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9 Fun Things To Do in Cambria, California [2024]

Wondering what are the best things to do in Cambria, CA? This quaint seaside village has quite a few attractions to offer. Check them out in this post!

Cambria is a charming coastal village in San Luis Obispo County, located along the scenic Highway 1. It’s mainly known for its spectacularly dramatic coastal and bluff trails, delicious food, and laid-back atmosphere. 

Image of a beach surrounded by rocks and cliffs that are covered in yellow wildflowers, inserted in a post about things to do in Cambria, CA.

It’s a fantastic weekend getaway destination if you’re looking to relax, unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of California’s Central Coast. Keep reading to find out the best things to do in Cambria, CA while you’re there!

How to Get to Cambria 

Cambria is located in San Luis Obispo County, 222 miles (357 km) north of Los Angeles and 232 miles (373 km) south of San Francisco

To get from Los Angeles to Cambria you can take the Amtrak train to San Luis Obispo and from there take the 12 or 12X bus to Cambria, a trip that takes around 9 hours. An alternative is taking a FlixBus or Greyhound bus from LA to San Luis Obispo, and then the 12 or 12X bus to get to Cambria. This journey takes around 8 hours. 

If you’re traveling from San Francisco, you’ll also travel by train or bus to San Luis Obispo, a journey which takes close to 8.5 hours, and from SLO catch the local 12 or 12X bus to Cambria. 

9 Things to do in Cambria, CA 

Stroll around Downtown Cambria

This charming town has a really pretty downtown and main street. You’ll walk past antique stores, restaurants and cafes (pick up a fruit pie at Linn’s Cafe on the way!), galleries, and some of the best Cambria shops. Even if you’re not buying anything you’ll be pleased by the sights and smells as you stroll around. 

Image by agil73 via DepositPhotos

If you plan on buying some souvenirs, see if you can find some original and unique gifts at Antiques on Main, Granny Had One Antiques, or Rich Man Poor Man Antiques, all of them on Main Street.

If you’re more into art or collectibles, you can check out Amphora Gallery and Artifacts Gallery. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Ephraim Pottery to be wowed by their gorgeous, handmade creations. 

Visit Cambria Historical Museum

While in Downtown, pop by Cambria Historical Museum, housed in one of the oldest houses of the area. The Guthrie-Bianchini House was built in 1870 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the legend the first owner of the house, a man named Benjamin Franklin, was actually related to another very famous Benjamin Franklin…

If that’s not Cambria history enough, wander around the museum’s interior. There you’ll find out how the town looked like all those years ago through historical photos. Learn about Cambria’s past through the exhibits, and satisfy your curiosities and doubts with the museum’s docents.

You can also enjoy the self-guided historical tour of Cambria, developed by the Historical Society. If you were wondering what to do in Cambria to get a sense of its history, this is it!

Head to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

What is there to do in Cambria, besides wandering downtown? Visiting Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, of course! 

Image of a wooden boardwalk flanked by small bushes and with a beach below it for strolling, one of the best things to do in Cambria CA

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve offers unique and awe-inspiring natural surroundings, from ocean bluffs to a marine terrace, and many trails. There’s also a forested ridge which is one of the best places for whale watching in Cambria.

In fact, one of the most outstanding activities you can enjoy at Fiscalini Ranch is walking the Bluff Trail, which presents beautiful scenery for your exercise. It’s among the best Cambria attractions, so don’t miss it!

Have Fun at Moonstone Beach 

Moonstone Beach Cambria is among the best beaches in Central California. Its best attribute is a dramatic coastline with cliffs, which is one of the most gorgeous things to see in Cambria.

There’s also a mile-long boardwalk for you to stroll with unbeatable views, and tide pools where you can meet the prettiest sea creatures (remember to interact with them responsibly!). 

You can also find agates, especially after a storm (hence the beach name!) The best location for tide pooling is the northeast end of Moonstone Beach Drive. It’s wise to check the tides before going to make sure you visit during the lowest tide.    

