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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
3 Jun 2023

NextImg:Destination: Cambria

Cambria, on California’s Central Coast, is one of those special destinations. It offers a spectacular coastline with an abundance of cliff-side trails, verdant hills and valleys ideal for cattle ranching, vineyards and open-air landscape painting.

Architecturally Cambria features a remarkable collection of original 19th-century salt-box homes and an early 20th-century downtown district known as East Village. Sadly, many visitors pass right through Cambria on State Highway 1, anxious to get to San Simeon and the Hearst Castle. It’s a shame because Cambria is a worthy destination on its own.

Ancestral home to the Chumash Native Americans, Cambria’s Spanish colonial history dates back to the 16th century. But the area itself first garnered attention in 1769, when the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, on his way to San Francisco, camped by its rushing creek and noted it in his journal.

When California became a state, Cambria attracted settlers and ranchers in search of fertile soil, grassland for grazing, and an abundance of timber. That is, until multimillion dollars’ worth of mercury deposits were discovered, and mercury was indispensable for extracting gold from surrounding minerals. Then, when the boom went bust, Cambria went back to its previous peaceful life.

Now, of course, Cambria’s boom-town industry is tourism, and a visit to the Cambria Historical Museum on Center Street is a great way to learn the town’s story and pick up a guide to its architectural landmarks.

A day in Cambria should definitely include a visit to Linn’s Restaurant on Main Street (famous for its breakfast menu and rainbow selection of pastries), Linn’s Easy as Pie Cafe (around the corner on Bridge Street—renowned for olallieberry pies and cobbler). And if you want to see where all those farm-fresh ingredients come from, you can visit Linn’s Farm Store, 5 miles east of Cambria on Santa Rosa Creek Road.

A pastry from Linn’s Restaurant is the perfect way to start a day in Cambria, California. (Photo courtesy of Jim Farber)

Also located on Santa Rosa Creek Road is Stolo Vineyards and Winery, where you sample perfect wines for a summer picnic, like the 2022 Dry Gewurztraminer and the Hillside Reserve Chardonnay or the heartier Creekside Estate Pinot Noir. Set in a picture-perfect valley dotted with black Angus cattle, it is not surprising that Stolo is a popular gathering spot for plein-air painters.

Wine-tasting at Stolo Vineyards and Winery completes a visit to Cambria, California. (Photo courtesy of Jim Farber)

For a perfect way to end the afternoon and watch the sunset, drive back through downtown and make your way to the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. The preserve’s 437 acres features a multitude of dog-friendly hiking trails. Some snake along the cliff faces overlooking rocky inlets and the crashing surf. Other trails contour the hillsides. Whichever trail you chose, the views are panoramic.

Back in town for dinner, try Robin’s Restaurant. A Cambria favorite for 35 years, the eclectic menu features Asian flair such as Robin’s Chow: wok-flashed pasta, farmer’s market vegetables, garlic, ginger and soy. You can also add tofu, chicken or prawns. Roghan Josh is a North Indian-style lamb curry with yogurt, tomatoes, green beans, almonds and cilantro mint chutney. Or how about Chili Relleno made with tempeh chili? Be sure to say hello to the owner and chef, Robin Covey.

Cambria’s coastal frontage road offers numerous inns and motels from which to choose. A favorite with locals is Madeline’s on Moonstone, scenically sited and the perfect place to sit inside or out for a summer sunset wine-tasting.

For general information:
Cambria Historical Society:
Linn’s Restaurant, Pie Shop and farm:
Stolo Vineyards and Winery:
Robin’s Restaurant:

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