Situated between rugged seashore and pine-clad hills, Cambria is a beautiful Oceanside city located half-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast of California just four miles south of the famous historic landmark Hearst Castle. Cambria is 3 1/2 to 4 hours drive from Los Angeles, and has so much to offer for families.
Things to Do in Cambria With Kids
Moonstone Beach - On this amazing beach, not only you can find shells, driftwood, jade, but also Cambria moonstones. This beach is also perfect for exploring tide pools. If you drive to the north end of Moonstone Beach Drive and park at the little park where the road goes back onto Highway 1, you can find a more secluded beach. From the parking area, head north a few hundred feet and you will find some old stairs leading down to the beach. You will have the joy of solitude on an uncrowded beach, but also you have a better chance of finding gem quality moonstones.
Moonstone Drive – take a walk along the beach and see the ocean and plants without getting your feet sandy. The sunsets are beautiful and the views breathtaking.
East Village - Cambria's East Village features cute Victorian structures, shops, galleries, and restaurants. The shops are locally owned for the most part, unique, generally high quality, and offer a wide range of merchandise.
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve - Fiscalini is one of the most beautiful walks you'll probably ever experience in your life! You can walk the entire length of the bluffs or you can walk only a portion of it. Once you're on the bluffs, you'll experience a 180-degree view of the ocean right in front of you. There are lots of squirrels running around, beautiful flowers, and there are some really cool benches made out of driftwood, that you can sit and listen to the ocean and watch the waves with your family. We suggest to take water with you.
Leffingwell Landing - This is a great place for exploring tide pools, watching otters, and maybe dolphins as they play in the Pacific Ocean. The parking is close by and easy access to tidepools. There are also picnic tables and restrooms at Leffingwell Landing, making it a perfect spot to have a family picnic.
Piedras Blancas Light Station - Piedras Blancas Light Station provides a glimpse into our nation's past when lighthouses served a vital role in maritime navigation. Today it is managed as a historic park and wildlife sanctuary. Tours are offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning year-round. Summer season, June 15 - August 31, tours are offered every morning except Sundays and Wednesdays.
The original lighthouse keepers cottage, that once stood at Piedras Blancas Light Station, is also available as a vacation rental in Cambria. Located in the Moonstone Beach area, the 1906 keepers cottage has been lovingly restored. For more information or to reserve the cottage, click here: Victorian Lightkeepers Cottage. The cottage is a 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, and sleeps 6, and is only available for minimum of 4 nights. You will be touched by the charm and grace of this beautifully restored ocean-view Victorian. Wood floors, authentic antiques, ocean view, and many other special touches add to the romance of this immaculate and spacious landmark home.
Horseback riding – Horseback riding is available throughout Cambria. You can go horseback riding with the family along the beach with beautiful scenic ranch & oceans views, or take them inland through the wooded areas for a relaxing, shady ride.
Covell Ranch – Covell ranch is a family friendly ranch. At the ranch, you can ride a Clydesdale, or tour the farm by vehicle. They are entirely family owned and operated and have 2,000 acres of the beautiful endangered Monterey Pine Forest and rolling California hills. Covell Ranch is open Monday through Saturday. Trailrides are available at 9 am and 3 pm, and vehicle tours at 12 pm. They are by reservations only, and you can reserve by calling or texting 805-975-7332.
The vehicle tours vary on style and cost depending on your group size and start at $40 per person, and children 12 and under are free. You can also have a vehicle tour with lunch starting at $50 per person. The tours last about 2 hours and take you across the property of 2,000 acres of both Monterey Pine Forest and open pastures with gorgeous ocean views.
Clydesdale Horse back riding is $100-$120 per rider depending on the season, and lasts about two hours!
Shamel Park - Located right next to the beach, Shamel’s six-acre park is a wonderful place to recreate. Shamel Park offers easy beach access, two group day-use areas, a gazebo, playing field, horseshoes, a children’s play area and a heated, ADA-compliant swimming pool. The park is located at 5455 Windsor St., Cambria,CA 93428.
Nitt Witt Ridge – This house is a very interesting historic structure that you must see while in Cambria. The house looks like a castle and is made out of beach debris and natural items that people had thrown out. The house is designed, sculpted and built by one man, Art Beal, and is considered one of the finest examples of Folk Art. Nitt Witt Ridge is located at 881 Hillcrest Dr, Cambria, CA 93428-2801, and it is open for tours between 10 am and 4 pm.
Hearst Castle - From experiencing what life was like as a guest of W. R. Hearst to exploring his personal collection of rare and ancient work of art, encounter the majesty and beauty of this historical treasure first-hand with a guided Hearst Castle tour. You can reserve tickets on line or by calling 1-800-444-4445. Tickets are usually $25 for adults and $12 for kids (but may vary depending on the type of tour). There is an $8.00 per ticket registration fee to reserve tickets. Different tours are offered daily from different areas of the castle, and are 1 hour or 75 minutes long.
