Erik S. Haney CEO | Founder
Erik S. Haney
CEO | Founder

What Living in Carpinteria Is Really Like 😎 | What to Know Before Moving to Carpinteria CA

Known by locals as Carp, the City of Carpinteria is a unique coastal community where agriculture, tourism, and quiet neighborhoods all exist together. The city’s name means “carpentry” and dates back to 1769 when Spanish explorers first visited the area and saw the local Chumash people sealing their canoes with surface asphalt by the shore. Those same petroleum seeps still exist today as one of the world’s only natural asphalt lakes.

This beautiful, laid-back town is known for its surfing, diverse and pristine environment, and downtown area packed with small businesses, restaurants, breweries, and activities. Living in Carpinteria allows you to maintain a close connection with nature, whether it’s walking around town, hitting the water, or hiking in the mountains.

Are you thinking about moving to Carpinteria, California? Here’s why it may be the best decision you ever make.

Where Is Carpinteria CA?

Carpinteria is a small seaside city in Santa Barbara County on California’s Central Coast. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Los Padres National Forest, Carpinteria is bordered by Toro Canyon to the west. It’s 11.5 miles from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara to the west and 16.5 miles from Carpinteria to Ventura to the southeast.

Carpinteria Population & Demographics

The population of Carpinteria, California, is 13,264 according to the 2020 census, up less than 200 people since 2010. It’s part of the Santa Maria-Santa Barbara metro area which encompasses all of Santa Barbara County. The metro population is 448,229. Carpinteria is the 4th largest city in Santa Barbara County after Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Lompoc.

Carpinteria is wealthier, more educated, and older than the median for the Santa Barbara metro area. The city has a median household income of $103,879, about 13% higher than the California and metropolitan median income. Most people living in Carpinteria, CA, own their own home with a homeownership rate of 58% compared to 53% for the county.

The racial and ethnic composition of the city is 63.3% White (50.5% non-Hispanic), 43.1% Hispanic, 2.4% Asian, 0.9% Black or African American, and 12.2% two or more races.

Additional Carpinteria demographics:

  • Median age: 43.4 years (metro: 34.3 years)
  • Senior population (65+): 22% (metro: 16%)
  • Sex ratio: 51% male to 49% female
  • Foreign-born population: 22% (metro: 22%)
  • Veteran population: 6% (metro: 5.3%)
  • Educational attainment: 42% bachelor’s degree or higher (metro: 36%)

Cost of Living in Carpinteria

As you might expect from one of California’s greatest seaside communities in the American Riviera, the Carpinteria cost of living is high. Living in Carpinteria is about 65% more expensive than the U.S. average but still just a bit higher than the average California cost of living.

Virtually everything is expensive in Carpinteria, but housing stands out. Whether you rent or buy a home, high housing costs are a concern. The City of Carpinteria operates an Affordable Housing Program that encourages or requires developers offer a number of affordable units, low-income rental units, and senior units. Affordable homes are offered for sale through a lottery program. The city also offers a Workforce Homebuyer Down Payment Program to make homeownership more achievable for working-class families.

The median price of homes for sale in Carpinteria CA is $1.33 million, up 16.7% year-over-year. You can expect to pay around $769 per square foot. Condos for sale in Carpinteria have a median price of $800,000. You’ll find the Carpinteria real estate runs the gamut from modest bungalows and painstakingly restored cottages to charming beachside condos and sprawling, multi-million-dollar estates. You’ll find well-maintained co-ops, condos, and manufactured homes in walkable neighborhoods starting in the $300s while estates in the most exclusive communities start at $10 million.

Explore houses for sale in Carpinteria to see what’s available now.

If you’re planning to rent, you’ll find Carpinteria apartments for rent starting at $2,200 for one-bedroom units. Carpinteria apartments like Costa Del Mar and Casa Romana have an average rent of $3,289. You’ll mostly find two-story buildings with garden-style apartments.

Carpinteria Neighborhoods | Best Places to Live in Carpinteria

There’s something for everyone in Carpinteria, California, whether you want to be part of a tight-knit community in the heart of the city or you prefer privacy, space, and stunning views. Here are just some of the best Carpinteria communities to explore.

The Polo Condos

This exclusive, private gated community is situated between the ocean and the foothill mountains and nestled against the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. The community is comprised of 139 Spanish-style one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, all with mountain and ocean views and sight-lines of the polo fields.

Casitas Village

This is one of the most sought-after Carpinteria condo communities with 280 townhome-style condos and an ideal location. Casitas Village is at the east end of the valley and backed by the Los Padres National Forest. It’s a family-friendly neighborhood close to the ocean and the Carpinteria Bluffs with a community pool and play area for kids.


Seahouse is one of the newest additions to the city. Built in 2020, the community of detached two- and three-bedroom condos features coastal farmhouse-inspired design with a community pavilion, natural spring, and heritage trees.

Carpinteria Weather & Climate

The Carpinteria climate is warm-summer Mediterranean (Köppen classification Csb) with warm, comfortable, and dry summers and cool, wet winters. The average summer high is 73°F, lower than the national average, with an average winter low of 43°F, warmer than average. Temperatures very rarely exceed 90°F and only drop below freezing at night one or two nights a year.

While living in Carpinteria, you’ll get about 18” of annual rainfall with precipitation around 38 days per year. Most rainy days happen from November to March.

The weather is pleasant year-round, but the best time to visit Carpinteria is July to September for warm, sunny days and very little chance of rain.

Things to Do in Carpinteria

There’s always something fun happening in Carp, whether it’s water recreation, shopping, or one of the city’s many festivals.

