Best Things to Do in Cambria

Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you its choice of the best things to do in Cambria, including beaches, museums, vineyards, shopping, and Hearst Castle.

Cambria-Main-Street-5.jpgCambria's Main Street

We always try to plan at least one stop in Cambria whenever we're driving the Pacific Coast Highway. It's become one of our favorite places. There isn't a lot to do, which is part of its charm, but there's always enough to fill a day or two of your time.

From its rugged coastline to its charming downtown, Cambria offers a variety of activities that cater to all types of travelers. Here are the best things to do in Cambria that you should try not to miss.

Best Things to Do in Cambria

Hearst-Castle-daytime-Pixabay.jpgHearst Castle near Cambria in California

First on the list has to be Hearst Castle, which is a 15-minute drive north of the town. This grand estate, built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, is a testament to opulence and grandeur. In 1919, Hearst enlisted the services of architect Julia Morgan to design and oversee the construction of the estate.

The construction of Hearst Castle spanned several decades, from 1919 to 1947. Julia Morgan, the first female architect licensed in California, worked closely with Hearst to bring his vision to life. The estate includes a main house, several guesthouses, and numerous other structures.

hearst-castle-evening-tours-6.jpgA Hearst Castle evening tour with actors playing the roles of guests

The castle boasts 165 rooms filled with priceless art and antiques. The guided tours offer a glimpse into Hearst's lavish lifestyle. There's a wide range of tours, which focus on different things, including a wonderful evening tour. Hearst Castle, 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA. More info at: and also see our own Hearst Castle page.

For nature lovers, the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is a must-see attraction. This 437-acre preserve offers miles of trails for hiking and biking, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The preserve is also home to diverse wildlife, making it a great spot for bird watching.

The preserve is owned and managed by the Cambria Community Services District as a community-driven effort aimed at preserving the natural beauty of the area for both residents and visitors. More info at:

Cambria-Historical-Museum.pngCambria Historical Museum

Next, take a stroll through the Cambria Historical Museum. Housed in an 1870s home, the museum offers a fascinating look into Cambria's past.

The museum's collections include a wide range of historical items, such as artifacts from the early settlement period, memorabilia from local businesses, photographs documenting the town's development, and exhibits highlighting key events and individuals in Cambria's history.

The museum's garden is also a delight, especially when the flowers are in bloom. Cambria Historical Museum, 2251 Center St, Cambria, CA. More info at:

Cambria-Moonstone-Beach.jpgStones on Cambria's Moonstone Beach

Moonstone Beach is another must-visit spot in Cambria. Named for its smooth, moonstone-like pebbles, the beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic. Don't forget to check out the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, which offers great views of the coastline. Moonstone Beach, Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA. More info at:

For a unique shopping experience, head to the Cambria Village. This charming downtown area is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. It's the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or enjoy a leisurely lunch. Cambria Village, Main St, Cambria, CA. More info at:

Cambria-Center-for-the-Arts.pngJewelry-making at Cambria Center for the Arts

Art enthusiasts shouldn't miss the Cambria Center for the Arts. This community-based organization hosts art exhibitions, theater performances, and workshops. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the local art scene. Cambria Center for the Arts, 1350 Main St, Cambria, CA. More info at:

If you're a wine lover, a visit to the Stolo Vineyards is a must. This family-owned winery offers tastings of their award-winning wines, all while you enjoy the beautiful vineyard views. Stolo Vineyards, 3776 Santa Rosa Creek Rd, Cambria, CA. More info at:

For a bit of outdoor adventure, try the Leffingwell Landing State Park. This park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and a beach.

Depending on the season, Leffingwell Landing can be a good location for whale watching. Gray whales, humpback whales, and other marine life can sometimes be spotted offshore during their migrations. Leffingwell Landing, Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA. More info at:

Cambria-Nit-Wit-Ridge-2.jpgNitt Witt Ridge in Cambria

Nitt Witt Ridge is one of Cambria's quirkiest attractions, frequently called the poor man's Hearst Castle. It was the creation of Arthur Harold Beal, also known as Art Beal. Beal was a garbage collector and a self-taught artist who spent over 50 years constructing the site.

Art Beal began building Nitt Witt Ridge in the early 1920s and continued working on it until the 1970s. Much of the construction was done using found materials, recycled objects, and items salvaged from the nearby area.

Nitt Witt Ridge is an example of outsider art and features a hodgepodge of unconventional building materials, including beer cans, abalone shells, car parts, and other discarded items.

The structures are adorned with folk art sculptures and decorations. Tours are not available but you can go take a look from outside. To get more information visit the Cambria Historical Society's website. Nitt Witt Ridge, 881 Hillcrest Dr, Cambria, CA.

Last but not least, indulge in some local cuisine. Cambria is home to many excellent restaurants that serve fresh, locally sourced food. For a true taste of Cambria, try the Sea Chest Oyster Bar (cash-only but ATM onsite) or the Black Cat Bistro.

Plate-of-food-at-Sea-Chest-Oyster-Bar-Cambria.pngThere's more than just oysters at the Sea Chest Oyster Bar

Cambria offers a mix of cultural experiences, fun things to do, and must-see attractions. Whether you're into hiking, biking, exploring Cambria's museums and galleries, or simply enjoying the beautiful coastline, there's something for everyone in this appealing little town

Our Cambria pages

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