From the dreamily dubbed Moonstone Beach to the quirky Nitt Witt Ridge, Cambria is a Central California Coast destination for the free spirited and fun-seeking families alike. Plan a relaxing beach escape slightly off the beaten path and stay at one of our cozy Cambria vacation rentals.
Where Is Cambria, CA?
Stretched out over eight-and-a-half square miles on scenic route Highway 1 and halfway between Monterey Bay and Santa Barbara, Cambria is one of the prettiest towns in California. Its closest major metropolitan area is Fresno, 135 miles northeast, but this village is easily accessible via many state and US routes, as well as the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.
Things To Do in Cambria, CA
With miles of coastline, native Monterey pine groves, and wandering wild turkeys, this seaside town of roughly 6,000 friendly residents is all about the beach habitat. Nature thrives here among the protected areas, including the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve with its coastal Bluff Trail, Cambria State Marine Park where snorkelers and kayakers can observe seals, and White Rock State Marine Conservation Area, at which researchers study the rich inter-tidal zones.
For a relaxing Cali coast experience, go to Moonstone Beach. Bring snacks from the year-round Cambria Farmer's Market or fill up on brunch at Moonstone Bar and Grill at the southern end since you'll likely get lost in moments spent meandering the well-maintained boardwalk, combing for semi-precious jasper, and holding hands on the many benches. Make your way to Leffingwell Landing to search for whales and surfers as the wind whirls scents of fragrant flora all around you. Leffingwell Landing is part of Hearst San Simeon State Park, which includes a gorgeous beach hike along the ocean bluffs.
Why not tour the Piedras Blancas Light Station? This Pacific lighthouse first guided sailors in 1875 and still shines today. Just a mile south is the largest elephant seal rookery on the US west coast. Observe the mighty marine mammals safely from the large parking lot or boardwalk. After all of this exploring, you’ll be grateful for the comfy beds at your Cambria beach house.
Unique Cambria attractions include Nitt Witt Ridge, a folk art destination that could only exist in California. The Pewter Plough Playhouse is considered a hidden gem. Share in coastal Californian cuisine at Cambria restaurants from the sophisticated Black Cat Bistro to the rustic Boni’s Tacos food truck. Craving craft beer? Grab a seat at Cambria Beer Company. With Paso Robles wine country just over 30 miles east, you'll be inspired to hang out at the Moonstone Cellars tasting room. Bring home a bottle to pop and share at any of our Cambria vacation rentals!
Day Trips from Cambria, CA
As part of San Luis Obispo County, Cambria is surrounded by other beach hamlets and Central California towns. An easygoing day trip from Cambria could start with homemade breakfast in your vacation rental then a jaunt south on Highway 1. Stop to stretch your legs in the "old west" town of Cayucos and pick up sweets at Brown Butter Cookie Company. Continue onto Morro Bay for lunch and a stroll on its dog-friendly beach, crowned by the impossible-to-miss Morro Rock. From Morro Bay, Highway 1 leads inland toward the county seat, San Luis Obispo. Stroll downtown and stay for a movie at the Art Deco Fremont Theater or Sunset Drive-In.
Northeast of Cambria is Lake Nacimiento for boating and swimming. Unlike the frigid and rough Pacific waves that only surfers and sea otters dare to tackle, Lake Nacimiento allows you to get down to your bikini and swim under the hot sun. Rent stand-up paddle boards or go for a speedy raft ride.
Get to know or reacquaint yourself with California through one of our Cambria vacation rentals for a getaway filled with beautiful beach vistas and wildlife.