A few days here on yet another job with five of my friends. For those of you who don't know the place, it is about 14 miles south of the world class city of Santa Barbara. It is a typical California beach town and a much cheaper place to stay at and explore the area than its neighbor to the north. I saw a Rabobank on the corner which reflects the Dutch heritage of many of the people who have businesses here in the cut flower growing areas. Today and probably for the rest of the week it is misty and cloudy over the mountain range overlooking the town. But in the fall and winter for the most part it is a nice place to visit and gambol on the beach. Summer is usually overcast and gloomy as is most of the North and Central California coast due to fog banks developing when the cold sea air encounters the warmer air inland. Since the last time I was here, about a year ago, the Carpinteria public library has opened a very nice used book store next to the library on Carpinteria Avenue. I bought five paperbacks for $1 each. There is also a very good chocolate/candy shop on Linden Avenue, and a good place to eat Mexican style barbequed chicken, called Cabos on Carp. Avenue. On Thursdays they have a small farmer's market in the afternoon with good local produce such as avocados and cherimoyas. A brewery beside the railroad track close to the beach. It is one of the safest beaches for swimming, I guess not much of a rip tide if any , but not for surfing as the waves are much too small. Plan on getting tar on the soles of your feet from tar balls washing ashore. Not from the offshore drilling operations, they say, although you can see five platforms offshore. Apparently it's natural tar, which the indigenous people used to caulk the seams of their fishing boats. Most of the hotels have wipes to get the tar off your feet, or gasoline will do as well. What to do from this base: drive to the Mission at Santa Barbara, the Botanical Garden, walk Stearns wharf, go the the mile long artisan market in Santa Barbara along the beach on Sundays, drive or ride motorcycles in the mountains behind SB along Camino Cielo. Oxnard to the south about 20 miles away is good to see too. You can take a boat to Anacapa or one of the other offshore ( Channel ) islands from the wharf.
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I've been travelling for the past twenty years and have been to almost 50 countries and to all but six U.S. States. I'm a budget traveller. ... full info