The Central Coast is known for its stunning views, whether it’s through our scenic seaside towns or driving along the ocean on iconic Highway 1. Whether you’re ready to pack your suitcase, or just hit the road for the day, the Coast is calling your name. Begin and end your road trip in Cambria as you visit these six sights from your seat that are a must-see.
1. The town of Cambria
Discovery some Central Coast history on your road trip and head 15 miles north of Cambria to see the historic Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, located on a rugged, windswept coastal point. The lighthouse was first illuminated in 1875 to guide mariners along California’s coast. Drive by to snap a photo!
As you explore the historic Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, nearby is the Northern Elephant Seal Rookery! These oceanic giants are a sight to be seen, and you can catch a glimpse of them as their resting in their rookery. During peak season, thousands of animals lounge on the shore, breeding, birthing, and resting. Fortunately, there are elephant seals on the Coast year-round for visitors to admire.
4. Ragged Point
Ragged Point is a stopping point on Highway 1 that is full of stunning views, perfect for a cruise. Pull off at a safe, scenic stop and enjoy some crisp coastal air, while stretching your legs. If you’ve brought your hiking shoes and are looking for an outdoor adventure, we suggest the Salmon Creek Trail—a secluded trail with waterfalls and ocean views.
5. Harmony, CA
Before heading back to Cambria, take a cruise through Harmony—a village just five miles south of Cambria with a population of 18, full of artisans and small-town charm. Many discoveries can be found in this unique place, including glass blowing at Harmony Glass Works and ice cream from the Harmony Valley Creamery truck!
6. Hearst Castle
Only six miles north of Cambria lies Hearst Castle, overlooking the Pacific Ocean from atop the Santa Lucia Mountains. This lavish historical landmark is a must-see for anyone taking a trip on Highway 1. If you have some time to spare on the road, take one of the many guided tours offered, with 165 impressively decorated rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways. Right now, you can take virtual tours of the inside of the incredible estate until in-person tours have reopened.