8 Best Things to Do in Cambria, California (with map)

Updated: April 25, 2021 | Has affiliate links

8 Best Things to Do in Cambria, CaliforniaCambria is a picturesque small beach community on the California Coast. This is a quintessential California beach town with pristine beaches, wildlife and great restaurants. A small community with beautiful history, Cambria has become a peaceful placed in the middle between Los Angeles and San Francisco, far enough from both, that everything is peaceful and not crowded. Cambria is a true California gem. So, come along with me as we explore the best things to do in Cambria.


My wife and I love Cambria! We love it so much that we have visited on many of our wedding anniversary celebrations. Tucked away between hills and the gorgeous California coast, Cambria is simply beautiful and quaint. Come along with me as we explore the best things to do in Cambria.

My Favorite Tourist Attractions in Cambria

Whatever comes to your mind when you think about California, Cambria will match everything. Cambria is the quintessential California beach town. Here are some of my favorite tourist attractions in Cambria:

  • San Simeon Elephan Seal Rookery
  • Hearst Castle in San Simeon
  • William Randolph Hearst State Beach
  • Leffingwell Landing State Park
  • Moonstone Beach Boardwalk
  • Fiscallini Ranch
  • Walk Through Cambria Old Town
  • Enjoy the Food of Cambria

Map of best things to do in Cambria CaliforniaMap of best things to do in Cambria, California

With our map in hand and some comfortable walking shoes we started exploring the best things to do in Cambria.

1. San Simeon Elephant Seal Rookery

The San Simeon Elephant Seal Rookery is one of the best things to do in Cambria
The San Simeon Elephant Seal Rookery is one of the best things to do in Cambria
See my photos from Cambria

The San Simeon Elephant Seals Rookery is an amazing place to see wild Elephant Seals right up close and personal.  What is a rookery? Think of it as a nursery for Elephant Seals. However, this specific place is the only Elephant Seal rookery in the world that is easily accessible. This is the place where hundreds of Elephant Seals mate and give birth and rest before going out to the sea to feed for months.

What makes the Elephant Seal area one of the best things to do in Cambria?

Firstly, it is located about 15 minutes drive from the middle of Cambria. Secondly, this place is super easy to access.  The best way to see the Elephant Seals is to park at the official view area parking lot. Then simply walk on the boardwalk to both sides of the parking lot.

If you have more time, take the Boucher Trail that takes you by all the cliffs where you can see lots of seals in the water. The best time to visit the Las Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals Rookery is from late November through February.

2. Visit Hearst Castle

Neptune's Pool is one of the main attraction at Hearst Castle
Neptune’s Pool is one of the main attraction at Hearst Castle
See my photos from Hearst Castle

William Randolph Hearst  was a businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician known for developing the nation’s largest newspaper chain and media company, Hearst Communications. Between 1919 and 1949, Hearst and architect Julia Morgan worked on building what is now known as the Hearst Castle.

Modeled after European and Roman buildings and architecture, the Hearst Castle houses the bulk of Hearst’s art collection gathered from all over Europe during his many trips overseas.

A visit to Hearst Castle might surprise you since on the hill side surrounding the castle, Hearst has brought exotic animals like the zebra.  It is a common site to see cows mingling with zebras on the hills surrounding the Enchanted Hill, even as you drive on Highway 1. Pay attention to cars stopped on the side of the road as people usually stop to see these amazing animals.

If you have more time in the area, come down towards the WRH State Beach and in particular walk on the beach towards the Hearst Ranch Winery.  As you do that you will notice another older building that looks like an old California Mission. This building was used as a warehouse for all the art collection and building materials that arrived at Hearst Castle during its building.

Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon
Website: Hearst Castle

3. Enjoy the Beach at WRH State Beach

The San Simeon Pier at WR Hearst State Beach
The San Simeon Pier at WR Hearst State Beach
See my photos from Cambria

The San Simeon beach and pier is also one of my favorite things to do in Cambria. This is a beautiful place to visit and simply relax. Also known as the Cove, this area served as the staging grounds and storage for Heart’s art collections as the Hearst Castle was being built.

