SoCal Camping
March 11, 2009 10:30 AM   Subscribe

LA Camping --- We're going to be dropping our high school daughter off in Thousand Oaks the first weekend in June. We have a little camping trailer and I'm trying to decide between Malibu and Carpinteria.

I'm open to other options as well. Malibu would probably involve trying to do the LA tourist thing. Carpinteria might be a slower pace. I'm not sure what I'm asking, just for more input to break the tie or a better place that I don't know about. Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.
posted by notned to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, LA (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Carpinteria is absolutely GORGEOUS. Little tide pools where you can poke sea anemones and watch hermit crabs scuttle around.

If I was going to do the LA tourist thing, I wouldn't be camping, and I'd actually be in LA. If you want some nature and a lot of gorgeous, not-too-crowded beach, it's all about Carpinteria.

Also, if you can make a stop in to The Hat, you've got some legendary, So-Cal only pastrami and chili cheese fries to munch on. Simi Valley is right next to T.O.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:43 AM on March 11, 2009

I love camping at Carpinteria. You've got the ocean right there plus the bonus of a very walkable/bikable small beach town. I don't have any experience camping at Malibu. Please don't poke the sea anemones though.
posted by jvilter at 10:56 AM on March 11, 2009

Carp is great, but a little further up is Jalama Beach, which is fucking magical. Make sure you get a Jalama Burger here.
posted by dersins at 11:46 AM on March 11, 2009

Fourthing Carpinteria. Cozy. Beautiful. Everything's in walking distance, and Santa Barbara's just fifteen minutes away. Mayeb I'm biased, though: my husband asked me to be his girlfriend at the lifeguard tower on Linden Avenue, and then propsed to me there six years later.
posted by changeling at 12:13 PM on March 11, 2009

I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove Jalama. I've never seen it crowded; seems like not a ton of people know about it or maybe they're not willing to make the slightly farther trek, but it is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo worth it.
posted by ambient2 at 12:37 PM on March 11, 2009

Going from South to North,

Malibu Creek State Park
has some nice trails and is as close as you can get to the rest of LA if that's your goal.

Leo Carillo State Park is on the beach just up the coast from Malibu. The beach isn't that great for swimming but has lots of tidepools, a small cave and some neat rock formations. It's also still within striking distance of LA.

Wheeler Gorge is near the mountain community of Ojai and has plenty of hiking, waterfalls, canyons and is well known for their spas and hot springs.

Lake Cachuma and Lake Casitas are also further north but not all that exciting unless you like fishing and boating.

If you end up in Santa Barbara county this website is great guide to the campgrounds and everything else in the area.
posted by euphorb at 1:09 PM on March 11, 2009

just popping in to pile on with a carpinteria recommendation. great little town, wonderful beach. (:
posted by sergeant sandwich at 4:00 PM on March 11, 2009

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