As you may recall, I spent a week in Cambria last month. After a crazy and stressful start to the year it was a much-needed break, and I’m so thankful I was able to recharge my batteries in such a beautiful place. Though I really just needed some down time, I was also very productive creatively. I completed three art projects, redlined my novel draft, took tons of photos, and enjoyed some local attractions. Nice!
If you’re not familiar with Cambria, it’s a small coastal town in Central California. North of San Luis Obispo and south of Monterey, Cambria’s slogan “Pines by the Sea” is very appropriate. The scenery is gorgeous, and pine trees do abound. The scenery in and around Cambria is an incredibly beautiful combination of mountain, country, and beach-y elements. It’s heavenly!
Cambria is a quiet town with population under 7,000, so if you’re into nightlife and a fast-paced vibe you’ll need to go elsewhere. However, if you’re looking to relax, slow down, and enjoy a gorgeous piece of California, Cambria is for you. Cambria may be a two-day destination for many, but if you’re an artist or a nature lover, the way I am, you’ll be able to pass a happy week – or more – in this charming town.
I went to the beach nearly every day, and took photos as far north as San Simeon Cove. Moonstone Beach is my favorite, though. With gorgeous beaches and wildlife (I saw birds, seals, and ground squirrels), it’s a real treat. I made sure to visit Moonstone Beach for a sunset, and wasn’t disappointed. It was stunning! (The photo at the very top of this post was taken at Moonstone Beach)
San Simeon Cove
San Simeon Pier
Rock formations at Moonstone Beach
Sunset at Moonstone Beach
Cambria is full of darling shops, and makes for a great day or two of shopping if you’re interested in some retail therapy. Some of the stores I shopped at included:
Red Moose Cookie Company – Yum! Their “Cinnful” cookies and “Naughty Rods” are particularly fabulous. I also liked and purchased the “Oh Joy” cookies.
A Matter of Taste – a great store for foodies
All the antique stores in town! I found two great vintage photos, including one of an incredibly dirty and rumpled little girl. Most of the people in old-time portraits look carefully primped and dressed, so she piqued my interest. Price? $1, so I had to adopt her!
*Bonus shopping experience: I was lucky enough to be in town for the big, twice-yearly thrift store event put on by Community Presbyterian Church, and got a bag full of art supplies (and two framed pieces of art) for $13 – major score! Some of the things I bought (like fabric squares & playing cards) will be included in the art supply kits for this fall’s art journaling class. I think finding inexpensive supplies for my students made me happiest of all!
There are several great places to eat in Cambria, but two of my favorites are definitely Robin’s and the Sea Chest Oyster Bar & Restaurant.
Robin’s Salmon Bisque is scrumptious, and so was the garlic bread and Lemon Poppyseed Cheesecake.
When I went to the Sea Chest for dinner I had some oysters, calamari (the best calamari I’ve ever had – the Sea Chest is the only place I’ll eat calamari), and garlic bread. So good!
In addition to the wildlife along the coast, I saw horses and cows (in the hills outside town), deer, a wild turkey, tree squirrels, woodpeckers and egrets. Though I live in the city I think I’m a country girl at heart, so seeing all these critters was a real treat for me! Many of the trees in Cambria were draped with a soft green moss, and I was bewitched by the sight.
A ground squirrel at Moonstone Beach
A flower I photographed at the local nursery
One of the moss-draped trees
I didn’t go to Heart Castle during this visit, but fondly remember my visit in 1998 and definitely recommend a visit. I hope to get there again on a future visit, as there are different tours and hubby and I only saw a small little bit of the property.
I did see some of the Hearst’s “residents” on this trip, though – I saw five zebras on the Hearst acreage as I zoomed past on Highway 1. What beautiful animals…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at some of my photos from Cambria. Please let me know if you have any questions – at present I personally answer each and every comment posted and would be happy to hear from you.