Cambria Virtual Tour
At the foot of the scenic Highway One / Big Sur coast, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is the quaint seaside village of Cambria. An artist's colony nestled in a forest of towering Monterey pines, Cambria offers visitors sophisticated restaurants, art galleries, antique and specialty shops and scores of nearby wineries.
Just six miles south of world renowned Hearst Castle, this picturesque village has a variety of hotels, motels, bed and breakfast's, inns and vacation home rentals. Cambria is known for the friendliness and hospitality of its residents. A leisurely pace and country village atmosphere is the town's main attractions, particularly for urban residents seeking a quiet, romantic getaway.
About San Luis Obispo County
Known as the jewel of California's middle kingdom, San Luis Obispo County boasts one of the most spectacular scenic areas in the world. Located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, it's bordered by Monterey County to the north, Kern County on the east and Santa Barbara County to the south.
The County's primary economic base is comprised of government agencies, retail trade and tourism, public and visitor services, and agriculture and education. Employment is relatively stable throughout the County. The incorporated areas of San Luis Obispo are diverse, each offering unique nature spots, employment opportunities, and recreational activities.
The Cambria mystique
Cambria is an unincorporated village on the northern coast of San Luis Obispo County. It is one of the rare places on the planet where pristine shores merge dramatically with stands of rare Monterey Pine trees. Cambria's Mediterranean type climate provides a year-round comfortable environment. One of Cambria's unique characteristics is its eclectic mix of residents. On any given day, you'll find long-time ranchers, big city retirees, working families, shop owners, artists, writers and musicians strolling down Main Street.
A rich history
Cambria was once a fishing and quicksilver mining town that later became known for its dairy and lumber exports. Cambrians are proud of their heritage and through the Cambria Historical Society have been active in preserving historical buildings such as the Santa Rosa Church, the Squibb-Drake House, the 100-year-old Brambles Restaurant, Santa Rosa School, the Hoosegow, the Bianchini House, the Gordon Howard Home and the Lull House.
Over the past 70 years, Cambria has grown into a small, quality vacation home area. More recently, full-time custom homes of higher quality have been built. Some neighborhoods are now fully developed with the overall residential development rate at approximately 40 percent.
Cam-bria, Came-bria, or Cahm-bria?
Cambria has gone by various names over the years ranging from Santa Rosa, Rosaville, San Simeon and the decidedly unromantic Slabtown. As the story goes, a local committee changed the town's name to Cambria in 1869, which, according to Funk & Wagnalls, is Latin for Wales. Another rumor has it that a committee member had recently visited Cambria County in Pennsylvania and the woodsy mining area reminded him of home.
A controversy persists in Cambria about its correct pronunciation. One group calls it "Came-bria", another "Cam-bria", and still another indignant group claims it's "Cahm-bria". In Cambria, you'll hear all three pronunciations-- and everything in between!
Something for everyone
With three banks, two grocery stores, two hardware stores, an outdoor Farmers Market, and numerous convenience stores, the needs of residents and tourists are well served in Cambria.
Cambria also has a wealth of excellent restaurants, charming antique shops, quaint bookstores, and art galleries. This small village has its own theatrical troupe, radio station, garden club, tennis courts and weekly newspaper. Recreational activities abound from kayaking, surfing, and swimming to biking, walking, and elephant seal watching.
Quality Educational Opportunities
There are four schools in Cambria: Cambria Grammar School, Santa Lucia Middle School, Coast Union High School and the New Dawn Learning Center, a private Montessori School. Academic standards are high at all four schools which are staffed by competent professionals who genuinely care about the education and nurture of youth.