Carpinteria State Beach

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Carpinteria State Beach

Carpinteria State Beach, located 12 miles south of Santa Barbara, is home to a diverse tide pool environment, lagoon for resting birds, scenic sand dunes, and natural tar seeps dating back to the last Ice Age. The park offers two exciting learning opportunities centered on tide pool ecology and tar pits.

The Chumash called their village here Mishopshnow. The Chumash used the naturally occurring tar in the area to help create their plank canoes, called tomols. These tomols were used for hunting, trading, and could reach the Santa Barabara Channel Islands 30 miles off the coast.

This area was named “La Carpinteria” meaning “Carpentry shop” after the Spanish saw Chumash men wood working while constructing their tomols.

The park’s tide pools are home to sea stars, anemones, mussels, crabs, and other tide pool creatures. Harbor seals and dolphins can regularly be spotted from the coast.

Carpinteria State Beach is also a safe haven to many gulls and shorebirds who can be seen resting in the park’s lagoon.


Keep reading to discover our On-Demand programs and K-12 educational resources from Carpinteria State Beach.

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