Cambria CA

Cambria CA is located about half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California’s central coast, just 4 miles south of the famous historic landmark Hearst Castle.  It sits cosy in towering pines on California’s beautiful central coast.  Cambria is famous for its dramatic coastal landscape, nested where ocean meets pine forests. Chock-full of character with historic architecture, downtown art galleries, boutique shops, antiques, history and romance. Savor the flavors of Cambria with gourmet foods and luxurious wines showcased at a variety of tasting rooms. Every day in Cambria is a creative adventure.

Located on California’s iconic Highway 1 between Cayucos and San Simeon, Cambria offers up village charm, delicious flavors and natural wonders. Regardless of the season or reason for your visit, Cambria has something for everyone.  Come visit Cambria CA!  For a list of all the area beaches << Click Here >>.

Cambria Weather (When to Visit)

The currents of the Pacific Ocean keep Cambria CA cool with annual temperatures averaging 70 degrees F. The Mediterranean climate features mild winters and warm summers. There can be triple-digit temperatures in the summer and a chilly breeze in the winter, perfect for a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. Even on warm summer days, you can count on a swift cool down at night.

The best time to visit Cambria depends on what activities you have in mind. Those interested in outdoor activities may wish to plan for a summer trip, when rainfall is minimal. The mild winters make weather considerations secondary, however, and those interested in local wildlife will see the most with a January or February trip. Hearst Castle is open year-round, but the evening tours in the fall and garden tours in the spring are strictly seasonal affairs; those wishing to view such tours should make their plans accordingly.

Cambria Best Beaches

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria CA, Cambria CA travel guide, best hotels in Cambria, best restaurants in Cambria, best bars in Cambria, best things to do in Cambria, Cambria attractions, Central California beaches, California beachesHearst San Simeon State Park

Hearst San Simeon State Park is one of the oldest units of the California State Park System. The coastal bluffs and promontories of the scenic park offer unobstructed views of the ocean and rocky shore. The park includes the Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve, the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Pa-nu Cultural Preserve which were established in 1990.

Moonstone Beach Park, Cambria CA, Cambria CA travel guide, best hotels in Cambria, best restaurants in Cambria, best bars in Cambria, best things to do in Cambria, Cambria attractions, Central California beaches, California beachesMoonstone Beach Park

Famous for its dramatic coastline and breathtaking views, the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is where your Cambria seaside escape begins. Whether you want to sink your toes into the sand, catch glimpses of marine life swimming by, explore living tide pools, or head out to sea for surfing, boating, and other aquatic adventures, you will find there is something for everyone to enjoy on Moonstone Beach.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Cambria CA, Cambria CA travel guide, best hotels in Cambria, best restaurants in Cambria, best bars in Cambria, best things to do in Cambria, Cambria attractions, Central California beaches, California beachesFiscalini Ranch Preserve

Unique beauty and solitude encompassing ocean bluffs, grasslands and a Monterey pine forest on the central California coast. The dramatic ocean bluffs run over a mile along the shoreline and extend inland from the rocky coast to a forested ridge with breath-taking views of migrating whales, birds, and sea otters.

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Shamel Park, Cambria CA, Cambria CA travel guide, best hotels in Cambria, best restaurants in Cambria, best bars in Cambria, best things to do in Cambria, Cambria attractions, Central California beaches, California beachesShamel Park

Shamel Park offers easy beach access, two group day-use areas, a gazebo, playing field, horseshoes, a children’s play area and a heated, ADA-compliant swimming pool. The park has a gazebo and large turf area, making both the beach and the park popular venues for weddings and receptions.

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Lampton Cliffs County Park, Cambria CA, Cambria CA travel guide, best hotels in Cambria, best restaurants in Cambria, best bars in Cambria, best things to do in Cambria, Cambria attractions, Central California beaches, California beachesLampton Cliffs County Park

The cove at the beach is filled with large rocks that waves crash hard upon. This is quite a sight with winter swells. Lampton Cliffs Park is only about two acres in size and the beach isn’t much to speak of, but at low tide you can have fun tidepooling.

