CAMBRIA AMBASSADORS: Ivy & Eve’s Girls’ Getaway
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CAMBRIA AMBASSADORS: Ivy & Eve’s Girls’ Getaway

ivy_eve

 

Meet two of our sassy, wine-loving ambassadors, Ivy & Eve of the Hello Ivy & Eve blog!

These girls know how to travel in style, so when they went on a girls’ getaway to Cambria, we knew they would wine and dine their way through our quaint coastal town.

This was their second trip to Cambria (read about their December adventure here), so their itinerary featured unforgettable favorites as well as some of the fun things they missed out on last time. From the Sea Chest Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant to the J. Patrick House to Junk Girls to Moonstone Cellars and Cutruzzola Vineyards, the girls selected some of the very best Cambria has to offer—and this list does not do their trip justice… they did so much more!

Check out their full trip on their blog, and be sure to follow them on social media to catch all of their future adventures.

Trust us, you won’t want to miss anything.

 

Tales of the Cork: Escape to Cambria

Greg Stobbe is a well-known and well-loved blog author, lauded for his experience and expertise in both wine and travel. He loves to share his stories with his followers, offering tricks of the trade, honest and intelligent accounts, insider knowledge, and even custom itineraries for the most exciting adventures.

He’s traveled all over Europe, explored wine country in California, and he recently went on a three-day getaway in Cambria! Of course, he blogged about it—and through his writing we get a peek into his fabulous taste in wine, food and vacationing. His blog includes a full itinerary of his trip as well as tips to make your stay unforgettable.

Check out a preview below…

Cambria, CA

 

Cambria Vacation Inspires Central Coast Dreaming

Vacations affect your happiness and planning one can produce enough positive vibes to justify a three-day getaway. And, according to a 2010 New York Times article, the effects of vacation anticipation can boost happiness for up to eight weeks.

While I have led tours to New York City, Europe, and the central coast many times, I still get positive endorphins as I did drafting those trips more than 20 years ago. The key? Planning and dreaming about vacations before departure.

With today’s busyness and hectic pace, many long for sounds of seagulls, rhythm of the waves, sweet smells of pine forests, beach or bluff walks, and air as clean as mother nature intended.

So when a three-day window arose for Geena and I to enjoy Cambria, California, a pre-planned agenda helped ensure a relaxed, no hassle weekend. And, to top it off, planning and anticipating the vacation for a few weeks beforehand may be even more important to a feeling of relaxation than just the days away from home.

Cambria is a sleepy “just off the beach” town a few miles north of Morro Bay, Cayucos and six miles south of San Simeon and Hearst Castle fame on California’s central coast.

Cambria’s pristine beaches, tide pools, wine tasting and forest, bluff and other docent-led Fiscalini Ranch walks are the perfect slow-pace agenda we wanted and longed for. We knew a leisurely drive could easily take a visitor to the Piers Blancas Light Station, Paso Robles wine tours, the Edna Valley and SLO County wineries or the college town of San Luis Obispo. But Cambria’s beauty, beaches, paths and slow pace was calling.

We wanted to escape to Cambria and take in its natural wonders.

And, Central California visitors or Central Valley residents will tell you, there is PLENTY TO DO during a three-day mini vacation in Cambria, thank you.

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Head over to the Tales of the Cork blog to continue reading the rest!

 

Ivy & Eve – Girls Weekend

A few weeks ago, we took a weekend trip down south to Cambria for a bit of relaxing “sister time” before the holiday festivities began. Cambria is a small beach town located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. When we decided to head south to Cambria for a quick girls-weekend, we chose to stay at the fun and trendy Cambria Beach Lodge. We teamed up with the Lodge to show all that Cambria has to offer!

xxx Ivy & Eve

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Here is a map the Cambria Beach Lodge provided for even more great suggestions!

Stay:

Cambria Beach Lodge Situated right on Moonstone Beach, this newly renovated and trendy hotel is the perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend in Cambria. The lodge is centrally located, making it a quick drive to downtown Cambria or Hearst Castle. The rooms were trendy yet inviting with a great mini bar full of tasty treats and even a set of binoculars for all of your outdoor adventures. Outside each room is a small porch with bright turquoise chairs and there is a large glass surrounded deck on the top floor overlooking Moonstone Beach. We took full advantage of this amenity by toasting our trip with a bottle of bubbly before going off to the Christmas Market and dinner. Each morning, they serve a simple yet tasty continental breakfast which is a real perk for when you want to relax with a cup of coffee and pastry and watch the early morning surfers on Moonstone Beach! The Lodge also has beach cruiser bikes for guests to borrow. We loved cruising the boardwalk across the street! There are many quality beachfront lodges in Cambria, but none quite have the fun and hip vibe that the Cambria Beach Lodge has. We totally recommend it!

