On a recent trip along the beautiful California Central Coast on our way to Hearst Castle, we decided to make Cambria our way-station to fill our empty stomachs. As we pulled off Highway 1, Pacific Coast Highway, onto Cambria's Main Street, we knew we had arrived in a very special place.
The terms "quaint" and "charming" must have been invented to describe Cambria. It is halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, sort of isolated, rural, and restful. On one side of Highway 1 is the Pacific Ocean and Moonstone Beach, as lovely as its name implies, while the other side is the small seaside village of Cambria, with towering pines backing up to hills, about 6 miles south of Hearst Castle and 20 miles north of Morro Bay.
It's a great place to "get away" for a quiet, romantic weekend. If you are a painter or a photographer, there are many fine scenic sites and great sunsets over the ocean. There is a variety of styles and types of accommodations, from hotels to bed-and-breakfasts.
Also in the area are unique restaurants, such as Linn's Bakery Cafe, Sea Chest and Oyster Bar, and Sow's Ear. Art galleries and antiques shops abound. Hand-painted, -made, and -styled arts and crafts can be found at the many boutique shops on Main Street.
South of the village are about 20 wineries and beautiful rolling vineyards where you can visit and taste their harvest. Several stores in town offer local wines and cheeses for tasting. A farmers’ market is held every Friday at 2:30pm at Vet's Hall parking lot on Main Street.
Other activities in the area include live theater performances at the historical Pewter Plough Playhouse, searching for shells at the beach, and an eclectic house made of "found material" called Nit Wit Ridge.
Between the charm of a small town with pine-covered hills and the Pacific Ocean surf, Cambria has it all for a great place to escape.