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Things To Do While Visiting Cambria California
Visiting California on Your Next Road Trip
Things To Do While Visiting Cambria California   by Laura Eggers Underhill

Cambria Featured Hotels

If you want to get away to a small seaside village and just enjoy its slow pace and lovely scenery, Cambria California on the central coast is just the place. But there is more to do than just relaxing and enjoying the sunsets.

There's no real commercial draw, except that it's the gateway to the Big Sur coast. Many people stop here if they're planning to visit Hearst Castle, just 6 miles up Highway One. There's a few little motels in town, and more at Moonstone Beach, mostly with ocean views. The nearest "big" city is San Luis Obispo, about 33 miles to the southeast.

The town of Cambria is divided into the east village and the older, west village, both very walkable. On Friday afternoons there is a Farmer's Market. It started as an artist's colony and Victorian architecture is plentiful. There are art galleries, boutique shops and restaurants to enjoy. The Cambria Historical Society offers self-guided walking tours of the east village. You can get their brochure from The Cambrian at 2442 Main Street.

A free trolley can take you on an hour-long route, looping through both villages, Moonstone Beach Drive, Fiscalini Ranch and Cambria Pines Lodge. It leaves every half hour.

Moonstone Beach is covered with small rocks, including moonstone agate, jasper and jade. It's fun to crunch around on them, discovering how unique each one is and how shiny they become when the sea washes over them.

Leffingwell Landing is on the north side of Moonstone Beach Drive. There, you'll find restrooms, picnic tables and fantastic views.

Waves Crashing on Rocks, Cambria, California
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There's also tide pools to explore and a wooden boardwalk that winds along the back of the beach where you can stroll and enjoy the great views. Across the street are several motels that face the ocean.

For a spectacular walk along the bluffs of the Pacific, go to Fiscalini Ranch. You can park at the end of Windsor Boulevard. In spring time, the wildflowers are blooming as you walk out along the path overlooking the ocean with the crashing surf below.

Probably the most well known place for Cambria lodging is the Cambria Pines Lodge. It's not by the beach, but up in the monterey pine covered hills at 2905 Burton Drive. It's a lovely little lodge, which is situated on 26 acres. You can stroll around the gardens and eat in the casual dining restaurant there even if you are not an overnight guest. A splendid little path leads from the lodge's grounds to the Cambria Pines Nursery, which is a delight in itself for garden lovers to explore.

Cambria is also convenient to wine tasting, as there are several wineries along Highway 46, which leads inland towards Paso Robles.

If you're heading to Hearst Castle for the first time, you're in for a real treat. Drive about six miles up the coast and park near the large visitor center. You can get tickets there to one of the tours and see a film about the place before boarding the bus up the mountain to William Randolph Hearst's spectacular estate.

If you happen to like offbeat, decorative architectural relics, you can't leave town without a quick drive up to Nit Wit Ridge. It's actually a state historical landmark and can be found at 881 Hillcrest Drive. It took 51 years to build, and is adorned with all kinds of oddities, both natural and manmade, including toilets, abalone shells and car parts.

Other things to do in Cambria California include seasonal whale watching, going to the local theatre, or listening to live music.

top - Cambria Featured Hotels

About the Author - Laura Eggers Underhill writes for, a guide to the Monterey Peninsula and the surrounding central coast.
Search for more Cambria, CA hotels and surrounding areas
Best Western Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach, Cambria
A newly renovated California hotel overlooking legendary Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California. The charming Best Western Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach offers tranquil accommodations set amid towering pines and rolling hills overlooking the breathtaking panorama of Moonstone Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Leisure travelers will enjoy classically appointed guest rooms, many of which feature an ocean view and some of which offer patios and hot tubs. Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and Highway 1 rests Cambria, a charming California costal town close to several of the area's most popular attractions. The world-renowned Hearst Castle, award-winning California wineries, and outstanding gourmet restaurants are located within just a few miles of the hotel.
The Burton Inn, Cambria
Situated on central coast in Cambriaís East Village, The Burton Inn is located near Highway 1. Moonstone Beach is two miles from the property, and the Hearst Castle at San Simeon is 8 miles away. The Burton Inn was originally constructed in 1865 and still retains an original wood-paneled library and antique windows. Guests of this two-storey property are offered a complimentary continental breakfast each morning. A complimentary wine and cheese reception is hosted in the evenings. The front desk is open during limited hours. Parking at this smoke-free property is complimentary. Each of the 12 guestrooms at The Burton Inn is individually decorated and has views of the gardens, Santa Rosa Creek, or Cambriaís East Village.
Cambria Pines Lodge, Cambria
Welcome to Cambria Pines Lodge Nestled on 25 wooded acres, Cambria Pines Lodge offers something for everyone.  Accommodations range from rustic cabins to elegant suites. The Main Lodge offers conference rooms with full-service catering, an excellent restaurant featuring local wines, and the Fireside Lounge with nightly live entertainment, all surrounded by world-class gardens and gardening events. The organic kitchen garden provides homegrown organic produce to the restaurant at Cambria Pines Lodge, while other areas of the theme gardens offer spectacular landscaping and perfect areas for special events or a peaceful retreat.
Fogcatcher Inn Cambria
From the FogCatcher Inn in Cambria, Calif., just off the ocean-hugging Pacific Coast Highway, outdoor adventure seekers can stroll just a few steps to Moonstone Beach, tour Central California's 60 wineries and 200 vineyards, and become awestruck by Big Sur and publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst's Castle. Guests also are near shops, galleries and restaurants in Cambria's art-colony downtown; bluff-top nature trails that present scenic vistas and romantic getaways; and whale-watching, elephant seal and sea lion tours. Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the FogCatcher is ideal for friends traveling together, family reunions, retreats and weekend getaways.
Mariner's Inn By The Sea Cambria
The Mariner's Inn by the Sea is located alongside scenic Moonstone Beach Drive that passes through Cambria, California. Property amenities include complimentary continental breakfasts, beachfront access and an on site hot tub. Guests will also appreciate fax and photocopy services, and complimentary parking. Mariner's Inn offers 26 guestrooms that feature cable televisions and VCRs. Whirlpool accommodations are also available. All guestrooms are non smoking while select guestrooms have king beds with fireplaces and others include whirlpool tubs. Most standard guestrooms have one queen bed while selected guestrooms feature two queen beds with fireplaces and refrigerators. Pets are allowed at this seaside lodging.
Pelican Cove Inn Cambria
Welcome to Pelican Cove Inn on Moonstone Beach in Cambria California. Stay in luxurious surroundings at a Four Diamond Property on Moonstone Beach. A full cooked buffet breakfast is available in the morning along with wine and cheese tasting in the afternoons and evening dessert and coffee service. A heated pool is located near our open-space riparian area. Relax in your suite or room after a stroll on the beach or after exploring Hearst Castle and Cambria. 
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