Despite the nonexistence of casinos, big box stores, fast food, a red light district, theme park, or Saturday night cruz, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Cambria. If you are an artist, nature lover, musician, foodie, adventurer, animal lover, or outdoor person, you’ll love the Cambria walking and bicycle scene.
Cambria, is a socialist walking utopia. Cambrian’s believe everyone deserves universal walking benefits. Cambria adheres to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Walking Needs, i.e. plenty of public bathrooms, public drinking fountains, public space and public benches. If you believe these public items create a welfare state don’t worry there are plenty of shops, a gym, and hotels where a person can pay to poop, drink water, walk and pay to rest their weary body. WELFARE WALKING THE STORY
The author has explored all the following recommend attractions by foot or bicycle. His home base is the Bridge Street Inn located on Bridge Street in the East Village.
Many Cambria restaurants serve dishes made with local ingredients. Here’s a list of restaurants that pride themselves on serving up a local eating experience.
Creative meets local. International inspiration collides with the season’s bounty.
-Indigo Moon Cafe
Serving delicious house-made meals, extravagant wines, and eclectic cheeses.
-Black Cat Bistro
The Black Cat is known for serving Innovative Farm Fresh Fare.
Asian, Pacific Rim & Global Cuisine
Simple fare, built around fresh fruits and vegetables from area farms.
-The Sea Chest Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Serving fresh seafood for over thirty years.
-Cambria Pines Lodge
Enjoy home grown garden salads, live music, a lounge and food served till 11PM.
Cambria is located between 2 amazing music cities: San Francisco and Los Angles. It’s no surprise then that Cambria too has a music scene.
-Wise Owl a gathering place for the of art and soul…
-Cambria Ale House frequently show cases singer song writers and has open mic every 3rd Sunday.
-Mozzi’s Saloon offers a live dancing band every Saturday night.
-Cambria Pine Lodge has live entertainment 7 nights a week.
-Los Cambritas’s dishes up huge burritos and has a dancing band on Sundays.
HIKING, BEACH and NATURE:
You would think with a population of 6,000 Cambria’s public space would consist of a dirt lot with a squat toilet and some hand sanitizer. Not so, Cambria has amazing hiking areas. Some trails are developed with benches, boardwalks, and handicap accessibility. Other trails are dirt paths that take you to places in Cambria where you are completely alone and isolated even during tourist season. A hiker need not worry about bladder infections or dehydration. Strategically placed through out Cambria are 5 public restrooms with water fountains.
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve: Catch the West Fiscalini Ranch Preserve trail system 3 blocks from the BSI.
Moonstone Beach: 30 acres, includes Leffingwell Landing, Moonstone Beach Drive, and Santa Rosa Creek.
Shamel Park: On Windsor Boulevard North, Park Hill, in Cambria is a 6-acre County Park with a playing field, swimming pool (open in season), barbeques, picnic tables and a children’s play area.
The Bridge Street Inn Cemetery is a mile walk along forested Bridge Street road. The living feel welcomed with amenities like guests restrooms, picnic tables, water, and plenty of art. Guests leave the cemetery feeling even more alive.
Greenspace Creekside Reserve: This property was once Cambria ’s historical “Chinese Center,” the social focus for workers who harvested seaweed and abalone for shipment back to China, or worked in local quicksilver (mercury) mines in the mountains.
San Simeon State Beach: In 1994, a 3.3 mile trail was constructed encircling portions of the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Washburn Campground. The trail includes scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. A portion of the trail along the seasonal wetland is wheelchair accessible. Free summer trolley and bus service from Cambria.
Surfline Magazine has this to say about surfing in Cambria, “A reliable source for finding something ridable if the Cayucos Pier sucks, or if the San Simeon area is too funky.”
Santa Rosa Creek surf
Not everyone gets ready for vacation by strapping their queen size bed on top of their mini van or buckles their cherry tomato plant into the front seat of their Honda. The good folks in Cambria realize you can’t bring all your worldly possessions on vacation. Fortunately the Bridge Street Inn offers queen size beds and it’s within walking distance of a grocery store that sells cherry tomatoes. Beginning this month Cambria offers a new service to the visiting guest, BICYCLE RENTALS.
