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Carpinteria (pronounced carp-in-ter-EE-ya) is a city of approximately 15,000 people but that can swell much higher when the summer rush is upon us. San Francisco is almost 400 miles to the north and Santa Barbara is 12 miles northwest (it also sits on the Southern facing coastline).  Ventura is 15 miles to the south and Los Angeles is 80 miles to the south.

Legend has it that the city got its name from the Spaniards who saw the Chumash Indians busy building the large ocean-going canoes called tomols and called it the 'carpenter shop'  - La Carpinteria.

Carp, as the locals call it, is situated along the only Southern facing stretch of coastline in California.  The climate, referred to as Mediterranean, never gets too cold or too hot.  Annual daytime temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees, and rainfall averages 17.9 inches yearly. The city sits on a thin strip of fertile land nestled between the mountains and the ocean and is unique in its diversity. 

Historically Carpinteria has been isolated from its neighbors. The stretch of highway between Ventura and Carpinteria, called generically as "the Rincon" is a fairly recent development.  Stage coaches actually had to drive along the beach.  The only way here from the south was the railroad.  There was a time in the early 1900s that a wooden pier stretched all along this section but it eventually fell into disuse.  When the highway was finally built, Carpinteria was ripe to attract tourists from the south.

It has always been self-sufficient, with a broad base of business, agriculture, and and community activity.  Even as many of the surrounding communities become more residential or more business or more tourist oriented, Carpinteria has retained all of the things that make a community a community.