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Places – Cambria / San Simeon

Elephant Seals
The elephant seals can be seen on the beaches south of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, 10 miles north of Cambria. Birth and breeding season is at its peak in January and February, with pups being born and the males fighting for breeding access.

Beach Combing and Tide Pools
Take a stroll along Moonstone Beach with its miles of rugged coastline. The beach is covered with tiny, smooth semiprecious stones and there are tide pools teeming with life.

Hearst Castle
Originally known as “Camp Hill,” its wilderness offered a place for family members and friends to “rough it” on camping trips, but William Randolph Hearst wanted more comfortable accommodations and told architect Julia Morgan he wanted to build a little something. That little something turned into a massive estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, a zoo, and walkways. The main house (aka Casa Grande) and the three guest houses entertained movie stars and political figures of the day.

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
Named for the three white rocks located just off the end of the point, this light station was chosen in the 1870?s to fill the gap between the Point Conception and Point Pinos lighthouses.

Moonstone Beach
This white and translucent stone found along the Cambria beaches are called moonstones by the locals. Moonstone, or chalcedony is formed by patiently dripping water throughout the ages where is then swept down into streams and into the ocean where it is tumbled and polished by the surf of the rocky coast.

Downtown Cambria
Visit the main street of Cambria and experience local shops and dozens of antique stores that dot the streets.

Big Sur
The towering redwood trees along the coast make this area one of the areas that makes California unique. In addition to the redwoods be sure to keep your eye out for blue whales along their migration route or the sea otters as they feed on floating sea kelp beds. Big Sur is also home to the best inn in California (Post Ranch Inn) and the Zagat best restraint in California. National Geographic Traveler magazine named this area as one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime/The World’s Greatest Destinations.”


Cambria Chili Cook-Off and Classic Car Show
Every Spring the city of Cambria hosts it’s annual chili cook-off and classic car show at the Veteran’s Memorial Building and Pinedorado Grounds. events include a chili tasting, beer, car show, music, and a raffle.