It’s small. The epitome of beachy surf town. In fact, if Carpinteria were to go by any other name, it would actually be called Beachy Surf Town. Bubbling over with small town charm, Carpinteria woos folks with its laid back vibes and super relaxed atmosphere. Stringy sun-stained hair is all the rage in this little city that sits just south of Santa Barbara.

People come here to surf. They move here either because they work in Santa Barbara and they commute due to the cheaper cost of living, or they are hypnotized by the crisp and persistent crashing waves that rock the beaches of Carpinteria.

Carp, as most people call it, is known for being home to Rincon Beach. It’s where all the hardcore surfers rendezvous because it’s one of California’s best surfing spots. Sometimes upwards of 30 to 40 surfers will be bobbing off the coast of Carp, waiting for the perfect wave.

Carpinteria adopted its name because it was home to a “carpentry shop” that was the lifeline for the Chumash Indian’s sea-going canoe-building enterprise. There was a wealth of naturally occurring surface tar on the beaches of Carpinteria that worked as great sealant for the canoes.

If you’re visiting, you have to check out the downtown scene. Downtown Carpinteria is a clip right out of a movie. With just a few stoplights and tons of fun restaurants, boutiques, and surf shops, the laid back lazy days attitude is hard to deny. So adjust your lifestyle accordingly, at least for the time being, and soak up the sun with style. Throw on some board shorts, a ratty tank, some flip flops, and please, don’t brush your hair if you want to fit in.

The homes here are more affordable than next door neighbors Santa Barbara and Montecito. Enjoy the small town vibe here with families that have passed down homes from generation to generation.

There is one high school, one middle school, and four elementary schools here in Carpinteria. There is also a private preparatory school called Cate here, where not only students from all over the country, but international students as well, are accepted and provided with top-notch professors and extra-curricular opportunities.

The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is here in Carpinteria and is one of the country’s premier equestrian polo fields. Another notable fact about Carpinteria, the California Avocado Festival is held here every first weekend in October. So although it’s small, big things are happening here in this coastal community called Carpinteria.