Cambria Historic Photo 1

Moments of Nostalgia

Step Back in Time in Cambria

Cambria is more than a beautiful travel destination—this small town is rooted in a rich history that dates back over 150 years ago. We are lucky to have preserved most of our history for you to experience. Step back in time in Cambria and experience the abundance of nostalgia our town has to offer.

Day 1:

2:00 p.m. – Explore the Cambria Historical Museum & Walking Tour

Start your afternoon at the Cambria Historical Society. Use your Visit Cambria App to take a tour around town and experience all of our historical architecture, such as the Santa Rosa Chapel & Cemetery, Lyons House, Rigdon House, and more.

5:30 p.m. – Dinner at Madeline’s

After experiencing the rich history of Cambria, discover some of the finest boutique wines of California’s Central Coast and taste the French-inspired menu at Madeline’s. Your dining needs are in safe hands in their candle-lit dining room. Reservations are highly encouraged.

Day 2:

9:30 a.m. – Visit the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Fresnel Lens

Begin your day with a visit to the historic Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Fresnel Lens on Main Street. The first-order Fresnel lens used at Piedras Blancas Light Stations was constructed in France by Henri Lapaute in 1872. The original lens and clockwork mechanism are displayed next to the Veteran’s Memorial Building. On loan from the Coast Guard to the Cambria Lion’s Club, the non-profit Friends of the Piedras Blancas Light Station Lens maintains the lens. In 1990, a glass enclosure was built by the Friends to protect the historical artifact.

11:00 a.m. – Grab a light lunch at Soto’s True Earth Market

After visiting the historic lighthouse lens, make your way over to Soto’s True Earth Market for a snack or light lunch. Built-in 1939 by Joaquin and Agnes Maggetti Soto, three generations of the Soto family operated the store at this location for 72 years before being sold in 1991. The historic market has everything from deli meats and cheeses to natural trail mixes and local produce. Create your own picnic lunch as you browse the shelves, or order from their full menu of lunch goodies.

1:30 p.m. – Stroll through Spellbound Herbs

After lunch, make your way over to Spellbound Herbs. Built-in the early 1870s, the structure was sold in 1880 to local brothers John & James Taylor, a family of the longest continuous residents of the community. Originally an 1870s homestead, the building is now home to Spellbound Herbs Gift Shop & Garden. Stroll through their beautiful shop and gardens filled with sweet-smelling herbs and flowers. Find everything from bath salts, body wash, books, bubble baths, candles, and more.

3:00 p.m. – Explore the historic Squibb House

Admire the beautiful exterior of this exquisite home built in 1877. Set to be destroyed in 1953, the house was rescued by Paul and Louise Squibb, giving it the name, we know today. The Squibb House is on the San Luis Obispo County Register of Historic Places. After viewing this historic home, wander into The Shop Next Door, an eclectic shop of custom American-made furnishing by Amish craftsmen. Bentwood rockers, beautiful metalware, ceramic, glass, vintage framed items, and unique art can be found here.

Squibb House

4:00 p.m. – Shop at Cambria Nursery Downtown

Located in the old Cambria Fire Department building, Cambria Nursery Downtown is Cambria Nursery & Florist’s newest location. The building was previously home to Oliver’s Twist, a retail location that sold jewelry, chocolates, and housewares in the beautifully remodeled building with vaulted ceilings and big windows. Oliver’s Twist opened in this location in 1998 and remained a Cambria staple for almost 25 years. Today, Cambria Nursery Downtown features hand-picked boho-style home décor and furniture, modern coastal goods, beautiful house plants and planters, and a section dedicated to local artists and creators.

5:30 p.m. – Dinner at Robin’s Restaurant

Robin’s Restaurant is located in the historic Souza House, built in 1935. For more than 25 years, this best-of-all-worlds eatery has been a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With its vine-covered patio and cozy interior, Robin’s Restaurant features handcrafted, comfort cuisine with an array of international flavors from farmers’ market-fresh ingredients.  

Day 3:

9:00 a.m. – Breakfast at Linn’s Restaurant

Start your morning with olallieberry treats and goods at Linn’s Restaurant. Linn’s has been around since 1989, when they served fruits and veggies from their farm stand. You won’t want to miss this farm-to-table breakfast making you nostalgic for the days of homegrown food.

11:00 a.m. – Browse the Vault Gallery

After a tasty breakfast, hop over to the Vault Gallery next door to Linn’s. The Vault Gallery, located in the Historic Bank Building, was established in 1991 and represents preeminent California Plein Air Painters and Contemporary artists and photographers.

1:00 p.m. – Tour Hearst Castle

End your weekend of nostalgia with a visit to a museum like no other. Hearst Castle’s history began in 1865 when George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of ranchland. After his mother died in 1919, William Randolph Hearst inherited thousands of acres around San Simeon, and over time, he purchased more. The spread eventually encompassed about 250,000 acres. With architect Julia Morgan, Hearst conceived a retreat he called La Cuesta Encantada—Spanish for “Enchanted Hill.” Today, you can explore the 165 rooms and more than 125 sprawling acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways. After being closed for two years, Hearst Castle is now open to visitors again. Three unique guided Hearst Castle Tours are offered throughout the day, and evening tours are shown in the Spring and Fall only. Reserve your tour on their website.

Scroll to Top