To read more about Ivy & Eve’s sister weekend in Cambria, click the link.

Getting the Most Out of Central Coast Wines in Cambria 

Editor’s note: Last year we announced the launching of our Cambria Ambassador Program. Partnering with bloggers throughout California, we’ve invited them to use their photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise to give travelers like you an exclusive preview of Cambria.

Who doesn’t love wine tasting? The opportunity to explore new places, new flavors and get to know good people. A good wine tasting experience often involves much more than delightful wines. The problem is sometimes a day of wine tasting comes with a lot of hassle as well whether it’s the 40 minute or more drive to the area, figuring out who is your designated driver or getting lost in the often poorly marked wine country. Don’t get me wrong it’s worth the adventure, but sometimes if you’re like me, finding a simpler way to wine taste is well worth it.

Luckily in Cambria you’ll find a variety of options that allow you to get the most out of Central Coast wines without dealing with the many hassles that can come along with a wine tasting experience.

Wine Tasting On Main Street

MacNee_Cutruzzola Vineyards Dining Room Table

Cutruzzola Vineyards

Right off the Pacific Coast Highway in the West Village, you’ll find some of the best wineries Cambria has to offer all within a block or so of each other. This gives you the perfect opportunity to taste a few different spots, get a short walk in, and not worry at all about the drive to get there. You can even wander over to Moonstone Beach afterwards for a relaxing evening.

Start off at Cutruzzola Vineyards where you will find the unique dry Riesling that exist along the Central Coast as well as smooth Pinot Noirs. Either have a tasting up at the bar or sit down around their beautiful dining room table where you can relax for awhile with a nice glass.

Afterwards, make sure you don’t miss Moonstone Cellars. Here you’ll find a change in varietals along with the Central Coast classics. On the whites make sure to try their Viognier and Grenache, and Syrah to round out the reds.

For more stops right off the Pacific Coast Highway, check out the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, which highlights ten wineries along the Central Coast. 

Wine : Taste

Wine : Taste

Trying Everything In One Unique Place

Another great way to avoid the hassles of wine tasting is finding a spot where you can taste a little bit of everything. While I’m often disappointed by this style of tasting bar, every once in a while you find one worth revisiting and in Cambria Wine : Taste hits that mark.

Here the proprietor and her staff handpick a rotating selection of wines for you to taste from both local wineries and abroad. Making sure you can easily explore the Paso Robles wine appellation without leaving downtown Cambria.

When The Wineries Come to You

On top of these regular wine tasting experiences, Cambria and the Central Coast offer unique opportunities where the wineries come to you. This winter you’ll find not one but two events where winemakers from throughout the Central Coast will gather with food, art and more.

If you haven’t attended one of these all access events before, they provide a great opportunity to get to know a wine region, compare different styles, and try wineries you might never have found otherwise.

blendfest2016The first opportunity this winter is the Cambria Art & Wine Festival, taking place the weekend of January 29-31. This event includes 40 wineries as well as local artists and eateries. On Saturday, you can wine taste at three different locations. On Sunday, join the BBQ and local art demonstrations all while enjoying local wines.

The next month head over to San Simeon for BlendFest, where 30 local wineries will take over the Hearst Property in Old San Simeon. The weekend of February 19-21 will be filled with wine tasting overlooking breathtaking views. On top of that, the event offers a winemaker dinner and wine blending session.

Great Wines With Ease

One of the many great things about Cambria is how easy it is to explore and get to know the local wine regions. While a trip into Paso Robles is fun, sometimes you want to stick along the coast while still enjoying flavorful wines. Luckily, in Cambria you can get the full experience of wine tasting without any of the difficulties that can come along with it.

 

Megan's Bio PhotoMegan MacNee is the founder and writer at Traveling Nine to Fiver, a blog focusing on encouraging full-time professionals to make the best of their days off and get out to explore the world. Megan moved to Southern California from the Mid-West when she was nine, and after college, moved up to Sacramento. She’s constantly trying to explore more of California and the West Coast by taking day trips, weekend trips, extending work travel and more. To sum it up, she’s a beach-loving foodie and wino, making the Central Coast a perfect destination. When she’s not traveling and blogging, Megan spends her days working in the political world in Sacramento.

 

New Year, New Ambassador!

We are excited to announce our newest ambassador for the winter season. Meet Megan MacNee. Megan has agreed to help us uncover all that Cambria has to offer during the winter months. Keep an eye out for her exciting experience and fun travel tips!

Megan MacNee

Megan's Bio PhotoMegan MacNee is the founder and writer at Traveling Nine to Fiver, a blog focusing on encouraging full-time professionals to make the best of their days off and get out to explore the world. Megan moved to Southern California from the Mid-West when she was nine, and after college, moved up to Sacramento. She’s constantly trying to explore more of California and the West Coast by taking day trips, weekend trips, extending work travel and more. To sum it up, she’s a beach-loving foodie and wino, making the Central Coast a perfect destination. When she’s not traveling and blogging, Megan spends her days working in the political world in Sacramento.

Wine and Dine with our Fall Ambassadors

We are excited to introduce – not one, not two, but three new Cambria ambassadors, who will serve as your guides to the best of our pretty city in the fall and winter months. Meet local bloggers Karen Grubb, Matt Browne, and Rachel Duchak who have agreed to help us uncover all that Cambria has to offer with the help of their combined photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise.


Karen Grubb

Karen-Grubb-Cambria-Ambassadors

Karen Grubb

Karen Grubb is a Central Coast native, living and working in San Luis Obispo. She has worked as a freelance photographer for numerous brands including Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, and CLIF Bar, to name a few. Travel and photography have always been a passion of hers and it shows through her Instagram photos. Karen’s feed offers a taste of all the natural beauty found around the Central Coast and throughout California. She uses Instagram to document and share her adventures and by doing so hopes to inspire others to get out and enjoy the natural beauty around them.

 

Matt-Browne-Cambria-Ambassadors

Matt Browne

 

 

Matt Browne

Matt is a beer loving, wine drinking, food eating dad to Sammy and husband to Annie. He likes to explore the Central Coast and when time and schedules permit, the world. Social media and blogging are how Matt tells his story and he’s been doing so since the beginning of 2009 with the help of his wife on their blog, HootnAnnie.

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel-Duchak-Cambria-Ambassadors

Rachel Duchak (Photo by Jeremy Ball, Bottle Branding)

Rachel Duchak

In 2004, Rachel Duchak moved to California, the state where her maternal grandfather was born and raised. After growing up in the Midwest and living in seven different states from Arizona to Massachusetts to Washington, she finally felt at home. She chose the Central Coast in part because this region hosted a relatively young wine country and the surrounding landscape was superb: Big Sur to the north, Yosemite to the east, Santa Ynez to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Within a few months of arriving in the Central Coast, she had a job at the Wild Horse Winery tasting room. Eventually, she began to work on their wine club newsletter and learned a great deal about the language of winemaking by reviewing old newsletters written by Ken Volk, the founder and original owner. The friendly, supportive people in the Central Coast slice of the wine industry impressed her and, in 2007, she decided to explore the foodie field as her primary career.

Family-Friendly Activities

Editor’s note: A couple of months ago we announced the launching of our new Cambria Ambassador Program. Partnering with bloggers throughout California, we’ve invited them to use their photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise to give travelers like you an exclusive preview of Cambria.

Most Californians know Cambria as a romantic seaside retreat with cozy B&Bs, hip art galleries and charming gourmet restaurants. It’s definitely all those things — but it also makes a great family getaway.

My husband and two daughters recently spent the weekend exploring the region, using the new El Colibri Hotel & Spa as our home base. The hotel is a gorgeous Mediterranean-style property, conveniently located next to Cambria’s downtown restaurants and the 1 1/2-mile-long Moonstone Beach Boardwalk.

Moonstone-Beach-Boardwalk-Family-Friendly-Activities

Walking along the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk.

We started our adventure at Outback Trail Rides, where Aussie Mick Harper and his crew took us on a scenic 1-hour tour through Fiscalini Ranch. This was our kids’ first time horseback riding, and Mick made sure they had a fun and enjoyable ride — even pointing out a koala along the way. (You’ll have to join the tour to see it for yourself!) Our ride ended with a trip to the oceanfront bluffs, where we enjoyed stunning views of the Cambria coastline.

Coastal-View-Family-Friendly-Activities

Coastal view and smiles all around!

The great thing about El Colibri is that you can walk almost everywhere. We found several casual family restaurants nearby, including Main Street Grill (a casual brewery/sports bar with great fish and chips) and Sandy’s, a charming little deli with hearty sandwiches and salads. (My favorite was the Big Sur Tuna Sandwich!) Cambria’s East Village, a few miles south, is where you’ll find many of Cambria’s galleries, wineries and gourmet restaurants. We found Linn’s to be a great family restaurant, with delicious homemade olallieberry pies and burgers from Hearst Ranch.

