From the Ventura County line to Summerland, each beach is a bit different from the others. Choose a beach below according to its driving directions, parking, amenities, activities and "local knowledge" tips. Your first tip, pick-up a free
tide chart and always check the
surf report before entering the ocean.
-Directions to get there, exit 101 at Bates Road. There are two large parking lots, both with beach access. Take the lot to the left and walk 150 yards down a dirt and gravel path to the cove of the main surfing point. If you a park in the North lot to the right, you can access the beach by stairs, lots of them. Amenities include pit toilets in the South lot and bathrooms with showers in the North parking lot.
Local Knowledge: Great tide pooling at low tide all around the point. Rincon breaks on a northesterly swell and and best in late fall and winter. Rincon is a challenging right point break, not for the beginner. Boogie boarders should stay well to the inside of the cove. Winter months bring big swells and strong currents. Warning! Stay out of the water in large surf. Never surf near the Casitas Creek drainage after it rains! You'll get sick. Surfing and tide-pooling are the main activities at the Rincon.
Carpinteria State Beach - Directions: exit 101 at Linden Ave from the south, or Casitas Pass from the north. A short jog through town and you run into the beach. Park at the end of Linden Ave., or turn right on Sandyland and park along the street. Amenities include bathrooms and showers at the state park and more bathrooms at the end of Sandyland. A short walk into town, or a ride on the electric shuttle bus for a quarter and you'll find many restaurants and stores. Carp Beach is considered the most family friendly beach in the area. Clean and lifeguarded in the summer months. Local Knowledge: great tidepools in front of the state park. If you continue walking south, you can observe a piniped haul-out. You're getting close when you hear the sea lions barking. Activities include swimming, sunbathing, skim and boogie boarding and beach hikes. A short walk from the car allows you to lug ALL your beach gear across the sand and spend the better part of the day here!
Santa Claus Lane, Padaro and Loon Point Beaches: A huge bust of Santa Claus perched atop a building just north of Carpinteria gave Santa Claus Lane its name. A few years back, Santa left his home in Carp and migrated south. He can still be seen along the 101 just south of Rose Avenue in Oxnard if you wish to see a bit of Santa Barbara County Americana. Directions to the Santa Claus Lane Beaches are as follows: exit 101 at Santa Claus Lane, drive towards the ocean one block and turn left. Park anywhere along Santa Claus Lane. Recently, the railroad erected a "sand" fence in front of the beach access. Look for openings in the fence and be careful walking across the railroad tracks! Amenities are few. A portable toilet sits next to the road. The Padaro Beach Grill is a couple of blocks south. Activities include boogie boarding, swimming and hiking. Surf north of the beach access at Loon Point. Enjoy this bit of Local Knowledge. A locals' favorite beach hike takes you north along Padaro Beach to Loon Point. Make sure and time the tides right. The hike takes twenty to thirty minutes to the point. Local tip: at low tide, turn the Loon Point hike into a run on the hard flat sand. If you round the point, find steps leading up to a public parking lot and Padaro Lane which you can follow a mile and a half back to your car. Round trip is less than four miles. Find great tide pools around the point.
Surf the reef break inside Loon Point. Works best during the fall and winter months. Check it first with your binoculars from Santa Claus Lane. The surf is often not worth the walk, but the hike is!
Summerland Beach is a picture perfect Santa Barbara beach. An American flag flaps in the wind above Summerland's green Lookout Park. Directions: exit 101 at Evan's Ave. in Summerland. Drive towards ocean, across railroad tracks. Park free. Amenities include bathrooms, showers and nearby shops and restaurants within walking distance. Excellent park with playground and volleyball net.