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Moments of Surprise for Your Family and Friends in Cambria

The fall season is all about visiting with family and friends. We know you’re already familiar with the variety of wonders in Cambria. So why not bring your loved ones along and let them be surprised by everything the Central Coast has to offer? Plan out your days below, and get your companions ready for a trip they’ll never forget.

Monarch Butterflies

Day 1

Morning with Monarch Butterflies

Cambria is the perfect place to stop to see the annual migration of the western monarch butterflies. The season of October through February sees the monarchs arriving to stay for winter. Surprise your family with the colorful serenity of butterflies at various spots throughout the town. It’s the perfect time to catch sight of them in the trees as you explore the Central Coast.

Lunch at Soto’s

Hidden in the back of the True Earth Market & Kitchen is one of Cambria’s best-kept secrets: The deli at Soto’s. This eatery focuses on natural foods and offers a surprisingly wide palette of food for everyone, whether you want a big breakfast burrito, a hearty steak sandwich, or a tasty udon bowl. Your party even has their pick of local wine or beer!

Cambria Nursery

A staple of the Central Coast area, Cambria Nursery and Florist offers the perfect outlet to surprise your loved ones with a flower arrangement as part of your trip. However, this local business is more than a mere flower shop—it’s a great time to get a head start on the holidays by introducing your friends and family to the shop’s year-round Christmas store, one of the largest in the region.

Dinner at Madeline’s

The perfect place for dinner with your whole party, Madeline’s welcomes you for a delicious evening. Whether you’re dining in their brilliant new interior or the chef’s garden out front, your friends and family are in for delicious dishes they won’t see coming, such as the appetizer scallops or Madeline’s famous Long Island duck breast. Complement the experience for everyone with a round of wine tasting!

Cambria Christmas Market Lights 2 min

Day 2

Moonstone Hunting at Moonstone Beach

Moonstone Beach is a worthwhile destination no matter what activities you do, but bring your friends and family along for moonstone hunting. This enjoyable activity can have you all working together to find stones that are truly special! Moonstone Beach provides the perfect place to explore and comb the beach for these surprisingly smooth stones, beautifully polished by the sea.

Brunch at Cambria Mimosas

What better way to surprise your party early in the day than with a giant mimosa? The eponymous drinks from Cambria Mimosas provide a delightful centerpiece to your brunch. Surround that with orders like steak and eggs, or one of their signature omelets with green chilies and avocado, and get ready for the rest of your day.

Thrifting and Antiquing

There’s a wealth of hidden gems to be found shopping around Cambria. Surprise yourself with the perfect piece you didn’t know you needed by perusing The Garden Shed, the historic shop featuring a selection of garden items and hand-selected foliage. You might also lead your loved ones to any of the Central Coast’s most distinguished antique shops, such as Antiques on Main, or Rich Man Poor Man Antiques. With so many choices, everyone can find something special!

Christmas Market

If you’ve visited Cambria before, you may have heard of or attended the Cambria Christmas Market. So you also know this European-style market is the perfect place to bring your friends and family to make their jaws drop—the colors and installations amid the backdrop of the winter night in the trails by the Cambria Pines Lodge is incredible every year. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, then get ready to take in the sights and sounds of food stalls, traditional singing and dancing, and more for a night to remember.

Wildlife min

Day 3

Breakfast at Lily’s

A must-stop as you take your family on their tour of Cambria, Lily’s Coffeehouse is the perfect place to kick off a morning on the Central Coast. Everyone with you can choose whatever they want from their espresso bar, from coffee or tea. You’ll have your indulgent choice of desserts for breakfast, including scones or their famous carrot cake. Get there Saturday and surprise the family with crepes served out on their deck!

Wildlife Viewings

What would a trip to the Central Coast be without a stop to see that signature beach wildlife? Head to Piedras Blancas rookery to let your companions take in the spectacle of the elephant seals that gather there. These awe-inspiring creatures are some of the most unique animals you can catch sight of in Cambria, but they aren’t the only ones. You’ll also have the chance to view whales from places like Moonstone Beach.

Tour Hearst Castle

One of the defining historic locations on the Central Coast, Hearst Castle has so much to it, your loved ones are guaranteed to find something surprising. Your party won’t expect zebras in these parts, but approaching the road to the castle will yield a glimpse of these exotic, free-roaming animals. Entering the chateau of William Randolph Hearst, your family and friends will be transported back for a tour through time unlike any other.

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