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Click to enlarge this picture downtown Cambria from the South Hearst Castle Country Road Trip
Information: I was mostly raised in Cambria and when I was young it was pretty much a cowboy town; you could set your clock by the 2AM gunfires that took place when the cowboys had closed the bar down and were headed back to the ranch. Cambria has been reinvented several times over and agriculture still is important but of all the varied factors that have brought about the evolution of Cambria the most important are the tourists, Hearst Castle and ranch, the pines and the sea. Cambria is now a wonderful tourist town that lives to share its wonders with out-of-towners. You will find it a lovely place to sightsee, shop, stay, play, visit the beach, Hearst Castle and enjoy some fine cuisine.
Near Points of Interest: Hearst Castle is just about 9.5 miles north and right in town another man’s “castle” called Nitwit Ridge, 881 Hillcrest Drive, Cambria, CA
(805-927-2690). Another point of interest just south of Cambria is an fascinating tiny town (population 18) named Harmony, there is an artisan glassworks, pottery barn, and excellent winery, Harmony Cellars. There are of course interesting things to do and see all over and near Cambria too numerous to list here.
Beach Access and Day Use Parks & Picnic Areas: If you are looking for rocky shorelines or gravel beaches there are many in Cambria two of my favorites are Leffingwell Landing and Park Hill behind Shamels Community Park. If you are looking for a fine white sand beach you will have to drive north about 6.5 miles to W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach. If you are looking to surf there is a spot at the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek, then a few miles north is Pico Creek and kite surfing, and windsurfing is very popular at Arroyo Laguna Beach just north of San Simeon.
Best places to Eat: There are many many really good restaurants in Cambria but my favorite for breakfast would be Linn’s (805) 927 – 0371; for lunch it would have to be a pulled barbecue pork sub-sandwich called the “pig” at the Main Street Grill (805-927-3194) and some kind of seafood pasta at Robins (805-927-5007). For more dining options check the Cambria Restaurant Guide at www.sansimeonlodging.com/...
Nearby Hotel Lodgings & Resorts: The only resort in Cambria is the Cambria Pines Lodge on the top of lodge hill (805-927-4200 or Toll free 800-455-6868) and it would be my #1 recommended lodging. Most people these days stay on Moonstone Beach Drive where one motel is stacked on top of another an mostly they all look the same to me unless you want to pay for and shop around to find a front room with an ocean view; the only one I have ever stayed in is one of the oldest and most reasonable priced of the bunch The Castle Inn Motel (805-927-8605). The newest lodging was reviewed well by Sunset Magazine, it is the El Colibri Hotel and Spa (805-924-3003) which is a little off of Moonstone Beach but a nice walk if you want to enjoy the boardwalk on the ocean bluff, and everyone does. For more lodging options check the Cambria Motel Guide at www.sansimeonlodging.com/... and the Cambria Bed & Breakfast Guide.
Nearest Campgrounds: Less than a mile south of the last Cambria PCH 1 exit is San Simeon State Park with two campgrounds, one San Simeon Creek Campground is next to the beach and has many amenities; the other is Washburn Primitive Campground it is up on the bluff with ocean views. The same entrance is used for both campgrounds and you will find it just up San Simeon Creek Road.
History & Museums: The Cambria Historical Museum is in East Village at 2251 Center St. and for something completely different call and arrange a tour of Nitwit Ridge, 881 Hillcrest Drive, Cambria, CA
Gasoline, Public Restrooms, Supplies: There is a Cheveron Gas Station in the Eest Village, 2194 Main St; just off PCH 1 in West Village there is a Shell Gas Station which has the Old Cambria Market Place for snacks and supplies. If you want a full on grocery store you may want to ask for directions to the Cookie Crock Market it is off the main drag at 1240 Knollwood Dr, (805) 927-4490.
There are public restrooms at Leffingwell Landing which is at north end of Moonstone beach and a little state park area which is at the south end of Moonstone Beach and in downtown East Village at 4003 Center Street which is just off Burton Drive down from Robin's Restaurant.
Other Facilities, Services or Activities:
There was a time when imigrant Cambrians envisioned turning Cambria into an artists community patterned after Carmel. Even though living there got so expensive most artists could not afford to live there are still ruminants of this era and there are some art gallaries and you might want to visit a Cambria Art Gallery or go enjoy live theater at the Pewter Plough Playhouse little theater.