Take your time to walk on the beach and you can also pick up the trail leading to San Simeon Point. The pier itself gives you a beautiful view of the Cove as this entire coastal area is simply gorgeous and you immediately understand why Hearst wanted to build his castle overlooking this California bay.

If you have small children especially, you will enjoy the Coastal Discovery Center located right in the parking lot at WRH State Beach. The entry is free and it has nice exhibits that highlight coastal sea and land animals.

4. Leffingwell Landing State Park

Sunset is best viewed at Leffingwell Landing State Park
Sunset is best viewed at Leffingwell Landing State Park
See my photos from Cambria

Even though it’s tiny, the Leffingwell Landing State Park area is extremely beautiful and it is clearly one of the best things to do in Cambria. The coast line is rugged and filled with rocky tide pools and many rock formations jutting out of the sea. Just gorgeous!

If you’re looking for the best spot to watch the sunset, Leffingwell Landing area is just perfect especially the parking area and rocky coast by the Leffingwell Creek. Take your time and walk down to the beach and take in the scenery and watch the many birds and sea otters that you will definitely see in the water.

5. Moonstone Beach Boardwalk

Sunset seen from the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk near Leffingwell Landing
Sunset seen from the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk near Leffingwell Landing
See my photos from Cambria

From Leffingwell Landing you can start walking along the Moonstone Beach bluffs and take in one of the most scenic parts of the California Coast.  This is California scenery at its best. Almost 3 miles round trip, the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is a beautifully maintained coastal walk that takes you to the best vista points along Moonstone Beach.

6. Fiscalini Ranch

Abalone Cove seen from the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve coastal trail
Abalone Cove seen from the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve coastal trail
See my photos from Cambria

Located along the eastern side of Cambria, right on the coastal bluffs, Fiscalini Ranch is a beautiful open space with walking trails that take you right along the rugged coast line at Cambria. We loved the loop trail that took us from the end of Windsor Boulevard to the amazing rugged coast along Abalone Cove. This is an amazingly pretty location to take family photos with an amazing backdrop.  We wished that we had planned a bit more time so we wouldn’t feel rushed when taking in this beautiful area.

7. Walk Through Old Cambria

Beautiful older home in Cambria
Beautiful older home in Cambria
See my photos from Cambria

Main Street in Cambria is a beautiful street to simply walk through and wonder. Lots of restaurants and cute shops line up Main Street and make it one of the best things to do in Cambria.

min addition to Main Street, Burton Drive is like an extension of the main walking area of Cambria.

8. Enjoy the Food of Cambria

Clam Chowder bowl and Olallieberry Burger at Linn's Restaurant
Clam Chowder bowl and Olallieberry Burger at Linn’s Restaurant
See my photos from Cambria

Linn’s of Cambria is a beautiful company.  From a local ranch to an amazing restaurant and bakery, Linn’s of Cambria must be on your places to visit while in Cambria.  We had dinner at Linn’s Restaurant right on Main street on the last day when they allowed outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The next day we came to Linn’s Easy As Pie Cafe, a few minutes up the road from the restaurant and bought their famous Olialenberry pie.

Boni’s Tacos is an unassuming Mexican take-our restaurant situated in the industrial area of Cambria. If you don’t know about it, you would not find it.  The host at beautiful Oceanpoint Ranch highly recommended the place to us and it did not disappoint. Boni’s Tacos (click for map location) is the definition of a Mexican “hole in the wall”, which is unassuming but has amazing food. Their famous Al Pastor pork burrito is simply delicious.

Is It Worth Visiting Cambria, California?

Is it worth visiting Cambria? Absolutely yes! Spending a few full days in Cambria will completely relax you and inspire you with the beautiful California coast filled with amazing animals and birds.  Whenever we have friends and family who visit California, we always suggest they go to Cambria for a few days.

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