Just twelve miles south of the popular coastal town of Santa Barbara, the long expanse of white sand at Carpinteria State Beach invites visitors to relax and enjoy a glorious sunset or surf the rolling waves. The beach offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tide pool exploring and camping. The Spanish named the area Carpinteria because the Chumash tribe, which lived in the area, had a large seagoing canoe-building enterprise, or "carpentry shop" there, because of naturally-occurring surface tar which was used to seal the boats. Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May, as well as an occasional gray whale. Protected tide pools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopi and sea urchins. The white, sandy expanse of the Carpinteria shoreline was acquired as a state park unit in 1932. It formally opened to the public in 1941, following the construction of campgrounds, picnic areas and parking lots by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is open for day-use from 7am - sunset.

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