Pacific Coast Highway, USA: Cambria

Sunset at Little Sur Inn

Day 3 of my Pacific Coast Highway trip and we visited Cambria!

If you haven’t seen them already, check out my earlier posts on Hollywood and Santa Barbara. This post covers my day in Cambria whilst travelling from LA to San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway.

The Hotel: Little Sur Inn

You may not have heard of it before, as Cambria is only a small place (I’d class it as a village, not a town). We arrived late afternoon and were able to check in to our gorgeous hotel room, right on the ocean front. Most of the hotels are on one road; Moonstone Beach Drive, in the West Village. We’d chosen to stay at the Little Sur Inn, which at $413 for one night wasn’t cheap! But, given we’d made use of the Hilton loyalty points for our other nights, we splashed out. The room was huge, even with a 4-person dining table in the corner, but best of all it had views right onto the beach, which were great come sunset (see pic later).

Little Sur Inn

Ocean facing room at the Little Sur Inn

The Boardwalk

The sun was shining so we made the most of the weather and headed for a wander down the boardwalk. There were a lot of squirrels, including babies, nesting underneath and they weren’t shy in coming up to people either, which was cute. There was other wildlife too, including someone walking a goat on a lead (is that a thing?!?!). Anyway, we weren’t cheeky enough to get a picture, only to stare in bemusement! I took the opportunity to have my first ever paddle in the Pacific, so thats an item off my bucket list 🙂 The atmosphere in Cambria was small-town laid back. The most like a ‘holiday’ place we’d been in America.

Cambrian boardwalk

On the Cambrian boardwalk

Cambrian boardwalk 2

The boardwalk – our hotel is just off to the right


Being right by the ocean, its no surprise the seafood restaurants were highly recommended by the hotel reception. We got dressed for dinner and headed into the main area of Cambria to choose somewhere to eat. Most of the hotels are in the West village, which is slightly separate to the main village.

Word of advice: there is no need to dress up for dinner!

We were over dressed in jeans and nice top/shirt. Even the restaurants serving the nicest food were pretty casual. Given the restaurants we came across in the main village were more like take-out places, we headed back to Moonstone Drive and the Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill. The setting was casual but the food was great! So fresh and tasty… plus it paired well with a Californian white wine 😉

Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill Food

Seafood pasta at Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill

Sunset views

We headed back to the hotel to see cars pulling up by the side of the road, just to watch the sunset because it was so beautiful. We were lucky and had the best view of all from our bed! Talk about a perfect night in…

Sunset at Little Sur Inn

The beautiful sunset as seen from the Little Sur Inn

The morning after

The following morning after breakfast (which was below average given the price – cereal, fruit, bagels etc) we drove North, continuing on the PCH, until after only a few miles we came to San Simeon. This area is famous for its elephant seals which come to the shoreline. I thought we might be lucky to see a few seals in the distance. Boy was I wrong… we parked the car and immediately spotted about 6 seals in a cove. Great I thought! Then we heard some noise from our left and there were hundreds, just chilling on the beach. This is a must visit place for any animal lovers.

Elephant seals

Elephant seals at San Simeon

This was the end of our time in Cambria – a short visit. But there are other attractions in the area which we didn’t have time to see. The main draw to the region is Hearst Castle and theres also tours of Piedras Blancas Light Station, which we saw from the road but didn’t have time to visit.

Other stops on my Californian Pacific Coast Highway adventure:


Santa Barbara


San Fransisco

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