Our love for the coast took us to Padaro Beach in Carpinteria. This rustic beach is located just north of the famous Rincon Beach (one of the best surfing spots in the world). It's a local favorite with street parking and a short walk over the train tracks.  

Just down the road, Santa Claus Lane has a small row of restaurants and shopping. The Garden Market has lovely outdoor seating -- perfect for sipping wine over a game of cards.

Padaro Beach Grill has a beautiful view of the ocean, a sandbox for the kids to play in and a big lawn to lounge on.