Speaking of Hearst Ranch, no visit to Cambria would be complete without a visit to Hearst Castle. Located just 7 miles up the road, Hearst Castle offers a variety of tours for every age and interest. Our kids loved checking out the Roman Pool and spotting the zebras grazing on the hill. After touring the grand rooms of the castle, we spent the rest of the afternoon checking out San Simeon Cove, where you can rent a kayak or tour the Coastal Discovery Center. While you’re here, be sure to stop for lunch at Sebastian’s General Store, which has great burgers and wine tasting. On select days, you can treat yourself to sheep’s milk ice cream from the Negranti Creamery Ice Cream truck. (Try the maple pecan, fresh mint or blueberry cinnamon swirl!)

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Negranti Creamery Ice Cream truck.

Wildlife watching is another fun activity for the kids. On your way in to Cambria, you can stop by Morro Rock to view the sea otters resting in the kelp, or head into San Simeon for a look at the elephant seal rookery. Leffingwell Landing in Cambria is a great place to spot migrating whales.

As you can see, our family vacation in Cambria was packed with a variety of fun outdoor activities. To give you a better idea on what to expect, I filmed these video guides about Cambria for my YouTube channel, California Travel Tips. I sure hope you enjoy them!

Cambria Travel Guide
http://youtu.be/AUXviiTVsFo

Outback Trail Rides
http://youtu.be/ao7I3du7L48

Elephant Seal Rookery
http://youtu.be/tZ0-kz-x4Mc

Hearst Castle
http://youtu.be/PZ6i371f83c

Subscribe on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/californiatraveltips?annotation_id=annotation_4256981451&feature=iv&src_vid=PZ6i371f83c&sub_confirmation=1

Check out my blog
http://www.CaliforniaTravelExpert.com

My app, California Essential Guide
ITUNES STORE: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id428163062?mt=8
GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sutromedia.android.guide.ca.essential.guide568&hl=en

Food and Drink In Cambria

Editor’s note: A couple of months ago we announced the launching of our new Cambria Ambassador Program. Partnering with bloggers throughout California, we’ve invited them to use their photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise to give travelers like you an exclusive preview of Cambria. We hope you enjoy this first blog post in our all-new Ambassador Blog Series.

While the quiet town of Cambria might not seem like a foodie paradise from the outside, driving through without sampling its fine food and spirits would be a big mistake. With so many places to eat in the city, there really is something for everyone. Here is a breakdown of my favorite places to eat and drink at in Cambria. Make sure to tell me if I left anything out in the comments section.

Food

Breakfast – Redwood Cafe

Never underestimate a good breakfast at a Pacific Coast Highway diner like the Redwood Cafe. Even though it can be a little hard to find, this gem is a great place for a good, inexpensive meal that will fill you up. I love a good hearty breakfast and I appreciated the southern flair that Redwood Cafe added to the menu, I mean they even had grits!

Recommendation – Havarti Spinach Scramble and Home Fries

Lunch – Robin’s

If you ask any of the locals what the best spot in town is you will no doubt get a lot of votes for Robin’s. This eclectic restaurant has a little bit of everything, but does it all well. Whether you are in the mood for a sandwich or a Thai inspired noodle dish, you will find something on the menu. I would recommend the salmon bisque, which is a creamy soup with a smooth salmon flavor. It makes for a fabulous appetizer. Be sure to sit on the deck if it is a warm day as it is a fabulous place to sit and watch the world go by.

Recommendation – Salmon Bisque and Cambrian Avocado Melt

Dinner – Black Cat Bistro

The Black Cat Bistro is one of the most expensive places in the town. That would be a bad thing if the food wasn’t so mind-blowing. Once you bite into one of the scallop or fresh fish plates, you will forget the cost and consider ordering a second helping. The way they pair flavors here is fabulous. Even things I thought wouldn’t go together were expertly paired on your tongue. They have a seared Caesar salad with bacon jam, believe me, just order it. Be prepared for a nice 1-2 hour dinner and one of the best dining experiences Cambria has to offer.

Recommendation – Lightly Seared Caesar and anything with scallops

Dessert – Linn’s

You really can’t go to Cambria without a trip to get some Olallieberry Pie from Linn’s. This hybrid berry is a mixture of blackberry and raspberry, combining the best parts of both for a pie that I never leave Cambria without. Every time I drive through the city, I take a full pie home with me.

Recommendation – Olallieberry Pie (of course!)

Drink

Cambria Beer Company

Lovingly referred to as “Pints by the Sea,” Cambria Beer Company is a great place to sample local craft brews and support a small town brewery. With only a couple of beers on tap at any given time, there is never a lot of options. That said, the limited choice of draft is always good. Plus, it is right next to Nitt Witt Ridge, which I highly recommend touring either before or after your beer as well.

