Cambria could be the romantic getaway you’ve been hoping for

Quick notes

  • The town is welcoming and relaxing full of shops and cozy accommodations

  • Hearst Castle is one of the most interesting destinations in the area

  • It’s easy to take a beach hike with beautiful ocean views and abundant wildlife

Cambria isn’t as well known to vacationers as some of California’s better-known destinations like San Francisco, Sonoma, or Los Angeles. In some ways, that’s exactly why it is a great place to spend your downtime. The town features ocean views, relaxing shopping, and beautiful hiking trails. There is also plenty to do and see, including one of the most well-known historical homes in the country. If you’re planning a trip there, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Cambria has a rich history

Cambria is located on the ocean in San Luis Obispo County, approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was initially settled by Native Americans and approximately 30,000 people are believed to have lived in the area before Spanish explorers and colonists arrived.

Getting to know Cambria means getting to know the area’s past. Understanding even a small amount of the town’s history adds to the richness of your visit.

The area’s abundant natural resources drew a fair share of settlers in the 18th and 19th century but the area’s population exploded in the mid-1800s when minerals were discovered there. Through the years the area also benefitted from ranching and lumber production. Today the seaside town attracts tourists and visitors who come to enjoy its charm and all the activities that the area has to offer.

It is a beautiful, welcoming town

One of the main attractions of the area for visitors is the town itself which is charming and romantic. It is full of boutiques, restaurants, coffee houses, art galleries, antique stores, and other retailers. There are also restaurants, wine bars, and coffee houses if walking and shopping work up an appetite. Overall, it can be the perfect place to spend a romantic afternoon browsing for California treasures.

Accommodations are luxurious and cozy

While there are many wonderful properties in Cambria, two of them typify the kinds of places vacationers can choose from. The first is The Fogcatcher Inn, a cozy property located just across the street from the area’s famous Moonstone Beach.

Alternatively, the Cambria Pines Lodge provides a range of accommodations throughout 26-acres that also feature organic growing beds and butterfly gardens. Guests here can choose from pine-paneled cabins to bungalows with garden suites and luxury suites.

Cambria can be the perfect place to spend a romantic afternoon browsing for California treasures.

There’s access to beaches and wildlife

One of the most accessible hikes in the area takes visitors through Moonstone Beach. A visit begins by a walk on the boardwalk there and it could continue down by the water where you’ll have access to living tide pools and glimpses of dolphins and whales in the distance.

Visitors looking for more adventure have plenty of other options. The Fiscalini Ranch Preserve begins when the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk ends. It extends through more than 436 acres that include ocean bluffs that become the perfect vantage point for spotting the area’s marine life including migrating whales, elephant seals, ocean birdlife, and sea otters.

A visit to Hearst Castle is time well spent

Pixabay_Bishnu Sirangi

Hearst Castle, slightly out of town in nearby San Simeon, is the former home of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. It is one of the most popular activities in the area — for a good reason. The house is exceptionally preserved with rooms of antiques and stunning luxury that has given it National Historic Landmark status.

There are multiple tours to choose from, but one highlight not to miss is a visit to the indoor swimming pool, known as the Roman Pool. It is designed with 1-inch square mosaic tiles laid out from ceiling to floor.

A deeper dive – Related reading from the 101: