Starting Point: Cambria.
When you base your trip at one of our Cambria Inns Collection hotels, you are centrally located for exploring all of San Luis Obispo County and you get the ultimate benefit of staying right along the Pacific Ocean. North, South, or East…a short drive in any direction from Cambria brings a unique experience to your stay. There is no better way to end a long day of discovery than a good night sleep with the sounds of the ocean as your backdrop. Which direction will YOU take?
1. North to Big Sur
Big Sur starts just north of San Simeon and takes you into some of the most glorious parts of the California coastline with epic views and wonderful points of interest. With all of the recent rains, you will want to go north a bit beyond Ragged Point to Salmon Creek Falls this spring. This waterfall is accessible via the Salmon Creek Trailhead and is the perfect hike into the Big Sur forests. Another phenomenal spot is Plaskett (pictured at the top of the page), just a bit north of Salmon Creek. You will get the full Big Sur experience within an hour of Cambria. Of course, you will find many spots to stop and enjoy as the fancy strikes you. There is no place that will disappoint so keep that camera handy, battery charged, and save lots of room for pics! Big Sur is very photogenic.
2. East to Paso Robles
Paso Robles wine country is due east and you won’t have to drive far to find a winery or tasting room. In the past ten years we have seen a plethora of new wineries open as our local vintages are discovered by the world. This growing wine region still maintains a friendly and hospitable vibe with some of California’s best wines coming out of a relatively new wine country. No need to trek to Napa, time to head away from the crowds for a new discovery. Start right along the coast on the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, with 10 wineries between San Simeon and Cayucos, and 3 right in Cambria’s village. Take a country drive along Santa Rosa Creek Road and visit both Stolo Winery and the Linn’s family farmstore and if you continue along, the road connects to 46 west, the gateway to hundreds of wineries and tasting rooms. If you’d rather leave the driving to someone else, book a wine tour so you can enjoy the vino…and many tours include lunch! We compiled all the info you will need HERE.
3. South to San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo was crowned America’s Happiest Place to Live in Dan Buettner’s book, Thrive: Finding Happiness, and was even featured on Oprah. What makes it so happy? It is a combination of many factors including our great Central Coast weather, the proximity to Cal Poly, a vibrant downtown scene rich with shops, restaurants, and nightlife. SLO features a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly focus, so park the car and take a walk around the town. Boo Boo Records is a must stop for vinyl-o-philes and if craft beer is your thing, you will find several craft breweries to try. History buffs will want to check out the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa built in 1772 and garden afficionados will enjoy the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens…our fabulous weather means plants are happy, too! Another notable distinction, SLO (locals call is SLO) has Bubblegum Alley…which is exactly what you just pictured, an alley literally covered wall to wall, floor to top, in gum. Numerous attempts in the past to remove the gum were futile as it mysteriously reappeared shortly after the last time…gum chewing just might be a key to happiness. But we think the proximity to Cambria is the real key to happiness.
Ready for a road trip? Click YES!