Named one of America's prettiest towns by Forbes.com, writers, artists and musicians are among those who are inspired to both visit and reside in this coastal hamlet. Towering Monterey pines and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean also keep visitors coming back year after year. Cambria is charming and quaint, its streets are lined with galleries, restaurants, bakeries, antique shops and gift stores, which keep tourism, the area's largest industry, thriving.
With seasonal averages in the low to mid 60s, Cambria offers a mild climate perfectly suited for those who don't desire extreme weather. With a friendly, small town mentality still intact, it is a thriving family community with an abundance of schools within the Coast Unified School District, ranging from grammar through High School.
Social groups such as the Allied Arts Association, Cambria Garden Club, Cambria Historical Society, the Adult Recreation Center and the Cambria Rotary Club all keep residents busy year-round with interesting events. Downtown's Pewter Playhouse entertains Cambria with live theatre venues.
Moonstone Beach Drive is one of the most popular areas in town boasting a host of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants with first row views of the Pacific. Since it a seaside town, Cambria offers a wide variety of recreational activities including bicycling, hiking and ocean sports. Local beaches offer ample opportunities for kayaking, ocean fishing, surfing and beach walking.
Cambria Pines Lodge, located above the East Village of Cambria, is a one-stop destination for live music, special events and lodging. Sit in the lounge by the large fireplace to hear the sounds of local musicians almost every night. This is one of the area's primary locations, complete with beautiful gardens, used often for weddings, conferences and other special events.
Divided into the older East Village and newer West Village, downtown Cambria runs along Main Street. A number of recommended favorite shops include the following:
One of its more unique points of historic interest is Nitt Witt Ridge, one of California's remarkable twentieth-century folk-art environments, located on a hill high above the downtown area. Created by a Cambrian pioneer, Arthur Harold Beel, he sculpted the land by using hand tools, indigenous materials and self-taught skills.
Perhaps Cambria's largest annual celebration is its historic Pinedorado Days which takes place every Labor Day weekend. Complete with a parade, live music, events for the children, BBQs, an art and car show, it started back in 1949 by the Lions Club as a local fundraiser.
Continuing through town on picturesque Highway 1, Hearst Castle lies only 6 miles up the road. This magnificent estate built by William Randolph Hearst is furnished with collections of Spanish and Italian antiques and art. The surrounding gardens and pools are equally impressive. The picturesque Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, elephant seal rookeries and the world-famous Big Sur Coastline lie just beyond.