Visit Cambria, California for a day with less than 30 dollars. Cambria is a small beach town along the famous Highway 1. It is filled with charm and old town feelings. It is nestled among pines trees and scenic beach views. Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco it is a popular destination for travelers coming and going through the central coast. I took a road trip to Cambria with a budget of only $30 ( not including gas) for a day. Read along a about my day in this picture perfect town.
As I drove into town right into Main Street my first stop was this small bakery named French Corner Bakery. A very popular bakery within the locals. I walked in and could smell the sweet pastries and fresh brewing coffee. It was early on a Saturday morning and was already filling up with people ordering their morning coffee. I ordered a small coffee and banana muffin for a total of $5.50. I enjoyed my breakfast outside the shop where they have tables and chairs. I could smell the salty fresh air and feel the morning breeze.
Main Street in Cambria has all a small beach town has to offer. From shops, art galleries and local restaurants. You will find many local artisan shops and some antique stores.
The town has such beautiful historic architecture. The outside of most shops is filled with flowers and green plants. Even the trash cans have planters on the top with flowers and greenery growing. I walked into many boutiques and looked at the wonderful and unique merchandise. You will find handmade jewelry and so much more. Walking around was so much fun and meeting local shop owners who were all nice and welcoming. There is free public parking and restrooms for you convenience.
Nit Witt Ridge
The Nit Witt Ridge house is a must see when in Cambria. Located just up the hill from Main Street on Hillcrest Drive. This unique home built by Arthur Hail Beal (1896-1992) with just a pick and shovel on a hillside in 1928. He spent almost 50 years carving his unique castle by the hill.
The Nit Witt house is built using natural materials found near the pine forest and shells from the beach. It was also built with trash that residents of Cambria where throwing out as Mr. Hail Beal was a trash collector for the city for about 10 years. Some parts are also reportedly of Hearts Castle where he supposedly worked for a time. There is no fee to visit the Nit Witt house, but a $10 donation is suggested for adults. I gave the owner $10 for his tour and the wonderful stories he told us about the home. When you arrive there is a sign outside with a time of when the next tour will be. Arrive on time as tours start right on the hour.
Moonstone beach is a long public beach with plenty of free parking along Moonstone Beach Drive. There is free public restroom near the south end. Parallel to the beach is a boardwalk with the most beautiful views of the ocean and so many spring time wildflowers. There are benches to rest, sit and enjoy the views.
Even though you will most likely not find a moonstone gems, there is plenty of colorful pebbles. The pebbles look like gems with glitter as they shine with the sun. I walked along the beach and enjoyed the cool wind. There was lots of driftwood that someone had made onto a tepee.
If you plan on staying overnight this seems like a great location. There is plenty of lodging on Moonstone Beach Dr.. There is some wonderful boutique hotels with views of the ocean. You can sit and watch the sunset from your balcony.
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal
The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal rockery spreads over six miles of shoreline around Point Piedras Blancas. It is a short drive north on Highway drive form Cambria. You will see dozens of elephant seals sun bathing in the beach. You see them play and swim and sometimes have small brawl with each other. This was by far my favorite part of the trip. Loved seeing the seals interact with each other. There was a very knowledgeable gentleman from Friends of the Elephant Seal there answering questions and giving you fun facts about the seals.
Piedras Blancas Light House
Just a few more miles north, you will find the light house. It was closed when I got there and was not able to get inside. Took a picture from the road. There is information flyers outside you can take and read. This light house was built in 1875. There is a local light house association working on restoring this beautiful peace of history. You can only get in with a tour that is on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 9:45am. You can visit the Piedras Blancas website for more information.
Where to Eat in Cambria
After a day of exploring I drove back to town. There is plenty of places to eat. I went into Main Street Grill, a local sports bar and grill. There is lots of places to sit both inside and outside. I ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a coke. This seems like a popular place because there was a line to order your food. Even though it seems like it was very busy, the order was ready really quick. This was a great way to end my day in Cambria before heading home.
Cambria, CA a Great Destination
It was a fun enjoyable day in Cambria. There is plenty more to do if you want to visit. Like the very popular Hearts Castle. But I was on a day trip with a budget. I will definitely come and keep exploring. If you would like to see more money saving travels please let me know by commenting below.
Here is total spent on this trip,
Coffee and Pastry – $5.50
Nit Witt Ridge Donation- $10
Hamburger, fries and soft drink- $11.60
Total spent was $27.10 for a day.