Carpinteria (pronounced carp-in-ter-EE-ya) is a city of approximately 15,000
people but that can swell much higher when the summer rush is upon us. San
Francisco is almost 400 miles to the north and Santa Barbara is 12 miles
northwest (it also sits on the Southern facing coastline). Ventura is 15
miles to the south and Los Angeles is 80 miles to the south.
Legend has it that the city got its name from the Spaniards who saw the
Chumash Indians busy building the large ocean-going canoes called tomols and
called it the 'carpenter shop' - La Carpinteria.
Carp, as the locals call it, is situated along the only Southern facing
stretch of coastline in California. The climate, referred to as
Mediterranean, never gets too cold or too hot. Annual daytime temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees, and rainfall averages 17.9 inches yearly.
The city sits on a thin
strip of fertile land nestled between the mountains and the ocean and is unique
in its diversity.
Historically Carpinteria has been isolated from its neighbors. The stretch of
highway between Ventura and Carpinteria, called generically as "the
Rincon" is a fairly recent development. Stage coaches actually had to
drive along the beach. The only way here from the south was the
railroad. There was a time in the early 1900s that a wooden pier stretched
all along this section but it eventually fell into disuse. When the
highway was finally built, Carpinteria was ripe to attract tourists from the
It has always been self-sufficient, with a broad base of business,
agriculture, and and community activity. Even as many of the surrounding
communities become more residential or more business or more tourist oriented,
Carpinteria has retained all of the things that make a community a community.