Cambria & San Simeon

Archived Q&A and Reviews

August 2008

Re: Girls Weekend Away in December
A great half-way place between LA and Bay Area is Cambria. It's a coastal town that's easy to get to off of the 101 (about 20 minutes to the coast on highway 146, I believe). It's not super cheap but there are a lot of nice motels and some pricier hotels in town. Not sure what it would run you in the winter for a room. I went last summer at stayed with the family in a suite at the Cambria Pines Lodge - a little fancy and it was definitely on the expensive side ($350/night) but I think you could probably sleep 4 adults per suite. They offer massages on site there to guests and to folks staying in town, I believe, so you could always stay in a hotel and head up to the lodge for a treatment. Many restaurants in town of varying quality. We really enjoyed Robin's for both lunch a dinner. Nina

April 2005

Our extended family (13, 15 boys, 50ish and 80) is meeting half way in Cambria for a few days to celebrate 80 yr birthdays. We will visit Hearst Castle - but what else is there to do nearby?? Both of the 80 year olds are a bit teetery in their feet. Got any restaurant advice too? 15 year old is skate boarder. trying to avoid teenage misery and find fun!

We stayed in Cambria a couple of years ago for a week and a half while some work was being done on our house in Berkeley. Cambria is a charming place, but there's not much to do for a longish stay if you're looking for set activities. It's a good place to just walk along the beach and relax and enjoy the views. But for unsteady 80 year olds, I'm afraid the nice trails along the cliffs would be too much.

Downtown Cambria is boutique-y with lots of little local shops - it kind of reminded me of downtown Montclair. There are some decent restaurants.

For little kids there is a pretty nice playground right at the beach. I imagine if the weather is nice, that would be a good spot for a multi-generational picnic. I don't know what to recommend for teens here.

I don't know if the elephant seals will be around at your particular time of year, but if they are, it's an amazing sight. Their reserve is just a few miles up the coast from Cambria.

For us, Cambria was a good jumping-off point for local travels. We spent a couple of days wine tasting in the Paso Robles area, and one day we drove through San Luis Obispo down to Morro Bay (a great place I've visited since childhood!) Morro Bay does have a phenomenal skate park that my 15 year old nephew is nuts about. It's right out at the rock - you can't miss it.

Anyway, good luck. I hope you're staying in a nice place. We rented a house with a view of the ocean, and most days we were quite content to hang out and enjoy the view. central coast lover

We just returned from Spring Break in Cambria with 13, 12, and 6 y.o. girls, and grandparents in their 80's. The grandparents came with us on one of the Hearst Castle tours, but beware that there is a fair amount of walking, inc. stairs. We rented a house through If you are interested, I recommend the place at 360 Fallbrook. Hot tub in yard, close to steps down cliff to tidepools, close to ranch where you can walk for a long time. Very comfortable place, but steps up the front, then steps up to main level or down to other bedrooms. Re: activities for the teens, I suggest the beach at Morro Bay to boogie board or that board that one throws down and slides on when the surf is going out. The water is a little cold right now, but you can rent wetsuits in town if you want. We just braved the cold with our swimsuits. San Luis Obispo seemed like a mellow town with college students which might appeal to your teen boys. We went to the mission, then just browsed in town before going to the beach. Lots of interesting eateries along the embarcadero at Morro Bay. I didn't see any skateboard parks, but he could skateboard along the streets in Cambria suburb. Have fun - we had a great time and are ready to go back! TomEggs

I got back from Cambria yesterday, and we had a lovely time w/ our kids (all of whom are younger than yours.) It's a pretty, sleepy small town, in a spectacularly gorgeous setting. Just north of town, there is an elephant seal reserve where, from the parking lot, you can see elephant seals w/ their pups by the dozens basking in the sand, as well as sea otters frolicking in the waves. In the center of town, there is a skateboard park for your 15-year old. One night, we went out to a very tasty, reasonably priced dinner at Robin's, a small pleasant restaurant in town. (The main dining room was pretty hot and stuffy, but there's a lovely deck with outdoor heaters.)

There are a number of beaches where you can go boogie-boarding, and you can rent kayaks at several places. (W/ three-year olds in tow, we didn't get out on the water.)

We were told there's a beautiful farm outside town called Linn's, where them make their own ollallieberry pies -- very highly recommended. You can find out more at their restaurant, also called Linn's, which is on the main drag in town. Have fun! alikat

May 2003

Re: Central Coast Beach with a one-year-old

My cousin got married in Cambria about 2.5 years ago. We got to take a peek at where they were staying--The Fog Catcher Inn. It was very pretty, right by the water. You can check out their Web site at Patty

We stayed at the Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria over spring break. My 3 children are older but they loved the gardens, pool, cats and overall ambience. A wonderful breakfast is included in the room rate and there is a restaurant on site. Avila Beach is great for kids. Joan

April 2003

We're looking for a nice place to stay in Cambria (near San Simeon)for a few days in June. We will be a group of 5, including my mother and our two kids, ages 8 and 5. We prefer a place on Moonstone Beach, with a pool, and not too rustic for Mom's sake! Thanks! Seth

I recently wrote about this but I'm sure it's too recent to have been archived already. We stayed at the Fog Catcher Inn on Moonstone Beach. It was quite nice (definitely not rustic), reasonably priced, has a swimming pool, pretty grounds, and a nice buffet breakfast included in the cost. I believe they also have suites for larger groups. Hannah

Re: Weekend of solitude for mom (March 2003)
I personally love Cambria, down the coast about 3 and 1/2 hours on 101, 4 hours if you take highway 1 down. They have motels (my room hada fireplace) in the $65.00 a night range - good restaurants, nice hiking nearby and wonderful ocean front. They have sea lions (I think) that have their babies right on the beach - I thought that was cool. Hearst Castle is nearby and clearly your choice. Lori