Head to any beach town in California and I promise you two things: The unassuming shack a few blocks from the beach does have the best hamburgers in town and most of the people in line will be wearing cut off jeans and flip-flops or bathing suits. It seems like California style becomes more casual the closer you get to the sand, and right on the shore is about as relaxed as possible. Maybe it’s the sound of the waves that puts everyone in a tank top, shorts and sandals kind of mood. Maybe it’s all the sunshine. Whatever. It works for me.
I love beach camping, and Carpenteria State Beach offers a nice little campground situated right between the train tracks and the sand. It’s heaven in a trailer, especially because there are great places to eat in downtown Carpenteria, a short walk from the campground. Yes, I know, this is camping lite, but I’m afraid my backpacking days are over. Now I like my camping easy, and if possible chic, which is why I made these cutoffs before leaving home, and why I went looking for an attractive yet practical backpack to bring along as well. The one I’m carrying in these photos is from Target, and I was pleasantly surprised with both the classic styling and the quality of the bag.
But enough about my clothes, lets talk about food! There are some great places to eat in Carpenteria. My family and I stopped at The Spot for their delicious burgers and delightful shakes every day. It was so nice to sit on the patio, onion rings in hand, and feel the delightful breeze coming off the water. For a fancier brunch we headed to Esau’s Cafe, my father’s favorite, for a delicious meal in a classic California beach town environment. My husband had bacon and hash browns while I chose a healthy, and delicious, vegetable omelette. The kids had pancakes, of course.
Great food isn’t all that Carpenteria has to offer. There’s shopping too. The surf shop variety is popular on the main street. All this fun stuff is located under wide open skies and decorated with palm trees and surf boards. Can you tell I love it?
- Red Bikini Top by Point Conception
- White shirt originally from The Gap but purchased at the Goodwill.
- Lucky Jeans, cut off and rolled up by me.
- In my hand, above, is the all-important sun hat. I’ve had mine for years, but this one by San Diego Hat Co. is very similar.
- Target Backpack (find it here.)
- Clarkes Flip Flops
Have you been to any great beach towns recently?