For families, we highly recommend "The Accessibly Designed Grand Rooms Tour", which is 60 minutes long and provides a glimpse into the life of a guest of W.R. Hearst. This tour is wheelchair/stroller accessible and is also designed for visitors who have difficulty climbing up and down stairs, or who cannot stand or walk for lengths of time. Tour highlights include Assembly Room, Refectory, Billiard Room, Theater, Gardens, Neptune Pool, and Roman Pool. Reservations strongly encouraged. (The Hearts Castle is temporarily closed due to COVID-19).
Cambria Farmer’s Market – The Farmer’s Market offers a multitude of fruits, flowers, and vegetables grown on farms and orchards throughout Central California. Fresh baked goods, pies, BBQ, and many other gourmet items add to the culinary fun. The Farmer’s Market are on Fridays from 2:30 pm – 5 pm, and is located at Veterans' Memorial Hall Parking lot, Cambria, CA 93428.
Montello Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Room - if you are traveling with older kids, this is a very fun experience. Owners Lorraine Montello and her son have always believed that fresh California olive oil and aged Italian balsamic vinegar should be accessible, fun to learn about, and easy to enjoy, so they designed a better oil and vinegar tasting room experience that’s all about you. With free daily offerings that include complimentary bread, you are encouraged to ask questions and experiment with the provided pairing suggestions. They are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and located at 784 Main St., Suite E, Cambria, California 93428.
Where to Eat In Cambria
Linn's Restaurant - Opt for American food at its best at Linn's Restaurant. Linn's has an extensive menu and you can find something delicious for any member of the family. They are also famous for their pot pies, and fruit pies. Linn's is located at 2277 Main Street, Cambria California, and is open daily for breakfast, bakery, lunch, and dinner from 8am to 9pm.
Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill - Located on a beautiful stretch of Moonstone Beach, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill provides an ideal setting for a delicious breakfast, lunch, and Specializing in American-style seafood, the restaurant serves steak, lamb and chicken dishes using locally-grown and freshly prepared ingredients. The restaurant is located at 6550 Moonstone Beach Dr. Cambria, CA.
Old Stone Station - Old Stone is an American Tavern in an old gas station, which has a very family friendly atmosphere, with an awesome kids' menu that consists of chicken strips, steak, hamburger, fish and chips, and more. Old Stone Station is located at 713 Main Street, Cambria, CA 93428.
French Corner Bakery - If you are looking for quality bread, pastry, sandwiches, and delightful treats for the entire family the French Corner is the place to stop and enjoy. French Corner Bakery is open 7 days a week from 6:30am to 6:00pm, and is located at 2214 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428.
Indigo Moon Restaurant - Indigo Moon Restaurant is a country chic restaurant that’s neither stuffy nor phony, and serves hearty sandwiches, salads and soups. You can dine at the indoor tables or relax at an outdoor patio or comfy lawn chairs on a grassy, shaded lawn in back. Indigo Moon Restaurant is located at 1980 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428, and serves lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch.
Robin’s Restaurant - Robin’s features handcrafted comfort cuisine with an array of international flavors made from farmers' market fresh ingredients. Housed in a restored adobe home in the historic East Village of Cambria, Robin’s is a favorite with families for its warm hospitality, cozy atmosphere and charming gardens. Robin's Restaurant is located at 4095 Burton Drive, Cambria, CA 93428.
Click here to find more Restaurants in Cambria.
Where to Stay in Cambria
Oceanpoint Ranch Cambria - At Oceanpoint Ranch, you can find the art of simple living right on the majestic shores of Moonstone Beach. Stretching across 9 seaside acres, experience the ultimate R&R at the all new Moonstone Beach hotel. The ranch-chic hotel rooms are designed in animal prints with beautifully restored vaulted wood ceilings and rich leather accents. This hotel features family-friendly lawn games like cornhole, horseshoes, and croquet, a private beach trail, heated pool, and a room games. It also has a private trail to the beach, and families can s'mores at night. This hotel is our number one choice with kids. The hotel is located at 7200 Moonstone Beach Dr., Cambria, CA 93428.
Cambria Pines Lodge - Nestled amid a magical landscape, Cambria Pines Lodge provides a wide variety of accommodations in a picturesque setting. Encompassing a breathtaking 25 acres of world-class gardens and Monterey pine forest, this hotel features spacious rooms and suites, a therapeutic day spa, sparkling outdoor heated pool, soothing hot tub, and a garden. The Cambria Pines Lodge is located at 2905 Burton Dr., Cambria, California 93428.
Fireside Inn - Situated just steps from Moonstone Beach, this oceanfront hotel offers a heated pool and spa, complimentary Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast every morning. They also offer 25% off your stay between 5/1/19 thru 9/30/19, plus a free canvas beach tote at check-in, while supplies last. Fireside Inn is located at 6316 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA 93428.
El Colibri Cambria - located moments away from Moonstone Beach, and Hearst Castle, this luxury hotel offers gorgeous Tuscan-inspired architecture and luxury rooms & suites. This hotel accepts furry friends up to 40 pounds for a $40 pet fee. They also offer one bedroom suites with separate living Area with a mini refrigerator.