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  1. #1

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    Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    My wife and I made our first trip to Cambria on our anniversary in the Summer of 1991. For those of you who have never been, Cambria is not known for amazing golf courses, huge waves to surf upon, or crazy nightlife after the sun goes down. Your kids would most likely be bored out of their minds.



    So....why go there?


    Cambria is a small town nestled off of Highway One between Morro Bay and Carmel, just down the road from San Simeon and Hearst Castle. You won’t find a Taco Bell or Jack in the Box in town, but what you WILL find is several art galleries, amazing restaurants, a variety of shops and old cemetary dating back to the mid 1800’s.




    Cambria is surrounded on all sides by tall pine trees. The deer population has been growing every year.



    My wife and I fell in love with Cambria in 1991, and we’ve been back almost every year since. We don’t take the kids. We don’t go for the amazing food at Brambles or the Sow’s Ear.

    We go, every year, to spend some alone time at an inn which is located on Moonstone Beach. What’s so special about Moonstone Beach?

    We've decided that the sound of the waves on Moonstone Beach is different than any other place on the planet. (We haven't been everywhere on the planet, but we're SURE this is the case.) Add to that incredible sunsets, otters, sea lions, dolphins, whales, and a boardwalk that stretches across some of the most beautiful coastline on the West Coast and you’ll begin to understand why we drive the 250 miles up the coast every year to get there.

    On our most recent visit, a storm was moving in as we arrived, Wednesday, February 21:




    The sun reappeared briefly before disappearing in an amazing sunset...







    As the rain moved in, we headed back to our room with a fireplace at the Blue Dolphin Inn:




    By the next morning, the storm was breaking up and it was time for some shots of the coast from the boardwalk:






















    The beach itself is covered with smooth stones, many of which are volcanic in nature and are pitted with small holes. (Hence the name "Moonstone.") We didn't see any otters on this trip, but they can usually be found just up the beach from where we stay.

    Again, some of the most beautiful coastline you'll find on the Pacific Coast:















    The inn we've stayed at for the past 16 years is the Blue Dolphin Inn. It has changed ownership a few times and does not have quite the magic it did back in 1991, but you can't beat the location.




    It's also tough to beat the view from our room. We usually spend hours just staring out at the Pacific Ocean, listening to those waves:



    (More to come...)

  2. #2

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Great trip report. Have fond memory's of the Silver Surf and sitting on a porch watching the sunset. Thank you for reminding me.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Oh just gorgeous!! Can't wait to see the rest of the pics
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  4. #4

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    My family has been going to Cambria and San Simeon for almost 30 years - thanks for the memories and the great pictures!

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Glorious!
    I have to look into visiting there....beautiful photos.

  6. #6

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    O...M...G...

    Those pictures are awesome!!! This was sooo worth the wait!!!! More!!!




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  7. #7

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    I love this area. Would love to live in or around this area someday. I have quite a few friends in that area and it is wonderful to visit, relax and tons of places to ride a bike.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Woah! I Stayed at the Blue Dolfin Inn as well!
    About two years ago were there to visit some friends of my grandparents and then we went to hearst castle and the beach.
    Nice TR!

  9. #9

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Beautiful photos. I have only driven through Cambria. A friend of my sister and BIL's used to go there every year for their anniversary. Someday, SOMEDAY I want to take my husband there.

    Again, gorgeous pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    I love Cambria! My family rents a beach house up there every year for Thanksgiving. The kids love it because they can run up and down the beach looking for sea shells and they love going in all the little shops in town. Thanks for sharing!
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Oooh - beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    DH and I will have to check it out one day - he'll love how quiet and low-key it is - perfect for relaxing.
    She did it!


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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    I actually got married just up hwy 1, about 20 miles from Cambria at the Ragged Point Inn. We had our rehearsal dinner and honeymoon in Cambria. Now my husband and I go every year for our anniversary. It's an amazing place and it hasn't changed AT ALL. That's the greatest thing about it. The J Patrick House (www.jpatrickhouse.com) is the best B&B in Cambria. The Burton Inn is absolutley wonderful as well. Make sure to stop by Mustache Pete's for an awesome italian lunch and the Sow's Ear on Main Street has the most delicious steak you will EVER eat.

    I LOVE CAMBRIA!

    Here's some pics from our wedding at Ragged Point, 20 miles up the coast. I'm going to Cambria again in April for a much needed relaxing weekend!







  13. #13

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    Excellent photos and trip report!! My family lives in Cambria (and I lived there for a few years as well...it's a cool little 'burg).
    Locals will kid around and say the only people who reside in Cambria are "the Newly-wed or Nearly-dead". It's a popular area for weddings and for retirement (funerals??). Great TR--makes me a tad homesick!

  14. #14

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    Re: Cambria: One of California’s Best Kept Secrets (Trip Report)

    We love Cambria!

    We have been quite a few times. Usually stay at the Cambria Lodge, and then "do the towns". Solvang, Morro Bay, the Castle, etc...

    Thanks for the pics!

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