Meet Linda Finley, Stewardship Travel Ambassador

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Meet Linda Finley, Stewardship Travel Ambassador

Cambria has always been a hub for people who care about nature, history and small towns.  Famous for its pines, Cambria is equally well known for its arts community, clean beaches, and as a serene retreat for weary road warriors. It is sometimes hard to believe that more than three million people each year travel through Cambria heading north or south along the Big Sur National Scenic Byway. Breathtaking natural beauty and environmental awareness walk hand in hand with lodging and business opportunities.

Linda Finley grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and attended Cal Poly. She later returned to raise her family, quickly settling in Cambria. She began her career in hotel management, moved on to manage Seeker’s Gallery and eventually opened her own gallery, Every Cowboy’s Ranch House, which she ran successfully for six years.

Linda-Finley

Cambria resident, Linda Finley

In 2011, San Luis Obispo County Business Improvement District (CBID) began a program to promote tourism to unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. The Cambria Tourism Board was formed, and in 2012, Linda joined the Board as Chair of the Outreach Committee. A new CBID program, Stewardship Travel, was added specifically to attract visitors who care about nature and want to visit the unincorporated parts of San Luis Obispo County.

Linda immediately saw the benefit. “I thought it was a natural for Cambria, especially for non-profit conservation groups like Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch.” Funding from the CBID helped support other visitor attractions, including a walking tour of historical buildings proposed by the Cambria Historical Society. “The walking tour and map had already been developed, but funding was needed to design, purchase and install plaques for the historical sites.” It became a Stewardship Travel activity, and CBID funding for the plaques came through the Cambria Tourism Board.  Among several other projects, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival also received funding to promote tourism during the month of October.

Linda’s next outreach project is getting parts of Cambria ready for its close-up during the Amgen Tour of California, the nation’s largest bicycling event, as it finishes in Cambria on May 14th.  “The whole world will be looking on. We want our town to look good.” Linda has spearheaded efforts to install new waste and recycling bins on Main Street, clear brush along the route, and clean up the “backside” of businesses that face Highway 1. “Fire Chief Mark Miller has been a wonderful partner. The outreach committee will soon be approaching businesses to participate in keeping Cambria clean and attractive.“

Stewardship, in a broad sense, means taking care of something. Stewardship Travel invites visitors to join Cambria in taking care of its community. “Personally, doing all this is very rewarding. It connects me to Cambria in a very special way.” Linda Finley is a role model for stewardship travel and tourism in Cambria.

To learn more, visit: http://visitcambriaca.com.

Follow the Compass to Cambria

Adventure by Horseback

Giddyup on horseback with private tours and wine tastings. Offering a glimpse of ranches hugging the coastline and some of the most spectacular scenery along Highway 1, this relaxing adventure is the perfect way to view the Central Coast. To plan an outback experience, visit http://www.outbacktrailrides.com.

Born to Ride

Cambria offers bike paths for all adrenaline levels. From steep descents to mellow flats of quiet country back roads, there’s a bike path for every biking enthusiast to enjoy. The eclectic village is widely known for its avid cycling community, and was recently home to the Stage 4 Finish of the Amgen Tour of California. Bring your bike to Cambria and ride like the pros!

Take the Trek

Trade in the bike helmet for some hiking gear and head to the San Simeon Trail. Trek footbridges and boardwalks, uncovering diverse landscapes of grassy meadows, wetlands, pine forest, various groves and woodlands. Just outside of Cambria, the four mile-long San Simeon Trail completes itself in a loop-like fashion with a gain of 200 ft. Open year-round, this two-hour hike is the traveler’s perfect little escape into nature. End an afternoon hike tasting craft beer at one of the local breweries in East or West Village.

The Road Less Traveled

Get an up-close look at Cambria’s marine wildlife from the kayaker’s perspective. Experience Moonstone Beach and venture the Big Sur Coastline. Tours include cave expeditions and marine life spotting. Even furry friends can come along. Those looking for more than a tour, try fishing—from a kayak. To plan your kayak adventure, visit http://www.kayakcambria.com.

Highway Closures

Highway 1 Closure

If you're heading to the Central Coast, be sure to be mindful of the stretch of Highway 1, 21 miles north of Cambria. Caltrans is busy with a major construction project to make traveling along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway a safer journey.

Highway 1 Storm Repair Along the Big Sur Coast Due to multiple active slides, State Route 1 is now closed between Ragged Pt. (SLO 72.87) and just south of Nepenthe (Mon 44).

Worried about Highway 1 Road Closures? Cambria and Hearst Castle are easily accessible from Highway 46 West from 101 South of Paso Robles or from northbound Highway 1 from the city of San Luis Obispo. Travelers from the north can easily take Highway 101 as an alternate route to Highway 1, which reduces travel time to Cambria by about 25 minutes.

For the latest road closure information visit the Caltrans website.