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Cambria Tours & Activities

Hearst Castle Tour

Enjoy the scenic views on this 8-hour, small-group tour to Hearst Castle. Once you arrive at Hearst Castle watch the National Geographic IMAX Movie, Building the Dream, and learn about the construction of the landmark. Then, take a tour of the castle to discover its many rooms and secrets. This tour includes pickup and drop off from Cambria, entrance fees, lunch, and a driver/guide.  Learn more about the Hearst Castle Tour.

The LA Tour

This full-day narrated tour of Los Angeles takes you to the city’s iconic landmarks, neighborhoods, and photo hotspots. With a local tour guide, visit locations such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and Mulholland Drive. Have lunch at the Original Farmers Market, check out movie stars’ homes, explore the colorful culture of Venice Beach, and more.  Learn more about the LA Tour.

The San Diego Tour

Pack a ton of San Diego sights into one day during this San Diego tour with Orange County pickup and drop-off included. You’ll explore the beaches of La Jolla, Seaport Village, Downtown San Diego, and Coronado Island with three brothers who grew up in Southern California as your guides. Not only do your guides know the area well, they also know the best times to visit these popular spots for the best experience possible.  Learn more about the San Diego Tour.

Ultimate Wine Experience in San Luis Obispo

Savor the burgeoning wine scene around San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles on this tasting tour with half- and full-day options. Spend a few hours exploring a hand-picked selection of wineries in this increasingly-famous wine region, sampling red and white varieties. As you taste, you’ll get an introductory lesson on how to see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor each glass, upping your wine knowledge in the process. A guide, full- or half-day tour options, round-trip hotel transport, bottled water and a tasty picnic lunch (on full-day tour) are included.  Learn more about the Ultimate Wine Experience.

The Orange County Beach Cities Tour + Whale Watching

See the Best of Orange County Beaches, plus a whale watching excursion!  The adventure starts with a drive from your hotel to Seal Beach, where we pass by the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, Sunset Beach, The Bolsa Chica Wetlands, and down the coast with stops at Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Dana Point, some secret spots and whale watching.  Learn more about the Orange County Beach Cities Tour.

Best Cambria Restaurants

Galley Seafood Bar & Grill  $11 – 30

The freshest, premium seafood. Hand-selected seasonal ingredients from our own farm. An impressive selection of world-class wines. All tastefully wrapped in novel Island decor and overlooking the scenic waterfront. Welcome to a new definition of taste – The Galley Seafood Grill & Bar – the Central Coast’s finest seafood restaurant located on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay.  Telephone:  805-772-7777  Web:   Galley Seafood Bar & Grill.

Robin’s Restaurant  $11 – 30

Robin’s features handcrafted comfort cuisine with an array of international flavors made from farmers’ market fresh ingredients. 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.  Whether stopping for lunch before visiting the nearby Hearst Castle or enjoying a romantic date night in the garden, Robin’s has something for everyone. Enjoy live music in the Garden throughout the year. Telephone:  805-927-5007  Web:  Robin’s Restaurant.

Marston’s 101 Restaurant & Cocktails  $11 – 30

A modern, wine-country eatery featuring a full bar with craft cocktails, local wines, and craft beer.  The California-cuisine menu uses local ingredients and certain dishes will be rotated seasonally.  The centerpiece of the menu – the wood fired oven – is not just for delicious flatbread pizzas.  Wood oven items will also include appetizers, entrees and meat dishes. Telephone:  805-460-7371  Web:   Marston’s 101 Restaurant & Cocktails.

Blue Heron  $11 – 30

Blue Heron is contemporary coastal cuisine. Comprised almost entirely of locally sourced seafood and produce from our 5 acre farm, the menu has been thoughtfully crafted by our chef to be both playful and familiar while gesturing at refinement and grace. Telephone:  805-440-7413  Web:   Blue Heron.

