serves fabulous "family style" dinners including home made bread and pies. Santa Claus Lane located just south of the City offers several fun dining experiences, including the wonderful Garden Market. There's not a bad meal to be had in the Carpinteria Valley. Across the street from Clementines is the not to be missed Eye of the Day Nursery and Garden Boutique.

Via Real which runs parallel to and north of Hwy 101 (from Santa Monica to Nidever at the Polo Grounds)  features numerous nurseries open to the public for purchasing locally grown orchids and/or native and exotic garden and house plants. One of my favorites is the Island View Nursery, located on Nidever. Several nurseries also offer landscape design areas for enjoyment and ideas to take home. Several times of year the Commercial Green House Growers offer a tours to the public.  Check with the Chamber of Commerce for details.

photo by Jill Marx from the Carpinteria Chamber Website

The City of Carpinteria includes 7 square miles with 4.5 miles being ocean.  The Carpinteria Valley , much of which is still agricultural incorporates 11.6 square miles. City Population is 14,271.  Climate is moderate with an average temperatures in the 60-80s range.  Rainfall is approximately 17-18 inches annually.
photo by David Powdrell from the Carpinteria Chamber Website

The Chumash Indians, the area's first inhabitants, referred to this beautiful seaside valley as Mishopshono, meaning "correspondence", as it was a center of trade. One of the reasons the Natives were so advanced is due to the natural oil seepage in the area, which provided material to keep their canoes water tight. In 1769 Spanish Explorers lead by Gaspar de Portola came upon a group of Chumash splitting redwood logs, hand-hewing planks and constructing large, seagoing canoes they called tomols. The soldiers promptly dubbed it La Carpinteria, or the Carpenters Shop.

Carpinteria Museum Flea Market

The Carpinteria Valley Museum of History includes exhibits of Chumash artifacts from the hunting and gathering culture of these industrious Native Americans along with the history of the great Mexican cattle-ranching period and farming history of the Valley.  The Research Library is open for research by appointment only.  805 684-3112; www.carpinteriahistoricalmuseum.org

Ongoing Events:

Carpinteria Salt Marsh Docent Tours:  Sat. 10 am Sandyland/Ash Avenues 806 684-8077
Certified Farmers Market and Creative Arts Market:  Thursdays, Linden Ave; 3-6 pm
Flea Market: Museum of History, 956 Maple Ave; last Saturday of the month 8am-3pm, (except May, Nov and Dec)



For more information contact the Carpinteria Chamber of Commerce at 805 684-5479; www.carpinteriachamber.org
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