Carpinteria is a small oceanside city located in the southeastern extremity of Santa Barbara County, California, east of Santa Barbara and northwest of Ventura. The population was 14,194 at the 2000 census.
The Spanish named the area "Carpinteria" because the Chumash tribe, which lived in the area, had a large seagoing canoe-building enterprise, or "carpentry shop" there; this was due to the availability of naturally-occurring surface tar which was used to seal the canoes. You can still see the tar oozing out of the tar pit at selected sites, such as Tar Pits Park on the campground beach of Carpinteria State Beach .
Carpinteria beach is known to have a gentle, sloping terrain and calm waves in selected sandy areas but also good surfing swells in other rocky areas. Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May at the rookery in the nearby Carpinteria Bluffs, as well as an occasional gray whale. Tidepools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopuses and sea urchins. A popular campground is located adjacent to the beach. There is bird watching at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve.
Since 1987, the California Avocado Festival has been held in Carpinteria on the first weekend of October. The Santa Barbara Polo Club, one of the main equestrian polo fields in the country, is located in Carpinteria. The city is also home to Hollandia Produce, an organic produce company with 70 employees.
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