Other beaches near Cambria include Pirate’s Cove Beach in Avila Beach, Hearst Memorial Beach in San Simeon, and Morro Strand State Beach at Morro Bay

Go Wine Tasting in Downtown Cambria…

Cambria is home to several tasting rooms that offer the ultimate wine activity. (That is drinking, by the way!) You can organize your own self-guided tasting tour by visiting the different cellars in the area. 

▶️ Moonstone Cellars, in Cambria’s West Village, is a great place to start, and it features a courtyard where you can enjoy a glass of wine after the tasting. You can also buy a bottle (or bottles) of your favorite wines. 

▶️ Next, head to Black Hand Cellars, which is merely a block from Moonstone, and where you’ll get to enjoy delicious red blends. 

▶️ Cayucos Cellars, located on Main Street, is family-owned and ferments its wines only using wild yeast. 

If you still have it in you to drink one more glass, finish the tour at Fermentations, situated a couple of blocks from Cayucos Cellars, and where you’ll get to enjoy great gourmet food with your drinks. 

If you’d rather have the food in you before the tasting begins (a wise call if you ask me) you can reverse the order of the tour

…Or Better Yet, Tour the Vineyards!

San Luis Obispo County is famous, among other things, for its wine. There are hundreds of wineries all over the county, and the best place to tour the vineyards and get to taste the different wines is the nearby town of Paso Robles. 

Wine tasting is one of the best things to do in Cambria, so the only acceptable excuse to miss it is that you don’t actually drink! 

Since driving there wouldn’t be too clever, the best way to enjoy the activity is to join a wine-tasting tour. 

➤ The Semi-Private Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tasting Tour allows you to choose the wineries you’d like to visit out of a list of more than 70. You’ll be dropped off at the first winery for your tour and tasting experience, and when you’re ready to leave hop on the van and get to the next one. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

➤ With Paso Robles Wine Adventure you’ll get to tour 4 wineries with fellow wine-enthusiasts in a small-size group, which ensures intimacy and a more personalized experience, and enjoy a complimentary picnic lunch. The tour includes pick-up from your hotel. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

Marvel at Nitt Witt Ridge

If you were wondering what to see in Cambria to be wowed, that’s Nitt Witt Ridge, a spectacular historical landmark. The house sits on a hillside where his owner, artist Arthur Harold Beal, spent 50 years carving out the terrace using only a shovel and a pick

Image by jovannig vía DepositPhotos

The house is partly built with materials such as car rims, beer cans, washer drums, and abalone shells. You can get a 40-minute tour around the place for a suggested donation of 10 dollars.  

Take a Day Trip to San Simeon 

The town of San Simeon is only 9 miles north of Cambria and features two magnificent attractions you shouldn’t miss. The drive from Cambria to San Simeon takes a little over 10 minutes, so get behind the wheel and hit the road!

Visit Hearst Castle 

Visiting Hearst Castle is one of the best things to do near Cambria. The spectacular estate was built between 1919 and 1947 for William Randolph Hearst, designed in the Mediterranean Revival style.

The house is now a museum, and its grand rooms, library, kitchen, cottage, and gardens can be toured. 

The most sought-after attraction at Hearst Castle is probably the Neptune Pool. The impressive outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by statues, fountains, marble pavilions, and a Roman temple facade. The indoor pool is just as magnificent. 

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

After touring Hearst Castle head to the elephant seal rookery to see these fantastic animals sunbathing on the sand and playing with each other. If you visit during January, May, or October you may get to witness some births! 

It’s one of the cutest things to do around Cambria, along with meeting the Sea Otters at Morro Bay

Visit the Friends of the Elephant Seal Center for some information about them, or to buy some souvenirs! You can also see the elephant seals through a live cam on their website to get ready for your visit. 

Ride Horses at Covell Clydesdale Ranch 

Looking for the most fun thing to do in Cambria? Look no further. If you enjoy horseback riding you’ll be thrilled at the chance of riding the gorgeous, giant Clydesdale horses during your trip to Cambria. 

