Header directions edited

Directions to Cambria & Other Travel Tips

Tucked away between Highway 1 and the Pacific is a unique Central Coast beach town: Cambria. There are plenty of ways to access this seaside gem—driving south from the Bay, north from the LA area, west from the Central Valley, or coming from further away via plane or train. No matter how you get here, we’ve prepared this guide on directions to Cambria to help ensure your trip and stay are the sort of lasting experience you expect from this charming town. Book your stay, then follow along below to chart your best course to Cambria.

Cambria by Road

Cambria by raod Edited

Once the best-kept secret on the coast, Cambria has become an increasingly popular road trip destination for Californians looking for an atmospheric beach town experience to soothe their senses. The path to coastal views on the way to Cambria is the historic Highway 1, but you can also arrive from inland by Highway 46. If you do take Highway 1, note that it’s not uncommon for it to be closed north of Cambria, around the Big Sur area, due to rockslides, road washouts, and the like. To ensure the best route for your adventure before your stay, be sure to follow San Luis Obispo County’s road closure notices as well as the alerts from Caltrans.

Directions to Cambria from Southern California

Coming to Cambria from Southern California, you might be tempted to hop on Highway 5 and head through the Grapevine, but we recommend against going that way—there are frequent delays that make it a less-than-ideal route. Instead, head up either Highway 14 or Highway 33 to Highway 166 or Highway 58. From there, you’ll be able to enjoy that iconic Highway 1 drive right up to Cambria, passing the natural marvel and maritime beacon, Morro Rock, along the way.

Directions to Cambria from the Central Valley

Compared to the crowded beachheads of the Bay Area and Southern California, the Central Coast provides a unique alternative to visitors from the Central Valley looking for a quieter, more intimate coastal getaway. Whether you’re coming from Fresno, Bakersfield, Modesto, or any city in between, Cambria provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Take the route of choice out of your departure point to Kettleman City. Fuel up (both your vehicle and yourself) before heading down Highway 41 to Highway 46. There are gas stations as well as an electric vehicle charging station in the city. From there, you’ll follow Highway 46, bringing you just south of Cambria, until it meets up with our old friend, Highway 1.

Directions to Cambria from the Bay Area & Big Sur

Please note that a portion of Highway 1 leading from the Bay Area to Cambria is currently closed, with an indefinite date for reopening.

You have a few choices when heading to Cambria from the San Francisco Bay Area. For a faster, more direct route, begin with taking Highway 101 to Salinas. From there, you can continue on 101 to Highway 46 if you want to get into Cambria ASAP. Alternatively, you can take Highway 68 to Monterey Bay, then head south on Highway 1. If you would like to enjoy a longer, more scenic route, and you’ve made sure there are no closures, you can ride Highway 1’s twists along the coast all the way to Cambria.

Cambria by Air

cambria by air

There are plenty of ways to make it to Cambria even if you’re coming from outside California or the West Coast. If you’re coming by plane, the best airport to fly into is San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP). This location has direct flights arriving from many major airports, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Dallas.

From there, you have a suite of options for the last leg of your trip. You can:

You can also hop on the bus via the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority. For that option, you’ll want to take Route 12 from San Luis Obispo to the Morro Bay Transfer Hub. From there, ride Route 15 all the way to Cambria. The bus stop in Cambria is on Burton at Main Street, dropping you off in the perfect place to start exploring everything this Central Coast gem has to offer.

Cambria by Train

Cambria by train edited

If you’re looking to turn your travel time to the Central Coast into its own vacation, consider taking the trip by train. You can plan your trip to the area through Amtrak—take the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight routes to San Luis Obispo and relax with all the amenities that riding by rail offers. From there, you have all the same options as arriving via plane, including car rentals, taxi or rideshare, or the bus.

Preparing to Travel to Cambria

prepare for stay edited

Once you’ve plotted out how you’re going to get there, you can start planning how you’re going to enjoy your time in Cambria. If it’s your first time heading into this unique Central Coast town, check out the guide we put together especially for you.

Next, make sure you’ve taken care of all the essential prep work. That means booking your stay from among the wide selection of boutique lodging options in town. Also, be certain you’ve packed for the weather and experience you’re looking forward to. Find your perfect schedule of activities, shops, and food options through our itineraries page.

Don’t forget to download the Visit Cambria App, where you’ll have all the info you need for your trip at your fingertips. If you’re in need of even more trip inspiration, check out our top tips to get the most out of your Cambria excursion.

Enjoy the Journey Before Your Visit

enjoy the journey Edited

Once you get here, you’ll quickly understand why the trip to Cambria was only the prelude. Start exploring everything the town has to offer—follow our recommendations to get the most out of the fun and flavors found here on the Central Coast. Once you’ve arrived here, you might not want to leave!

Scroll to Top