Cambria by the Coast

Cambria by the Coast

If Paso Robles is “Little Napa,” the coastal town of Cambria could be called “Little Carmel.” Thirty miles west of Paso Robles, just past the junction of Highway 46 and California Highway 1, this small, charming, hamlet, with the towering pines, is divided into an east and west village, and lies at the gateway to Hearst Castle.

Cambria began in the 1860’s as a seaport. It was originally named, “Slab Town,” but officially (and smartly) adopted the name Cambria in 1869. A seaside tourist town, Cambria abounds with unique fine art galleries, shopping and eating spots. Antique stores are a draw here as well as some fine restaurants. Robin’s on Burton drive in the east village, has been attracting diners since 1985. Robin’s cuisine is upscale “handcrafted global,” with Indian dishes like Tandoori chicken and Roghan Josh, northern Indian lamb curry and Thai plates like the green chicken with coconut curry. Vietnamese, Malaysian, Mexican, and even, good old American dishes are on the menu, too. This restaurant has a veritable United Nations of culinary variety. Robin’s is located at 4095 Burton Drive. Lunch dishes are priced at $10 to $15. Dinner entrees are $17 to $32. See their latest offerings online at
(805) 927-5007

Small oceanfront hotels and bed and breakfasts line Moonstone Drive and fill up fast in the summer. A wide variety of rooms are available. One of the best of these is the Fogcatcher Inn, 6400 Moonstone Beach Drive. The yellow English seaside-style beachfront hotel has lovely, clean, spacious rooms with fireplaces, ultra-comfy beds, and serves a hot breakfast buffet each morning. Nice pool and hot tub, too.
(805) 927-2400

A local folk art landmark, Nitt Witt Ridge, was created by late Cambria resident Art Beal, alias Captain Nitt Witt, who built his hilltop home with castoff items, like old televisions, concrete, abalone shells, beer cans, driftwood, lawn ornaments, and his neighbors’ throwaways. Beal was a Cambria garbage collector in the 1940’s and 1950’s and also worked at Hearst Castle where he picked up odds and ends that got added to his hill-side castle. Now California State Landmark #939, Nitt Witt Ridge holds the ashes of its creator, who died in 1992 at the age of 96. See for more information on the fascinating history and fifty year creation of this most unusual cultural attraction.

881 Hillcrest Drive
Cambria, CA
(805) 927-2690
Call to reserve tours.