Both the rides and the ranch tours are booked only by appointment, so be sure to check out their website and call them to book your spot. 

Eat at These Cambria Restaurants

There are fantastic restaurants in Cambria, so finding delicious food for every day of your stay is going to be very easy. Below are some of the utmost eateries, but you can’t really go wrong with the other options you’ll find in town.

▶️ Linn’s Easy as Pie Cafe is one of the must places to visit in Cambria. The cafe bakes the best handmade olallieberry pies in the area, and you’ll also find traditional bakery goodies and lunch meals such as soups, salads, and sandwiches. 

▶️ Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill is right on the beach and features an oceanfront patio with incredible views. The restaurant uses locally-grown ingredients for all the meals, which are mainly seafood and grilled dishes. 

▶️ The Hidden Kitchen offers organic, vegetarian, and gluten-free meals, and it’s a favorite spot for breakfast. The restaurant’s specialty is the blue corn waffle served in savory and sweet variants. 

Where to Stay in Cambria

If you’re planning to remain in the area for a few days, check out the best hotels in Cambria to make your stay pleasurable. 

Boutique Hotel: White Water – This 3-star accommodation is one of the best Cambria hotels. It features stylish decor, ample and well-lit bedrooms, and fantastic views of the ocean from its main areas. The hotel is close to the beach and offers daily breakfast delivery to the room.

Mid-Range: Sea Otter Inn – This pet-friendly hotel features a heated outdoor pool and a hot tub amidst lush gardens, and country-style rooms with a fireplace, microwave, fridge, and TV. A daily continental breakfast is included with the stay. 

Mid-Range: Olallieberry Inn Bed & Breakfast – This B&B’s rooms include a fireplace, antique furnishings, and a private bathroom which may come with a bathtub. A 3-course breakfast is included with the stay, and so is a daily wine reception with Hors D’oeuvres on the sundeck. 

On a Budget: Sand Pebbles Inn – This beachfront inn offers rooms with a view, a fireplace, and simple but elegant furniture. The spaces are big and luminous and a microwave, coffee maker, and fridge are available. Moonstone Beach is only a block away from the inn. 

Things to Do in Cambria FAQ

Does Cambria have a downtown?

Yes! Cambria does have a downtown where you can find everything from restaurants to antique shops, bicycle rentals, galleries, wine cellars that offer tastings and even a micro-brewery. 

What is there to do in downtown Cambria?

In Downtown, you can check out the Historical Museum, go on a self-guided wine tasting tour, go shopping in Cambria for souvenirs at the antique stores, and enjoy the delicious fruit pies from Linn’s Easy as Pie Cafe. 

Is it worth to visit Cambria?

Yes! Cambria is a beautiful seaside village with delicious seafood, the most astounding Cambria beach in California, cliffs, and plenty of activities to enjoy outdoors. It’s a great weekend getaway destination!

What is Cambria known for?

Cambria is known for its dramatic coastline, its many antique shops, and delicious seafood. Cambria is also home to historical buildings and great architecture, as well as fantastic natural surroundings. 

Is Cambria or Morro Bay better?

Cambria and Morro Bay are two gorgeous coastal towns in California’s Central Coast, and while they both boast great beaches they offer different attractions. Morro Bay is a better choice if you want to surf or hike a volcanic plug, while Cambria offers relaxing activities and it’s fantastic for couples getaways and people looking for some quiet time in astounding surroundings. 

How far is Cambria from Paso Robles?

Cambria is 31 miles (50 km) from Paso Robles. The drive takes around 40 minutes. 

  • Virginia Bello

    Virginia is a writer originally from Montevideo, Uruguay. She left her career as a TV Producer to gain more freedom and never looked back. She's been traveling the world full-time ever since! Virginia has traveled extensively through Latin America, Europe and Asia. You can currently find her gallivanting through Southeast Asia.