A longtime favorite of Californians visiting Hearst Castle and the coast south of it, Cambria (pronounced cam bree uh) is a cute little town, filled with nice shops and restaurants, its streets lined with pretty gardens.
You can plan your Cambria day trip or weekend getaway in a jiffy using the resources below.
Why Should You Go? Will You Like Cambria?
- Get a Preview: Our Morro Bay Pictures include a peek at Cambria and Moonstone Beach.
- Cambria is the locale for bed and breakfast inns and just across Highway One, Moonstone Beach is lined with great hotels. In town, you'll art galleries and cute little boutiques that make for great strolling. It's a romantic place that's also tailor-made for relaxing escapes.
- See how other California for Visitors readers rate Cambria
Best Time to Go to Cambria
Like much of the California coast, Cambria's Moonstone Beach is likely to be overcast all day long in June and July, but the town is just far enough from the coast to be sunny even when the beach is not. Of course, this means it's also crowded in summer. After the end of summer, the skies clear up, hotel rates go down and stay low through spring.
For the visitor, Moonstone Beach has it all: crashing waves, surfers, tide pools and driftwood-strewn sand. It's easily accessible by almost anyone, with a level boardwalk just above the beach and a smooth route down to the sand's edge. Get some picnic supplies in town and enjoy them while watching the waves crash in, or settle on the patio at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill across the street and watch the sun set.
5 More Great Things to Do in Cambria
- Gallery Shopping: Stroll down Main Street and up Burton Drive, browsing as you go. Don't let appearances fool you - Main Street takes a little break around Cambria Drive, but it's lined with shops on both sides of it.
- Learn Lawn Bowling: Cambria Lawn Bowls Club (950 Main Street) offers free lessons Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 a.m.
- Visit a Real Nitt Witt: Built by reclusive artist Art Beal, this folk art wonder is open for tours (reserve ahead).
- Visit Hearst Castle: (4 hours or more) A half-hour drive north of Morro Bay, Hearst Castle is the area's most popular attraction.
- Elephant Seals: The elephant seal rookery, right on Highway One about 4.5 miles north of Hearst Castle is most interesting during breeding season, from December through February when almost 4,000 pups are born in just a few weeks.
Tips for Visiting Cambria
- In summer, make your reservations as far in advance as you can. The nicest properties fill up fast.
- No matter when you visit, the Cambria Village Trolley makes it easier to get around.
October: During the annual Cambria Scarecrow Festival, more than 350 of the most cutest, most creative scarecrows you can imagine line the town's streets. October is also time for the Harvest Weekend Farm Tour which takes you on a visit to some of Cambria's most interesting farms, ranches and vineyards.
Two of Cambria's long-standing best restaurants are the Sow's Ear and Robin's, but Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill has the best views in town.
Where to Stay
Check our recommended hotels and campgrounds. Most of the bed and breakfast inns are in town, but you'll find a number of small hotels along Moonstone Drive. While none of them are right on the beach, most are just across the road, close enough that you can smell the spray and hear the crashing waves.
For help getting the best possible deal, read about how to find a good place to stay, cheap or go straight to Tripadvisor's reviews and rate comparisons on hotels in Cambria
Getting To CambriaCambria is halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on California Highway 1 between Morro Bay and Hearst Castle. It's 290 miles from Sacramento, 125 miles from Monterey and 425 miles from Las Vegas. If you're driving north on US 101, exit onto Highway 1 north of San Luis Obispo. Going south on US 101, exit at Highway 41 near Atascadero and take it to Highway 1, then go north.
If you take Amtrak to San Luis Obispo, you can catch the Ride-On Service that will take you right to Cambria.
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