Recommendation – Nut Wit Weizen

Cambria Ale House

If options are your thing, then the Cambria Ale House is for you. This small, one room pub has tons of beers on tap and lots of bottles along the wall. There are a few couches, games and reading materials so you can come in, try the beer and kick up your feet. They have craft beer from all over the country and the people working the bar provide great recommendations.

Recommendation – Don’t ask me, just tell them what you like, I am sure they won’t lead you wrong

Fermentations

Like the Cambria Ale House above, Fermentations is one of my favorite spots in Cambria (this may be swayed by how close it is to Linn’s pies as well). They have an insane amount of wines in any flavor and style you could want. They also offer a fun and cheap sample card so you can select just what you want to try from their dozens of options without having to pay by the glass. This is also a full-blown store with trinkets, decor and a lot of wine you can take home.

Recommendation – Adult Chocolate Milk, then let them help you find a wine

Stolo Family Vineyards

If you want to get out of the city a little bit, a trip to Stolo Family Vineyards should be on your list. This winery is right in farm country and is a beautiful place for a family picnic or a wine flight. They have a lot of really good wine and a beautiful, rustic, modern-style room where you can sit and enjoy it. I have even been told that they have fainting goats but you didn’t hear it from me.

Recommendation – Pinot Noir or the Syrah

Black Hand Cellars

If I had to pick one type of Cambria wine to drink this would be it. The tasting room is located in the downtown area and is pretty small, with only a dozen bar stools around the U-shaped bar. That being said, the atmosphere is great. The cheeky wine names and labels are fun and the wine itself is stellar. I also enjoy interacting with the people working the bar as they seem to really enjoy themselves, which is important. I guarantee it will be hard to leave without a bottle.

Recommendation – Syrah Estate Reserve or the Acquittal

So there you have it, my recommendations for food and beverages in Cambria. I love the central coast of California, and honestly Cambria is one of the best cities. It has quiet charm, beautiful beaches and amazing food. I would love to hear what you think I may have left out in the comments.

Cambria Ambassador Program Announcement

The Cambria Tourism Board is thrilled to finally announce its newly developed Cambria Ambassador Program. We’ve partnered with bloggers from all across California, inviting them to use their photography, outdoor, and food and beverage expertise to give travelers like you an exclusive preview of Cambria. Over the next several months, a different set of ambassadors will post their features each month! With the seasons as their guide, these ambassadors will unveil endless options for explorers. This month, we are happy to introduce you to our first two bloggers: Veronica Hill and Josh McNair.

Veronica Hill – California Travel Expert

Veronica-Hill

Veronica Hill – California Travel Expert

Veronica Hill is a native Californian and former travel journalist (Fodor’s, Associated Press, Freedom News Service) who has been recognized as one of the leading experts in California travel. More than 23 million people have watched her videos, and her California Essential Guide app has over 23,000 downloads. In January 2012, Veronica was selected as YouTube’s On the Rise winner, spotlighting up-and-coming channels. In August 2013, YouTube invited California Travel Tips and only 30 other channels to take part in its cutting-edge Creator Accelerator Program, which included three weeks of intensive training, collaborations and filming at the state-of-the-art YouTube Space LA facility in Playa Vista.

Since 2007, Veronica’s California Travel Tips channel has helped tourists make the most out of their visit to California. Not only does Veronica offer tips and secrets for visiting major attractions like Huntington Beach and Santa Monica, but she also tours off-the-beaten path destinations that don’t make it into most guidebooks. Veronica’s audience is a mix of California natives looking for something new to do, and prospective tourists coming from the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. Veronica personally visits and films every location, sometimes spending up to a week at each destination for each video.

Josh McNair – California Through My Lens

JoshMcNair

Josh McNair – California Through My Lens

Throughout life, Josh McNair has always been intrigued with traveling and seeing the world through his own eyes. Always having been in love with different forms of art, he decided to take his photography to another level during a mission trip to Ethiopia. While there he photographed many different beautiful places, juxtaposed with the sadness of the poverty in the area. This experience instilled in him a need to see more than just what is outside of his window. Shortly after, California Through My Lens was born.

While he readily admits he’s not saving the world through his photography, he has been trying to fill his travel itch by documenting as much of his surroundings (California) as he can, all in an effort to get people to spread their wings and experience the beauty of life outside their own neighborhood. If he can get someone to realize how many amazing things they have within 45 minutes of their house, Josh has done his job.

Completely self-taught in photography, Josh has only been doing it seriously for a couple of years. Everyday he spends photographing, he learns more and more about the camera – and California.

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.