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Lying 11 miles east of Santa Barbara, the time-warped beach town of Carpinteria – so named because Chumash carpenters once built seafaring canoes here – is a laid-back place. You could easily spend an hour or two wandering in and out of antiques shops and beachy boutiques along Linden Ave, downtown’s main street and enjoy a relaxing night at our fantastic Carpinteria Dreamin’ vacation home.

Avoid the summer crowds and join us for some of the best winter activities the Central Coast has to offer!

1. Visit the Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

The sanctuary is a protected birthing habitat for harbor seals from December 1 through May 31st. Tip: Bring binoculars for the best view!

2. The World’s Safest Beach

Carpinteria State Beach is an idyllic, mile-long strand where kids can splash around in calm waters and go tide-pooling along the shoreline. In winter, you may spot harbor seals and sea lions hauled out on the sand, especially if you hike over a mile south along the coast to a bluff-top overlook.

3. Tacos Don Roge

This Mexican taqueria stakes its reputation on a rainbow-colored salsa bar with up to a dozen different sauces to drizzle on piquant meat-stuffed, double-rolled corn tortillas – try the jalapeño or pineapple versions. If the spiciness gets you, grab an ice cream from Rainbows next door.

4. Rincon Bike Trail

Now is the perfect time to hop on your bike! The Rincon Bike Trail offers both beautiful views of the Santa Barbara Channel. The trail begins at Carpinteria State Beach’s Rincon Point and Rincon County Beach Park, a popular surfing spot just outside of Carpinteria, and heads south between the coast and the highway with a decorative railing separating the trail from traffic.

5. Great for Kids – Canzelle Alpacas Farm

For over 20 years, Canzelle Alpacas at Lonson Family Farm has specialized in breeding the highest quality alpacas in a varying array of lovely colors. In addition to alpacas, the farm is home to sheep, llamas, dogs, cats and coming soon, chickens! Lonson Family Farms is open weekly for tours.

All the unique things to do around Santa Barbara make this a very special place. The average day in Santa Barbara takes a whole new life than the average day in most places. Gorgeous beaches, a bustling downtown, and weather that is always perfect make for the perfect place for any number of fun activities. Any bucket list worth its salt should have a few Santa Barbara items on it. While there are countless amazing ways to spend a day here, there are a few things you absolutely cannot miss.

Take a Day Trip to the Channel Islands

You can see the Channel Islands looming in the distance from the coast of Santa Barbara. From this vantage point, you cannot quite perceive the amazing beauty of these islands, but visiting them is a one of a kind experience. You can only access these islands by boat, and you better bring everything you need because there are no services on the islands. But once you are out here, you can enjoy beauty and peace as you can nowhere else. Countless miles of undeveloped coastline are available for swimming, surfing, or just soaking up some sun. You can go kayaking, hiking, and even stay the night for some of the best camping you can find on the west coast of the United States.

Sailing – Things to do Around Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is unlike almost every other destination on the west coast because the coastline runs from east to west. This results in some of the best waters for sailing. Spending a day gliding along the calm blue waters of the pacific provide for some of the most beautiful moments that you can imagine. There are plenty of sailboat charters that will take you out for a voyage with drinks and dinner, but there are also numerous opportunities to learn to sail. This provides for an unforgettable experience.

Take a Swim at Red Rock

Hiking Red Rock Trail is one of the best things to do around Santa Barbara. Hiking this trail along the Santa Ynez River is an amazing experience in and of itself, but most people make this two-mile trek for the wonders that it leads to. You will find a natural swimming pool surrounding by breathtaking rock formations. It is great for spending a blissful day swimming and cliff diving safely into the cool waters. This is a very popular spot, but you can find more secluded pools if you continue a bit down the trail.

For each of these items, there are a dozen more amazing ways to spend a day here. Taking advantage of the beauty of this area is one of the greatest ways you can fulfill any bucket list. Try these adventures out and countless more waiting for you in Santa Barbara during your stay with Paradise Retreats!