A couple is looking up at a wall full of colorful paintings hung in a gallery.

Creative Things to Do & Places to Explore in Cambria, CA

Cambria is more than a seaside town full of beautiful scenery—it’s also a unique community full of artists who love to celebrate the gorgeous surroundings. From awe-inspiring natural sights to delicious food to art installations around town, your creativity is sure to be sparked when you visit. Wander the galleries of local artists, create art of your own by photographing nature, and document your trip by visiting social media-worthy murals and sculptures. Plus, add Cambria’s annual art events to your calendar for your next trip!

A Photographer’s Dream

Whether you’re an old-school, film-only photographer, an iPhone filter master, or somewhere in between, the Central Coast is full of inspiration for everyone. Document your time beside the ocean while letting your creative side shine.

The riparian habitat of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is a treasure trove of natural beauty. These miles of coastline span stunning cliffs and prairie land, offering a variety of views. There’s even the chance of glimpsing the many species of wildlife that call this area home. Keep your camera ready!

Serene and soothing, Moonstone Beach is the perfect spot for enjoying the majesty of the ocean. Walk in the sand and see what you discover, or relax on a picnic blanket. Either vantage point is sure to result in picture-worthy sights.

If you prefer to photograph urban life, take a stroll down Main Street. The local shops and restaurants have that unique small-town, seaside charm that makes capturing photographs even more interesting. Just remember to be courteous—people, unlike wildlife, might not want to be featured in your artwork!

A Haven for Artists and Art Lovers

A green house with a pink framed glass door is a art gallery.

There’s just something about Cambria that draws artists. Maybe it’s the abundant natural beauty, maybe it’s the small-town culture, maybe even that fresh ocean air. Either way, there’s a surprising amount of art in our little community. Whether you’re an artist yourself or just enjoy perusing, here are a few galleries to visit.  

Founded in 2012 as a cooperative to exhibit and promote the work of a small group of local artists who create in their own home studios, Amphora Gallery is a wonderful place to browse. Their collection includes pottery, sculptures, and paintings.  

A shop that celebrates fashion, design, and the creative arts, GOWA is truly a one-of-a-kind spot. Inside, you’ll find scarves, graphic tees, hats, and the exclusive Dinah Lee silk collection, as well as other gift items.

The artisans who create for Ephraim Pottery’s West Coast Gallery make each individual piece by hand, giving the work a high standard of quality and creativity. This process ensures that no two pieces are exactly alike. Plus, all of their pottery and tiles are limited editions.

Instagram-Worthy Art Murals

Floral Mural

There are plenty of places where you can enjoy local art in Cambria, and that includes outside! From murals to sculptures, there are surprises around every turn. Go exploring to try and find a few of our favorite spots, and make sure to take a picture!

Outside Bob & Jan’s Bottle Shop, the Monarch Mural celebrates the western monarch butterflies that annually spend their winters along the Central Coast. Spread your wings and pose in front of the mural for the perfect shot. Then make a note to visit during the winter to see the butterflies themselves!

One of the outside walls of Slabtown Mercantile features a beautiful local wildflower mural. Each plant is labeled with both the common and Latin name, giving the effect of looking at a giant, colorfully illustrated field guide.

The Community Mural Project in Cambria was initiated by the Cambria Center for the Arts as a way to celebrate the arts and beautify the town. The modern portrayal of the seaside, created by artist Tigg Morales, is a sunny addition to any Central Coast art tour.

A Delicious Sampler of Culinary Art

Photo at an angle of Robin's Restaurant in Cambria, CA

If there’s something Cambria does as well as art, it’s food. Maybe that’s because the local restaurants really do see their culinary work as an art form. A visit to these establishments isn’t just a time to refuel, it’s a chance to experience more of the beauty that the Central Coast has to offer.

Housed in the historic Williams/Thorndyke/Bright house and patio, Brydge Restaurant features seasonal plates with fresh and organic ingredients. Inspired by Cambria’s farming community, the meals connect the earth with the people it nourishes.

Robin’s Restaurant is a delicious combination of internationally inspired cuisine and ingredients from local farms that you just won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re craving Vietnamese spring rolls or peach-glazed baby pork back ribs, there’s truly something for everyone.

The perfect spot for elegant dinner dining, Indigo Moon initially began as a wine and cheese shop. Today, you can still enjoy the wine and cheese alongside dishes that were created specifically to showcase the seasonal bounty of the Central Coast.  

Events that Celebrate Local Art

Cambria hosts many monthly and annual events that celebrate the local art scene. Check out all of Cambria’s exciting events on our events page and mark your calendar for future visits to the Central Coast. You can also sign up for our email newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates! 

Art and Wine Festival

Held over three days in January, the Cambria Art and Wine Festival is for artists and art enthusiasts alike. Browse booths featuring the work of Central Coast artists, sip varieties of boutique wine, and take the opportunity to create some paintings of your own!

Film Festival

For four days in February, Cambria celebrates the best shorts, features, and documentaries about romance with the annual Cambria Film Festival. The films are shown in different venues around town. Purchase a pass package based on how many films you want to see, and enjoy this celebration of the art of motion pictures.  

Scarecrow Festival

During the entire month of October, Cambria transforms into a whole-town art museum with the Scarecrow Festival. What began as a small display with only 30 scarecrows has grown into a giant art celebration with hundreds of creative characters displayed all over the community. Visit during October to explore the area and see how many unique scarecrows you can find!

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