Looking for a quiet romantic coastal getaway? Consider the cool, calm seaside village of Cambria for your next travel destination. Cambria, located along Highway 1, is known for its grand Monterey Pines, rocky cliffs and quiet narrow beaches. Couples can enjoy a number of bed and breakfast inns and hotels in Cambria, especially along Moonstone Beach, a beautiful stretch of narrow coast where two may enjoy a stroll in complete tranquility. Enjoy activities such as bicycling, hiking, boogie boarding, skimboarding, surfing, or simply walking and browsing the many shops downtown.
Expect to see various sea life while exploring the beach. It is not uncommon to spot a sea otter or two in the ocean while exploring the various tide pools filled with sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish, crabs, snails, etc. The beach was named after the moonstones that wash ashore at that location. Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is a 1.5-mile walk with multiple beach access points and places for beachcombing, rest and observe the sea life.
Consider visiting Piedras Blancas Light Station with its romantic coastal lighthouse views. It was built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and first illuminated in 1875. Adult Admission $10 (805) 927-7361 (www.piedrasblancas.org).
The Northern elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas is some fifteen miles to the north and provides visitors and avid photographers with great views of the elephant seals in action.
The primary economic activity in Cambria is tourism, so be sure to explore all the shops, galleries, specialty gift stores, and independent ice cream shops with your significant other. Support the local artists and shop Ephraim Pottery West Gallery (805-924-1275) housed in a quaint Victorian building on Main Street.
The barbecue at Main Street Grill is a local favorite. Enjoy grilled burgers, Tri-Tip sandwiches, pork ribs, chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, veggie and garden burgers, salads, garlic fries, and other sides in a relaxed dining room filled with surf décor or head outside for some sun on the outdoor patio.
The Ball and Skein and More of Bridge Street has provided quality knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, needle felting, and needlepoint products from over 90 vendors since 1978. Be sure to stop in during your visit.
Enjoy both comfort and gourmet foods like Hearst Ranch beef, fresh Pot Pies, fresh handmade soups, and Olallieberry pie at Linn’s Restaurant in Cambria. Linn’s, most notably known for their delicious fruit pies, also has an unsurpassed wine menu featuring local Central Coast wines. They also have the distinction of being the only restaurant/gift shop in Cambria that serves and retails wine.
Robin’s Restaurant of Burton Drive features handcrafted comfort cuisine with an array of international flavors straight from the farmers market. Housed in a restored adobe home in the historic East Village of Cambria, Robin’s is a favorite with locals and visitors for its warm hospitality, cozy atmosphere and charming gardens. Enjoy a romantic night out on the covered garden patio area with your date after an afternoon visiting Hearst Castle.
There are multiple fine hotel selections to choose from in Cambria. Cambria Pines Lodge of Burton Drive, Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach, FogCatcher Inn, Blue Dolphin Inn, Sea Otter Inn, Little Sur Inn, Moonstone Landing, Sand Pebbles Inn, El Colibri Hotel and Spa, & Cambria Beach Lodge (All located on Moonstone Beach Drive) are all fine selections. You might even consider Cavalier Oceanfront Resort (located nearby in San Simeon) for an overnight stay. Be sure to leave the sliding glass door open during the warm months and drift asleep to the sound of the waves below.
Are you a horse lover? Covell’s Clydesdales Ranch, located a mile inland from Main street, is another local attraction. The owner, Ralph Covell, offers horseback riding, tours of the Ranch in a fancy Lincoln Navigator, and 65 full-grown Clydesdales on over 2000 acres of rolling hills with sweeping views of the pacific.
Two-hour tours and trail rides cost $100 per person (805) 927-3398 www.covellscaliforniaclydesdales.com
Cambria has also benefited greatly from Hearst Castle, which is located approximately six miles to the north. (See Hearst Castle: Exploring The Grand Estate). We recommend taking one of the museums tours. Adult tour prices start at $25. The Hearst and Hollywood tours (Adult: $100) are also highly recommended.