7 Images

Camping in Carpenteria, California

Waves splash over the tide pools at Carpinteria State Beach, a popular coastal camping spot southeast of Santa Barbara. When day trippers leave, campers can enjoy empty stretches of sand and the sounds of crashing surf. There are hiking and biking trails with beautiful views of the Santa Ynez Mountains on one side and the Channel Islands on the other. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
The broad, rock-strewn shoreline near Carpinteria State Beach, as viewed from the bluffs above. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
Visitors can stroll on the beach, hike to town or opt for family-friendly attractions in the area. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
Campers who book early are more likely to snag a site close to the water -- and away from the railway tracks, where noise from passing trains can disrupt sleep. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
The charming village of Carpinteria, with inviting little restaurants, antiques stores and touristy shops, is within walking distance of the state beach campsites. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
Orchid fans can get an eyeful at the area’s Gallup & Stribling Orchid Farm, billed as the largest orchid-growing operation in the U.S. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
Monarchs are the stars of the show at the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)