Cambrian resident Dan along with Wally’s Bicycle Rentals offer a free delivery service anywhere in Cambria. Renting a bicycle is simple. The Bridge Street Inn guest calls Dan the night before their bike ride. In the morning Dan will drop off the bicycle at the Bridge Street Inn tuned, lubed and ready for that day’s adventure. Bicycle rates vary according to how many days and hours rented.
For the bicycle rider who loves leisurely rides that involve world class scenery and local culture Cambria’s location will amaze.
Santa Rosa Creek Road for the Skilled
Santa Rosa Creek starts in Cambria and meanders through the farm and ranch land of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The one lane windy road ends near the top of the highway 46 pass. Old Creek Road picks up on the other side of 46. Follow the road into Cayucos then take Highway 1 back to Cambria. This 42.2 mile loop is not for the laid back beach cruiser cyclist. Click here for loop details.
SANTA ROSA CREEK ROAD FOR THE CAREFREE
The carefree Santa Rosa Creek adventure does not involve walking your bicycle or wearing padded shorts. The first 5 miles of Santa Rose Creek Road takes a cyclist through rolling farm/ranch land along a tree lined single lane road. Besides the beautiful natural landscape there’s plenty of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, raptors, horses, old farm houses, and barns to look at. Be careful a good looking pig can prove as distracting as texting.
Linn’s Original Farmstore is 5 miles up the road. Linn’s offers individual fruit pies and drinks. Linn’s will only serve their pies on disposable wear. This problem is easily solved by bringing a small camping plate and fork. The farmstore provides shade trees and tables. A perfect place to play cribbage.
On the way back into town stop by Stolo Family Winery and Tasting Room. This is the last stop before Cambria. It’s located only a couple miles out of town. Despite not having bike racks I felt comfortable leaning my bicycle against the building. A tasting costs $5. The tasting room has a wonderful open feel. Near the entrance facing west there are several chairs and tables, an ideal spot to soak up some sun rays, write a poem and watch the sunset. The Stolo family is a nontraditional family. No, two women do not head this family nor two kissing cousins. Instead, two members of the Stolo family are goats. Chet and Betty are fun to pet while drinking wine.
The Hearst Experience
Many parts of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur are shoulderless, steep and narrow. A bicycle rider should not pedal through Big Sur if they pedal erratically, curse god when they break a sweat or do not have the mental capacity to handle near death scrapes with inexperienced RV renters. However the ease of the 7 mile stretch of Highway 1 between Cambria and the Hearst Castle might be the section of PCH pavement for you.
The one small hill allows the inexperienced bicycle rider to enjoy the couch up until the day of their adventure. A bicycle rider with one hand on the handlebar and the other on their smart phone can update their Facebook and text while navigating the wide PCH shoulder. The zebra missed because of digital distractions, can be recaptured with a scenic postcard purchased at the Hearst Castle gift shop.
On a serious note no matter what type of bicycle rider you are Sebastian’s General Store will amaze you with their large Hearst beef sandwiches piled with delicious veggies. Also located in the general store is the Hearst Wine tasting room.
Digest your food and sleep off the wine at the W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach.
45.7 miles of Bicycle fun between Cambria and Pismo Beach
The wind blows North to South along the PCH. Cambria is the second to last stop for the RTA bus heading North. A bicycle rider can pedal the 45.7 miles from Cambria to Pismo Beach with the wind at their back. If a cyclist doesn’t want to pedal back to Cambria against the wind he or she can put their bicycle on the bus. RTA BUS SCHEDULE
The Weekend Boni’s Tacos Bicycle Picnic
People say, “LOCATION, LOCATION.” Linn’s is on the corner of Main St and Bridge Street. Their outdoor tables are the first to get direct sun in the morning.
-Lilly’s Coffee House
Modern coffee meets old style conversation at Lilly’s. Virginia can serve up all of the latest coffee drinks. However you can’t drink your fancy mocha with your internet friends. At Lilly’s there’s no internet and when Virginia asks, “how’s your day?” She means it.
-Cambria Coffee Roasting Company
Cambria Coffee serves up one of the best Americano’s on the central coast. They have a cozy upstairs with leather sofas and internet. A good environment to work on travel writing and upload photos.