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Summer season crowds work around Santa Claus Lane construction detour to get to shops and the beach

CARPINTERIA, Calif.- The Highway 101 construction project in Carpinteria which includes bridge replacements has traffic detoured or rerouted in a popular access point to Santa Claus Lane, just as the summer season starts.

The area is known for its unique small-town beach access, quaint shops and restaurants.

During the construction to improve the freeway corridor, there are many changes to the routes in and out of Santa Claus Lane. Workers at times are controlling traffic, one-way, in each direction.

The beach area is still open, although some parking is limited.

Business owners are getting the word out to their loyal customers and those driving through the area, that they are open.

That includes Westerlay Orchids, Thario's Kitchen, the Padaro Beach Grill, the Garden Market, Coast Supply Co., A-Frame Surf and and several other stores.

Westerlay Orchids owner Toine Overgaag said, "we are fully open for  business.  We are fully staffed up.  The product looks great. It's a little trickier to get to us but we will be open   throughout construction."

They are encouraging customers to be patient and use the side roads to come in to their retail shop.

 Overgaag said, "I do feel for my neighbors across the street on Santa Claus Lane. It is really critical for them."

Trying to sustain a strong 2022, Ryan Reed with Coast Supply Co. tells his customers coming from Santa Barbara and Montecito, "you can't take get off at the regular Santa Claus Lane like before you get off at the one before. Padaro, take the frontage road around it is easier."


On most days you will find plenty of available parking. Reed says, "I've got a ton of parking spots on the side here.  On the other side of the fence as well.  I've got 30 open ones right now."

He says this is no time to miss out on an upswing for some businesses especially in home improvement.


"We have a lot of hardwood floors and  we have actually have a ton of stock couches.  Because of COVID people couldn't get a hold of them. The lead time was a year.   We have 30 in stock all day long.  People buy a lot of couches from us," said Reed.

Nearby at Thario's Kitchen with a menu of Italian food,  Mario Rios said, "once you are here with us, ya know.   It's all fun." He is an owner, a server, and routinely goes back and forth to pick up supplies, sometimes in the same traffic jams as his customers experience.

 At Thario's they are welcoming their guests, and creating a dining  experience to help the customer forget about traffic and road work delays. 

Rios said, "help us hang in there. "

Those who work here and dine on the lane, knew the project was coming,  and it is going to be a long haul before its all done.

At Thario's, they also say wine and pasta might just be the recipe to help you cope with it all. "It's just trying trying to keep our head up," said Rios.

Business owners and their marketing team have been encouraging the public to come to the area with these directions:

Directions from 101 Northbound — To find Santa Claus Lane (beaches, shopping & restaurants) from points south, exit at Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria. Turn left under the bridge and then left on Santa Claus Lane to find the beach, shops and restaurants.  To find the beauty of the Westerlay Orchids Showroom and other curated nurseries and gardens, turn right off the freeway to Via Real where the plant life is plentiful. 

Directions from 101 Southbound — To find Santa Claus Lane from points north, exit Padaro Lane and make a left. Turn right onto Via Real and travel 2 miles. Take a right toward Padaro and Santa Claus Lane. Left on The Lane brings you to the beach, shops and restaurants.  While on your journey via your Southbound detour keep an eye out for the beautiful Westerlay Orchids Showroom which will be on the left side of Via Real. 

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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