This is good to know. We spent a little over a week there one June. True, it was very full, but we had a very good time. The trains were not so bad....so I assume we didn't mind the trains, but they can be noisy at times. Trying to get a camp site (without reservations) was much more aggravating than the trains.
We used Carp as a base to see Santa Barbara:
A View from the Pier: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/l...iewofwater.jpg
Carpenteria State Beach:
You didn't mention the 'Natural Asphalt' which oozes up along the beach in spots. (Not so much by the long sandy swimming beach, but below the 'bluffs'.) The area received the name, 'Carpenteria', because it was the area where the native people built their boats, using the asphalt to seal the crafts. The black 'rocks' in the above photo is in fact the asphalt.
Carpenteria State Beach - June 2006 Camping near the beach with full hookups (someone who had the site reserved needed to leave early...be bought the remaining days from them....down with the "Big Rigs", but it was a corner site without anyone to the right of us & an open space leading out/down to the beach. It was a 'parking lot campground' in this section of the park. I would have wanted to be up on the 'bluff' campground, if we could have gotten into it. I didn't have a photo of the 'bluff' area, nor of the very long sandy beach area.
As I mentioned, we were there in June & had a good many days of 'June Groom', common to SoCal Junes. But it gave us some very cool weather to enjoy, but with the need of jackets to walk the beaches.
We took a day tip into the Vineyard area of the county as well:
When wanting to see things around Santa Barbara the options we had in 2006 were: Gaviota SP, Refugio State Beach & El Capitán SB, but no dump stations at them. Carpinteria SB was nice area with long beach area & a dump site. The sewer at the campsite, we could not use (fittings were a little difficult - would have need a special fitting & a longer sewer drain hose). We just used it as a drain for the gray water via water hose. (On the Scamp
, we have two places to drain, gray water tank & black water tank have separate drain sites.)
The year before, we tent camped at Refugio State Beach; 20 miles West of Santa Barbara on Highway 101 at Refugio Road. What I remember about Refugio Beach were the Palm Trees (and other trees) which gave a distinctive look to the beach and camping area. We only did an overnight. Can't remember how the RV section of the campground was like.
After camping at Carp, we moved down to McGrath State Beach between Ventura
and Oxnard. A very nice campground with trees & shade, a wooded, bamboo area with trails. A small river running by not far, not too neat a river. The the real downside, it is a long walk to the beach and the beach is not a nice one at all. It has a nice campground, not bunched up, sadly the beach was dangerous at best, with coarse broken shell-sand and very steep bank/drop off to the water. Lot of sand dunes getting to the beach. No Photos of the beach. Feeding Sea Gulls at a beach in Oxnard: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/l...sfeeding-1.jpg
And a Harbor view at Ventura
San Buenaventura Mission, Ventura
McGarth was a good place to base for seeing Ventura & Oxnard. We enjoyed it there as we did Carp. Next we moved father south to Point Mugu SP (Sycamore campground). Beach view at Point Mugu near Sycamore: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/l...uStatePark.jpg
We drove to the Getty Villa from Mugu. But Carrillo might be a nicer place to try of the two. But Mugu is close enough to see Ventura & Oxnard & Getty Villa & Malibu. Near but not too close to Malibu: Point Mugu has a nice but small beach/small tide pools; Leo Carrillo SP excellent & with nice tide pools & Wi-Fi Service but small rocky beach. We stayed at Point Mugu that summer; have stayed at Leo Carrillo and Refugio in earlier years.
Leo Carrillo's campground and Point Mugu Sycamore campground are in wooded canyons up from the beach areas, Mugu has some beach camping as well off a roadway parking area type. We found Neptune's Net Seafood to have great seafood. The Scene – This glorified roadside shack is situated alongside Malibu's picturesque Pacific Coast Highway. As I remember, it is closer to Carrillo, than to Point Mugu. At least it was between Malibu & Point Mugu.
We wanted to see the Getty Villa, an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria in Pacific Palisades/just past Malibu, just off the Pacific Coast Highway. A neat place to see: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/l...GettyVilla.jpg
and neat exhibits: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/l.../GreekErns.jpg
This was the first long trip we took with the Scamp
Now the California State Parks are Priced so High to use, this keeps me from wanting to use them again. Too Bad.....They are really neat places to see. Need to see if there are any thing less expensive out there to use to base camp to see the Sights. After some consideration, with factoring in the cost of fuel in SoCal, even if a somewhat less expensive one could be found (not likely, perhaps), the cost of commuting to & fro might make these less expensive. Always forget the higher cost of visiting California. For Million Dollar Views, I assume the cost isn't as severe.