Quick Stops and Curiosities: Carpinteria
Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve
By Bill Warner
5905 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria
A scenic, 52-acre open space atop sea cliffs overlooking the Pacific, this stop is right off the 101. Whether northbound or southbound, just take the exit for Bailard Avenue and turn south. The parking lot is right where Bailard t-bones with Carpinteria Avenue. Easy trails will take you along the bluffs, with views of a seal sanctuary and a group of tar pits. For more info, visit carpinteriabluffs.org, or call (805) 684-5405.
Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura, Camarillo & Thousand Oaks
This is another pleasant, spacious city park, situated on East Thompson Boulevard between South Chestnut and South Fir streets in downtown Ventura. And guess what — it also has its very own Moreton Bay fig tree, just handing out the shade for free over in the northwest corner. Thompson Avenue is old U.S. 101, too, so you’re on good ground here.
Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura
By Bill Warner
Emma Wood State Beach
North of Ventura
A popular destination for camping, fishing, walking, and/or chilling out, the main entrance is just off the freeway north of Ventura, accessible from the State Beaches exit. Within the campground itself, there are a few dozen campsites — but be forewarned, there are no tents allowed. This campground is for self-contained vehicles only, and there is no water, electricity, phones, fire rings, or dump stations. But though it sounds primitive, it is a hugely popular RV and trailer campground due to its proximity to the beach (so close, in fact, that it is sometimes closed during especially high tides).