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“couldn't get any better than this!”

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Carpinteria State Beach Campground
Apple Valley, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“couldn't get any better than this!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

I'm afraid to let people know how great this place is....rules are rules and thats what you have at a state park, Rules. We have been going to carpinteria for years. Not only have we met nice people, we have never met unfriendly workers, even the police who drive through to check things out have been very nice. Is it Perfect, NO, and No place is. If carp. is so....bad, then why can't we get reserv. half the time. Always booked, although when we are there and comp. says booked, not always the case. Its the way the campsite is run, and that is by the state, so what does that tell you, so therefore rules are rule. If this camp ground was closed it would be a devasting to us beach lovers. This beach has all kinds of sea shells you can collect, when tide is low you can go out on the rocks and see all colors of star fish, you can sit on the beach and watch pods of dolphin go by. But yea, you haters stick to the forest! AND you can walk to town and browse, shop and eat at plenty of good rest.'s.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mk t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

I suppose if you're used to living on top of one another, this may not be such a bad place to "camp". Basically we found the place to be nothing more than a parking lot next to the beach. Most of the sites leave barely enough room to walk between your vehicles. We must have had at least 100 people cut through our site durning our one day stay. $35/night for a dry site is shameful for this place. Definitely won't go back. We will stick to the national forest campgrounds from now on. After seeing this place, maybe California does need to close some of its parks and rethink their efforts.

Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank stuckinthecedar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Carpinteria hotels

1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

I'll keep it short. My husband and I arrived early in the afternoon for a simple one might stay. When we drive up to our site, we realized we were directly next to a large RV with a loud motor running. Our fire pit was less than 10 feet from theirs. Being January, there was hardly any other spot occupied in the campground. We asked if we could move even just one spot over to at least get somewhat of a nice quite camping feel. Nope, not even a chance. She just kept repeating herself in an extremely condescending way, "this is a site specific camp." I have camped many times befor and have never experienced this inflexibility and complete and utter disregard for someone's comfort. The only way we could switch would be to simply spend another $35 to reserve another spot. Being that we are both grad student barely struggling to get by and this was the first little getaway we had been able to do in quite some time, we decided not to give yet more money to this place. My husband and I ended up sleeping in the car and suffice it to say, we did not have the quick yet peaceful getaway we were hoping for. Thank you carpinteria for ruining what few days my husband and I get off from our jobs together once in a blue moon. Next time, I would budget and splurge on an actual hotel somewhere, or take a few days more off and drive to one of the much better campsites further up north. I mean, it's beach camping, I was not so nieve to expect a true camping experience, but what I did expect was to at least be treated as a person and not just a site number.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Aliswanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Level Contributor
73 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2012

We go tent camping each year with a large group of families. We've stayed at beaches from San Diego to north of Santa Barbara, but we'd never tried Carpenteria before. It was OK for one experience, but no one wants to go back. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said it wasn't so much a campground as it was an all-night tailgate party. Spots are VERY small, there are tons of vehicles and tents are nearly on top of each other. Much of the campground is nothing more than a large parking lot. We had a group spot on the edge so at least we had some breathing room. We liked the short walk to the beach and we even took advantage of the close businesses and restaurants since we knew in advance they'd be a stone's throw away, but that's not the way we normally like to camp. If you like to have people in apartment buildings watching as you camp, this is the place for you. A note about the raccoons: yes, they will come out at night and steal what they can. We heard a tremendous noise one night and realized they were in the trees above us. They may have been fighting over some stolen food; it sounded quite vicious.

Room Tip: You can see how individual camp spots look by going to this site
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
7 Thank LaSerena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2012

This was our maiden voyage from San Diego with a recently purchased 27 foot travel trailer. We knew very little about the area other than it was 12 miles south of Santa Barbara on the beach. Descriptions of natural tar coming up from mother earth made us wonder if this was the right place for us. It was perfect!

We stayed a week right on the beach with lots to do. Wonderful bicycling and hiking paths in both Carpenteria and Santa Barbara. The best part for us was having beautiful nature all around and still being able to stroll into a quaint little beach town for dining, shopping, etc. We loved the state beach, the great support from the rangers, the very kind and courteous fellow campers, exploring Santa Barbara and the wineries of Santa Ynez and Solvang. We will be back!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2011

This is the worst place ever and all because of the staff. They treat you like crap! I thought camping was supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable? If you want to go camping, do not stay here. Unless of course you like to be treated like crap!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ntahpycmpr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
119 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2011

Negatives:

I would really like to give this place a positive recommendation, but there are some significant negatives:

1) The price. There is no distinction made between an RV and a tent. TENT camping costs a whopping $35 dollars. In fact, with the reservation fee (which, I'm told, is a 'must' in the summer) included it is $42.70. This is by far the most expensive campsite I've ever seen.

Even worse, it costs 50 BUCKS to pitch your tent on a site with a view of the beach, or $57.70 with the reservation fee included.

Tent campers have a much lower footprint and energy usage requirement than RVs. That's one of the reasons they are charged less. Also, it's pretty clear that tent campers don't have the same kind of money that RVers do -- that's why they carry a tent. (An average tent is about $200 while an average RV costs thousands of dollars.)

This park has 120 campsites. So when the park is full, which is pretty much all of the time in summer, they pull in $4000 a night. State parks are supposed to be non-profit. Where does the money go? Does it cost $4000 a day to run a state park? I think not. Have a look at the $40,000 luxury RVs that the campground hosts live in. Something to think about while you are camping out in your $200 tent.

2) The campsite is located very close to a 'Wastewater Treatment Facility' It is literally just over the tracks and less than a block away on 6th St. If the wind is blowing toward the beach, you can smell it pretty strongly. Honestly -- a state park located right next to a wastewater treatment plant? You might think I'm making it up, but don't take my word for it: check out CarpSan dot com, the website of the treatment plant. (If you look on Google maps it shows up under the more discrete name, Carp. Sanitary District).

3) There is no separate area for tent camping so you may be camped right next to an RV. RVs are allowed to run generators (ie. a very loud motor), up until 8pm.

3) You have to pay extra for a shower. World's most expensive tent camping and they can't even include a shower? Okay, I get the idea they want to limit water usage, but this feels like nickel and diming the public. You'll need to come to the showers equipped with quarters. You get about three minutes for 25 cents. What on earth did I just pay 35 dollars for?

4) It is crowded here, but a lot of other people have mentioned this too, so I won't go into details. The campsites are pretty close together, and the place tends to be packed in the summer months. Don't expect to have a nice secluded nature getaway.


Postives:

-Great location right at the beach, and a short walk to the center of town. If I were giving this place a rating based on location alone, it would be 4-5 stars.

-The place is patrolled regularly by park police -- if you consider that to be a positive.

It's great to camp on a beach, but unfortunate that the fees are so oppressive.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PeterPiper1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Carpinteria State Beach Campground

Property: Carpinteria State Beach Campground
Address: 5361 6th St, Carpinteria, CA 93013-2404
Region: United States > California > Carpinteria
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Carpinteria
Number of rooms: 261
Also Known As:
Carpinteria State Beach Campground Hotel Carpinteria

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