One of my favorite places to spend the day is the charming beach city Carpinteria (located between Ventura and Santa Barbara). The main part of town is Linden Avenue, which leads to the beach and features several restaurants, antique shops, and little stores. It’s also where you find the train station and the cute little historic (circa 1904) Prufrocks Garden Inn (600 Linden Ave. http://www.prufrocks.com), the only Bed & Breakfast in town.
(From left): Carpinteria Beach; view from beach up Linden
Carpinteria is dubbed “the world’s safest beach,” because it’s in a protected cove with calm waves and terrain. It also has a campground right next to the beach.
One of the fun local spots is Island Brewing Company. Located off Linden at the railroad tracks, the microbrewery features an indoor and outdoor setting, and six great beers (my favorite is the Island Blonde – light and fresh). My husband and I like to sit outside, where we can view the railroad tracks, campground, and ocean. The weather has been perfect every time we’ve gone – sunny, with a light beach breeze.
(Top) views of Island Brewing Company; (Bottom, from left) inside brewery; Island Blonde
We also like Cabo’s Baja Grill & Cantina (5096 Carpinteria Ave., 805-684-5507). The atmosphere is fun and tropical – you can sit in or outside (I prefer outside) – and the food is great (the menu’s pretty extensive so it can be hard to choose). I’ve had Cabo Mucho Platter (which had a little bit of a lot of different things – tri-tip, grilled skewered shrimp, chicken, served with beans, rice, cabbage, salad, and corn tortillas – way too much food for one person). I’ve also had the chicken fajitas (sautéed with bell peppers and onion, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, flour tortillas, whole pinto beans and rice). There’s also chips and salsa, and great margaritas.
(From left) Views of outside of Cabo’s; strawberry Margarita
Another good restaurant that locals rave about is Zookers (5404 Carpinteria Ave., http://www.zookerscafe.com). When we were there, my husband and I split an amazing Cioppino (Italian stew with mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, fresh fish, spicy tomato sauce) and a Coleman Farms Caesar salad (fresh Carpinteria grown organic romaine, croutons, fresh grated parmesan, and Caesar dressing).