Mint + Craft  $11 – 30

Mint+Craft is a fast-casual cafe and mercantile that features innovative, market-fresh foods and locally made artisanal wares that are tastefully handcrafted. Whether you are looking for a quick bite or a leisurely experience on our sunny downtown patio, Mint+Craft is a convenient choice for locally-sourced, quality foods and merchandise. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Telephone:  805-632-9191  Web:   Mint + Craft.

Best Cambria Bars

Marston’s 101 Restaurant & Cocktails

Marston’s 101 Restaurant & Cocktails is a modern, wine-country eatery featuring a full bar with craft cocktails, local wines, and craft beer. Telephone:  805-460-7371  Web:   Marston’s 101 Restaurant & Cocktails.

Milestone Tavern

They feature 84 drafts to include beer, wine, and ciders. Hand crafted new American cuisine. They offer indoor and outdoor patio seating and 15 flat screen TVs. They are family and pet friendly.  Telephone:  805-439-4316  Web:   Milestone Tavern.

Spike’s Pub

Located in the historic Creamery in Downtown San Luis Obispo, Spike’s Pub has proudly poured the finest brew since 1981. They are dedicated to the oldest fermented beverage in the world’s BEER. Stop by and pull up a chair at Spikes and immerse yourself in the full beer experience. With 35 beers on tap (plus our large selection of bottled beers and ciders), you can enjoy local beers that originate in central California, or go on a beer tasting adventure and try a vast array of beer from around the world! Telephone:  805-544-7157  Web:   Spike’s Pub.

BarrelHouse Brewing Company

Join the fun in Paso Robles, just minutes off the 101. Relax in the unique half-acre beer garden with sweeping views, rushing waterfall, live music and friendly people. Paired with an endless lineup of energetic bands and fun events, BarrelHouse is famously known for their delicious line-up of year-round beers: Sunny Daze, Juicy IPA, Mango IPA, BarrelHouse IPA, Big Sur and BarrelHouse Stout. Additionally, since the brewhouse first fired up, BarrelHouse has been masterfully crafting an impressive line-up of sour and non-sour barrel-aged beers. Telephone:  805-296-1128  Web:  BarrelHouse Brewing Company.

Hearst Ranch Winery

Their San Simeon Tasting Room sits in the Old San Simeon village inside Sebastian’s General Store and shares the space with Sebastian’s Café and the historic Post Office. They are just steps to the beach! They have a large deck/patio area to wine taste on where visitors can catch glimpses of the Pacific Ocean, and peek-a-boo views of the Castle on the hill. Visitors often enjoy doing a wine tasting and grabbing lunch at the Café.  Telephone:  805-927-4100  Web:   Hearst Ranch Winery.

Best Cambria Hotels

J Patrick House Bed and Breakfast Inn


A free wine hour, homemade evening cookies and full breakfast are included daily at The J Patrick House. Moonstone Beach Park is 4 minutes’ drive away. A fireplace and free WiFi are included in rooms.  Styled in modern white linens and elegant wood furnishings, each room provides a window seat at Patrick House. Free spa toiletries are featured in the private bathroom. Towels and linens are provided.  French toast, eggs florentine and other rotating breakfast dishes are served daily.

Pelican Inn & Suites


Pelican Inn & Suites invites guests to unwind in oceanfront accommodations with complimentary Wi-Fi, pampering robes, upscale bath amenities, and complimentary breakfast every morning. In addition, we offer several Moonstone Beach hotel deals – from Hearst Castle Tours to Stay Longer & Save – so guests can simply let go and relax by the ocean.

Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach


This beachfront hotel in Cambria features 46 comfortable guest rooms with in-room gas fireplaces – as well as generous Moonstone Beach hotel amenities, like complimentary Wi-Fi, bath robes, flat-screen TVs, and in select rooms – jetted tubs and private terraces!  Guests can enjoy a year-round heated pool and spa and complimentary hot breakfast each morning, the perfect way to start your day! Ideal for family vacations and romantic escapes.

Moonstone Landing

Moonstone Landing is a boutique family owned beachfront property located in the charming town of Cambria with its historic architecture, quaint shops, fine dining, and many art galleries.  Their rooms have a full or partial ocean view with a comfortable and inviting ambiance.  All rooms have a fireplace, refrigerator, micro-wave, coffeemaker, and complimentary internet access.  They offer a continental breakfast each morning in the lobby. The oceanfront rooms offer jacuzzi bathtubs and spectacular white water views and sunsets from your patio or balcony.

Cambria Beach Lodge


This property is a 4-minute walk from the beach. Located across the street from Moonstone Beach, off Highway 1, this Cambria hotel offers free WiFi and serves a daily continental breakfast. San Simeon State Park is 5 minutes’ drive away.  All rooms at Cambria Beach Lodge feature over-sized showers and beach-inspired décor including sun bleached floors. A flat-screen HD TV with premium cable channels, a seating area and boutique bath amenities are included in all guest rooms.

28 Comments

  1. CNGoodwin

    Great post, I Have two young children. If I was to say plan a trip to Cambria. Do you know of any good places to entertain children. As much as I would love to sit on the beach all day, its not possible with two young children. Would Cambria be a good holiday destination for my young family?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You and your young family would have a great time. I think they would enjoy whale watching, the Elephant Seal Rookery, the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve where they will see plenty of animals, horseback riding, and even take them on the Moonstone Beach boardwalk. I hope this helps 🙂 Thanks for visiting Cambria CA.

      Reply
  2. Joe Powell

    What a beautiful place Cambria is. The architecture, fabulous beaches, available recreational activities and the restaurants make it worth well more than a weekend of time to enjoy it. I’d be inclined to do some sort of kayaking or cruising, and a visit to the elephant seal rookery, but what I really like to do is scuba diving. I don’t think you mentioned that. Is it possible there?

    Thanks for a beautiful presentation.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, you can definitely scuba dive in Cambria. I just did not list any scuba dive tours, but they are all along the central coast of California. Thanks for visiting Cambria CA!

      Reply
  3. Mick Krug

    Another great California beach destination! The moonstone beach looks like a nice beach to visit. Your video showed what a rocky shoreline they have there in Cambria. A lot of tourist attractions with San Simeon state park with the Hearst castle and wineries close by. Good hotels and restaurants too.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes Mick, just an all-around fantastic beach destination with so much more to offer. Central California is really beautiful and a visit to Cambria CA is a must if you are in the area.

      Reply
  4. Khiori

    What a great post, I’ll know exactly where to go and what to do if I’m ever in Cambria! I wonder what kind of bird watching they have in the area?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh you can do some great bird watching in Morro Bay. There is a prime birdwatching location in the Morro Bay Estuary. A worldwide highlight for avian lovers takes place every January during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, when the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival celebrates myriad species of birds returning to the area. Easily sighted birds include a variety of pelicans, gulls, terns, and shorebirds, including western snowy plovers along Morro Strand State Beach. Visit Morro Rock where two pairs of peregrine falcons nest annually, alongside gulls and even canyon wrens. Just south of Morro Bay, stop and hike or camp at Montana de Oro State Park and walk along the spectacular bluff trail. There you can observe black oyster catchers, pigeon guillemots, loons and cormorants, tide pools, and sea otters, and perhaps a glimpse of a whale offshore. Hope this helps 🙂

      Reply
  5. Eric

    Cambria California is another one of the great destinations which include the fantastic Hearst Castle. I will obviously make the rounds when I get ready to go there. But it’s very good to know that I won’t have any trouble finding exciting things to do while in the area. What do you think is the most exciting place to visit in this location?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am going to have to say that Hearst Castle is the best place to make sure and visit when in the area, as well as the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. Those are my favorites 🙂 Thanks for visiting Cambria CA.

