Coastal California has no shortage of breathtaking beaches that are perfect for a sunny getaway, but a handful of cities stand above them all, according to a new ranking from a national travel publication.
Just in time to get one last summer beach trip in before the leaves changes colors and temperatures begin to drop, Trips To Discover as published its ranking of the 20 Best Beach Towns in America.
The online travel website named four California cities among the best beach towns for 2023, including a lesser-known gem located just up the 101.
Santa Cruz, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pescadero were all among the towns to receive the honor, but Southern California’s very own Carpinteria was the only SoCal destination to crack the list.
Carpinteria is located in southern Santa Barbara County, about 90 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. It’s known for its pristine beaches, picturesque mountain views and charming small town vibe.
La Carpinteria translates to “The Carpenter Shop” and was first used by the soldiers of the Gaspar de Portola Exhibition in 1769, according to the city’s website. Carpinteria is a major agriculture hub on the coast, known for its flowers, avocados and (recently) cannabis.
Tourism is also a major boon to the economy, and if you’ve ever taken the time to stop in Carp, you’ll understand why.
Carpinteria City Beach is boasted as the “World’s Safest Beach,” and a California state beach of the same name is located nearby. Santa Claus Beach is a favorite among surfers and Rincon Point, home to the Rincon Classic surfing competition, is just a short drive south.
Trips To Discover calls Carpinteria’s beaches “quintessential Southern California” with relaxed pace, mild weather and wide sandy beaches.
“While mornings can be foggy, that can make for a perfect time to enjoy the pleasures of Linden Avenue, shaded by palm trees and lined with cafes, galleries, and clothing stores,” the travel website writes. “Enjoy breakfast at Esau’s Cafe, renowned for its fantastic chile relleno omelet, and when it’s time for lunch, stop for a burger at The Spot.”
Carpinteria is “eclectic” and “artsy” and despite its close proximity to bustling cities and its reputation as among one of the best communities in the world, it’s “one of California’s few remaining beach communities that hasn’t lost its original flavor.”
To see the complete list of cities named as America’s best beach towns, click here.