If you have ever been on Highway 1 between Northern and Southern California, you have been by the little town of Cambria. Most drive right past this somewhat obscured gem over and over again, myself included. In researching places we could visit within driving distance, we settled on the Central Coast and Cambria, being local to most sights, became our home base.
Sometimes people equate small towns with boring, sleepy places. Cambria is nothing like that. The size lends itself to a cozy atmosphere with friendly locals and a homey feel. Just strolling down the sidewalk and peeking into the modest shops along the street was so nice. My daughter even commented that she did not want to leave and that this was a great place to be. Quite an unexpected reaction from an almost preteen girl. It just goes to show that Cambria is very unique in the ambiance it creates.
While there are some stores aimed toward tourists, others were just plain charming. I finally found the perfect gift for my mother and her husband at a shop called Heart’s Ease (they were watching our dog, Speckles, after all). It looked like a tiny one-room house but, as we walked through various bends, it seemed to never end. When it did we found ourselves in a sunny backyard garden with soothing chimes ringing away.
The downtown area is divided into East and West but it’s basically one long street with a few cute areas to each side. There were a few restaurants but nothing really stood out enough taste-wise to recommend. Oh, as you explore, don’t forget to see the original lens of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse that is on display.
One of the best things about Cambria? It’s location. What better way to unwind than to hop over to Moonstone Beach and enjoy the beautiful sunset?!
While you won’t find pricey amusement parks or a flashy night life (everything closes by 6 or 9pm), you will find yourself actually enjoying a much needed vacation and counting the days to when you can return.