      Reply
  6. Curtis Henderson

    Perfect, my wife and I are planning heading that way soon to help my son move up to Washington state and we want to do a bunch of stuff on the way up and back. I have not been to Hearst Castle and look forward to doing that. I am also excited to try some of the seafood restaurants you mentioned.
    Thanks for some great information for our next trip.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome Curtis. You are going to have a great trip for sure. If you have any questions, or need any other suggestions, please feel free to ask. Thanks for stopping by and reading about Cambria CA.

      Reply
  7. shalisha alston

    Another great post. Wow, The Enchanted Hill – so nobody lives there? It must cost a fortune to keep it running. I love 70-degree temperature. However, triple-digit weather in the summer is not my thing. I didn’t know California was so vast. Honestly, when I think of California, I think of either Los Angeles or San Francisco! I’m so glad you keep posting about these wonderful getaways. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoy visiting Beach Travel Destinations and reading about all of my different beach travel locations. Central California is so unique from the rest of the state and so beautiful. You won’t find triple digit weather here. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  8. Evan Cruz

    Very informative post Leahrae. You got me with the homemade evening cookies at that J Patrick bed and breakfast place! Those do sound delicious! Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome Evan! Yes, J Patrick is 5 stars for a reason. Wonderful B&B to stay at, and Cambria CA is absolutely beautiful. Glad you enjoyed reading 🙂

      Reply
  9. David

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Cal to visit family and we are definitely going to visit here family members there have told us about cambria and how beautiful it is so we are planning a weekend there while visiting.
    Thank You,
    David

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome David. If you need any additional information, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

      Reply
  10. Tony

    I am also from England. Though it must be a different part of the country than ecocatherine, because I grew up by the beach and it was nowhere near as good as Cambria, California looks.

    What a stunning place! And I am as always highly impressed and very grateful for the array of useful information on this super website.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Tony! I think that Central California is the most beautiful part of the state. The coastline is breathtaking for sure. Thanks for visiting Cambria CA and taking the time to leave comments 🙂

      Reply
  11. Thabo

    Cambria seems like a great place to be. I think I would prefer visiting the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery when I decide to go there since I have never seen or heard of such. It would be interesting.

    Thanx for a great and detailed article about this place in US. Through your site I am learning a lot about great areas in US.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you have enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations and learning about different great beach destinations. You will love central California, and the Elephant Seals are worth seeing for sure! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  12. Daniella

    My son is turning 17 years old and for his birthday, we want to make him a nice surprise. A trip to Cambria CA would be just fantastic! I am sure he will love it! There are so many great activities to do and beautiful beaches, what more could we ask for:)
    Do you have an idea of what clothes to bring? That would help a lot.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I would definitely bring summer time clothes like shorts and tank tops, along with a good pair of shoes for walking/hiking. Also take a light rain jacket just in case a brief rain shower rolls thru. Your son is going to love the surprise! Please let me know if you need any other information. Thanks for visiting Cambria CA.

      Reply
  13. Robert M Doyle

    Another great post! Cambria. I probably drove through there on the way to my Aunts house. My other Aunt and Uncle are near San Fransisco. The Elephant Seal Rookery looks fabulous and adorable! Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I don’t think anyone driving thru the area should miss the Elephant Seal Rookery. They are awesome! This whole area is beautiful, thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  14. ecocatherine

    Wow, this looks just like England. Being a Brit who missis home, it was really nice to see this picture. Looks fantastic. I think I will look into driving there. this would be a better option for the environment and I would see so incredible parts of the country on route. Much cheeper the traveling to England anyway!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh yes! Much cheaper than traveling to England for sure and so beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and reading about Cambria CA.

      Reply

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