The city of Santa Barbara is not the only charming neighborhood in the Santa Barbara county—just south of Montecito, Carpinteria has plenty to offer to residents of all ages. This beach community draws visitors for its surf-able waves along the Carpinteria State Beach as well as its “Old Town” area, lined with quaint shops and restaurants.
Carpinteria is primarily a traditional family neighborhood with a small population of just over 13,000. The neighborhoods feature mostly single-family homes built between 1970-2000, with some apartment-style residences in the downtown area, which is more densely populated. While Carpinteria’s culture is centered around the beach, the Carpinteria Bluffs are a source of pride for the area. The Bluffs propertyis a stretch of undeveloped open space along the Carpinteria coastline,reaching to the Ventura County line. All 52 acres of the Bluffs were originally zoned for residential development, but plans were haltedwhen the citizens of Carpinteria teamed up with the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County in 1998 to purchase the land and maintain it as a reserve. Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May, as well as the occasional gray whale.
When the Spanish settled Carpinteria, they named it for its use at the time: canoe-building site for the Chumash Indians who settled there. The area that is now the Bluffs provided useful natural tar that was used for water-proofing the boats. Today, the town has many cultural draws including the annual Avocado Festival the first weekend ofOctober and the Santa Barbara Polo Fields, which regularly host world-class players.
Carpinteria’s neighborhoods are safe, quiet and child-friendly. Homes prices range vastly in the area from modest family homes, to breathtaking beachfront properties, to sprawling estates in the foothills. Carpinteria’s schools have their own district separate from the Santa Barbara School District, consisting of two elementary schools, Carpinteria Middle School and Carpinteria High School. Also, in the foothills of Carpinteria lies the esteemed Cate School, private preparatory high school.