The list of Carpinteria things to do starts in Downtown Carpinteria. Linden Avenue is the place to be for shopping and dining with locally owned restaurants, antique shops, candy shops, and more. It’s also home to the world’s largest Torrey Pine, a rare species only found on Santa Rosa Island and between San Diego and Del Mar.


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Carpinteria is one of the top surfing destinations on the Central Coast and famous for its picturesque beaches. Carpinteria State Beach is great for picnics and camping and nicknamed the “world’s safest beach.” Nearby Padaro Beach is popular with locals thanks to the many businesses dotting the shore.

For breathtaking views, you’ll want to hike the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. The scenic overlooks offer great views of the harbor seals below at the Carpinteria Seal Sanctuary and Rookery. The seal sanctuary in Carpinteria is one of the only remaining harbor seal rookeries in the region allowing you to see the seals up close in their native habitat.

The list of cool things to do in Carpinteria California continues with Tar Pits Park within Carpinteria State Beach. It was here that Spaniards watched how locals made their canoes with the active tar seeps in the area. Check out the natural asphalt lakes right on the beach, one of just five in the world, past the seal sanctuary and close to the new Carpinteria Skatepark.

The Carpinteria tide pools are also accessible here. Check the Carpinteria tide chart and visit during low tide to explore pools with starfish, shellfish, anemones, and more.

When you can pull yourself away from the Carpinteria beach, be sure to visit the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, one of the country’s oldest polo facilities.

Every October, the Carpinteria Avocado Festival draws in more than 80,000 visitors for a three-day music and food festival. The Avocado Festival features 60 bands and dozens of vendors – it’s one of the country’s largest free music festivals!

Best Restaurants in Carpinteria

If you’re a foodie, you definitely want to know what to expect from food in Carpinteria. The city is packed with highly rated independent restaurants with classic coastal fare and farm-to-table California cuisine plus authentic Japanese, Mexican, and Thai restaurants. Here are just a few places to eat in Carpinteria you’ll want to visit once you’re in town.

Siam Elephant Thai Restaurant

One of the best Carpinteria restaurants by the beach, Siam Elephant serves up authentic Thai cuisine like roasted duck curry and Pad Thai. Spend some time people-watching from the patio while enjoying sake or a beer!

Siam Elephant Thai Restaurant, 509 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 684-2391

Teddy’s By the Sea

A list of restaurants in Carpinteria CA isn’t complete without a fantastic seafood restaurant! Teddy’s By the Sea is known for its diverse menu with traditional seafood fare to custom burgers, fun flavor combinations, and tropical cocktails inspired by local Central Cali ingredients.

Teddy’s By the Sea, 5096 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 566-0576

The Spot

A favorite among Carp locals, The Spot is a counter-serve hamburger joint right next to the boardwalk serving up mouth-watering burgers, shakes, onion rings, and tacos to beach-goers.

The Spot, 389 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 684-6311

Jobs in Carpinteria

Carpinteria has a robust and surprisingly diverse economy for a city its size. Major sectors in the city include education, software, advanced manufacturing, and biomedicine.

According to the City of Carpinteria’s 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, ten employers account for nearly 46% of city employment. Major employers include:

  • Procore, a construction management software company
  • Agilent, a major supplier of advanced lab instruments, services, consumables, and applications
  • LinkedIn (careers)
  • Carpinteria Unified School District (careers)
  • NuSil Technology, an advanced silicone technology and solutions provider
  • Gigavac, advanced manufacturing and distribution of products for electric vehicles and clean energy
  • Bega US, a lighting manufacturer
  • AGIA, Inc., an insurance and marketing firm
  • Continental Auto Systems, one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers and automotive suppliers

After moving to Carpinteria, you will also be within commuting distance of major employment centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara. You can explore City of Carpinteria jobs and find Carpinteria jobs on Indeed to see what’s available in your field.

Schools in Carpinteria California

Families living in Carpinteria are served by the Carpinteria Unified School District (CUSD). The district serves about 2,200 students in the greater Carpinteria Valley area with nine schools plus an alternative school and continuation school.

  • Aliso Elementary School
  • Carpinteria Family School, a small school on the Canalino campus with less than 65 students in three multi-age K-5 classrooms
  • Canalino Elementary School, a California Distinguished School which offers a Spanish Dual Language Immersion program
  • Summerland School
  • Carpinteria Middle School
  • Carpinteria High School, one of the best high schools in the Santa Maria metro area


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Cate School is a private high school just outside the city limits. Founded in 1910, Cate is a four-year, coeducational college prep boarding school with 162 class offerings, 46 honors and advanced courses, and a 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

Carpinteria Statistics & Information

  • Carpinteria CA county: Santa Barbara
  • Carpinteria area: 9.27 square miles (2.59 sq mi land)
  • Carpinteria zip code: 93013 and 93014
  • Carpinteria area code: 805
  • Elevation: 33 feet
  • Time zone: UTC-8 (Pacific)
  • Closest airport to Carpinteria: Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), 18 miles away

Map of Carpinteria

Ready to finally call this charming town home so you can enjoy Carpinteria living as a local? The experienced Carpinteria movers at Movegreen are ready to help with award-winning services and top-notch customer support. Give our team a call today to get started with your free, personalized moving estimate!

Erik S. Haney CEO | Founder
Erik S. Haney
CEO | Founder
Movegreen was established in 2007 with a vision to innovate the age old trade of Moving and Storage. The company has grown by over 20% year after year and recently expanded our territory to all of Ventura County and Northern LA County . Movegreen has received more than 15 service awards and is the premier Moving and Storage company on the Central Coast.
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