Exploring Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

Let's Visit Moonstone Beach in Cambria

Cambria is Perfect for Getting Away

I live about thirty miles from Cambria's Moonstone Beach, and have visited it often. It's the perfect getaway for a few hours when it's hot in Templeton and Paso Robles, yet people visit it from all over the world. There is a boardwalk that runs the length of the beach for those who want a scenic background when getting their exercise. If you like to watch wildlife, you can find an abundance of birds and ground squirrels to keep you amused.

From the boardwalk, those who want to get wet or walk along the beach have several staircases for beach access. Some people surf and a few get into the water when it's warm enough. Others just play on the beach or picnic. As you see in the video, some were building structures of various kinds from driftwood, which is abundant on Moonstone Beach. Some people like to look for rocks and the occasional jade to be found. As you can see in the video, some like to explore the tide pools.

Our most recent visit was on Sunday, August 12, 2012, because our air-conditioning failed and we needed to cool off. We knew Moonstone Beach would be much cooler. We decided to eat at the Main Street Grill in Cambria before hitting the beach. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. We had burgers and fries, and they were cooked just the way we like them. If you order fries, note that a large basket is about twice as much as two senior citizens can or should eat. A family could share them, or two football players. After lunch we walked around a bit, and browsed a used bookstore. I took a few pictures of West Cambria, and then we headed for Moonstone Beach.

West Cambria's Main Street

West Cambria on a mid- August Sunday afternoon.
West Cambria on a mid- August Sunday afternoon. | Source
A trolley we saw on Main Street in Cambria
A trolley we saw on Main Street in Cambria | Source
This was  the historic Santa Rosa  School, but it's now an art gallery.
This was the historic Santa Rosa School, but it's now an art gallery. | Source
I was tempted to explore this unique art gallery.
I was tempted to explore this unique art gallery. | Source
We spent quite a bit of time talking to the owner of this bookstore while we were browsing, since I'm also  a bookseller.
We spent quite a bit of time talking to the owner of this bookstore while we were browsing, since I'm also a bookseller. | Source

Moonstone Beach, Cambria, CA

Near the Parking Lot

Part of the boardwalk near the south parking lot and restroom building.
Part of the boardwalk near the south parking lot and restroom building. | Source
This is the building that houses the restrooms on the south parking lot.
This is the building that houses the restrooms on the south parking lot. | Source

Parking and Restrooms

Parking in the village of Cambria can be difficult, but there are designated parking lots near popular attractions such as restaurants. You just need to look for the signs that say "Public Parking." Some businesses have a few parking places in front, but the lots are your best option for blocks with a lot of businesses. There are also public restrooms, which were cleaner than I expected on a late Sunday afternoon, near the parking lots.

At Moonstone Beach there are several parking lots. We choose the first lot as we came from the south. It is one of the smaller lots, and I don't recommend it if you are pulling a trailer. On a previous visit to Moonstone Beach I made the video you see below in this very parking lot as I was directing a man trying to turn around to get out of this parking lot with his trailer. So be warned. There is a restroom at the edge of this parking lot, and it was cleaner than I expected it to be. Notice the solar panels on top of the restroom building.

Travel Trailer Turning Around at Moonstone Beach

Activities on Moonstone Beach

People were very busy on the beach Sunday afternoon. Since there is so much driftwood, many people, mostly men, were engaged in building things, like huts, with it. Some may have been hogans. I saw a boy surfing with his boogie board, as you saw in the video at the beginning. Children were running into the surf or exploring the beach. Some were playing in the small lagoon near the parking lot. One man was reading, using the driftwood as a bench. Another man was walking the beach. Some folks were just sitting on benches, enjoying the peace and watching the waves. I thought still pictures were most effective in capturing these activities.

Photos of Moonstone Beach:What People Were Doing

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Driftwood piled on beach.
Driftwood piled on beach. | Source
More driftwood on the beach.
More driftwood on the beach. | Source
Waves crashing on rocks.
Waves crashing on rocks. | Source
Looking down on tide pools
Looking down on tide pools | Source
Mother and  child in surf.
Mother and child in surf. | Source

Your Impressions of Moonstone Beach

Have you ever visited Moonstone Beach?

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The Boardwalk at Moonstone Beach

On Sunday I walked more of the boardwalk than ever before. I came very close to walking the whole distance, but I knew I needed to turn back about ten minutes before reaching the north end.(Someone coming from that end told me it was about ten minutes more.) I didn't have a watch, and I was always stopping to take pictures and shoot video, but my husband, who was waiting for me to come back, said I'd been gone about two hours. He had walked the first forty minutes with me before returning to the car.

Sights From the Boardwalk, Moonstone Beach

Tree arching over boardwalk.
Tree arching over boardwalk. | Source
Coastline as seen from boardwalk.
Coastline as seen from boardwalk. | Source
Bench overlooking boardwalk and ocean.
Bench overlooking boardwalk and ocean. | Source
My husband heading north on boardwalk.
My husband heading north on boardwalk. | Source
Boardwalk going north.
Boardwalk going north. | Source
Couple enjoying scenery from private bench.
Couple enjoying scenery from private bench. | Source

Saying Goodbye to Cambria for Now

By now you've had a chance to pick up the flavor of Moonstone Beach with its tide pools, rocky coastline, and sandy beach. You got a brief glimpse of some of the wildlife in the video. I had intended to show you more about the flora and fauna, but I think it's better to leave those topics for additional hubs. So we'll say goodbye to Moonstone Beach and Cambria for now. I hope you enjoyed our short tour.

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Comments 16 comments

Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

You have created a complete account of Moonstone Beach with interesting commentary, awesome video of birds and wildlife I can only ever imagine and wonderful photos. For me, on the other side of the world this is a real treat. Love the quaint little town and its buildings, love the ocean and beach and the amazing driftwood, and the boardwalk, yes I could have easily spent two hours snapping the sights, so glad you did and shared here. This is my kind of hub, WannaBe Writer - loved every minute, thank you. My votes and best wishes and sharing!!!


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thank you for those kind words, Fennelseed. It's hard not to share some of the places I have grown to love. There are plenty of travel sites that show people where to eat and where to stay, but I wanted to give people planning a vacation or short getaway an idea of the atmosphere and ambiance of this spot. I didn't see a lot on that in my search online. That's another reason I will write hubs on the flora and the wildlife I saw. I'm going to check and see if you've written about anyplace you love.


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 4 years ago from American Southwest

Atmosphere and ambiance - you have got it!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this tour and the beautiful pics and video. I live 16 blocks from Ocean Beach in SF.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Aethelthryth, glad you came by to see it. Not exactly Denver. It has its beauty.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Mhatter, glad you enjoyed the trip. Is your beach similar?


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 4 years ago from Northern California

Wow! This is a wonderful Hub! The video really brings me back to when I visited Cambria. The beach was wonderful, and your photos really help to capture the scenery. This is well made and has so much information! I loved Main Street too!


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thanks, glassvisage. At least you got a chance to visit Cambria in person. For many decades, it was a place we often just drove by on our way to visit my husband's parents in Carmel Valley, and even then we normally did not take the coast. I still need to get pictures of the East Cambria Village, which attracts more tourists than the west end.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 24 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Barbara,

I just spent an enjoyable amount of time enjoying your top video, the photos and descriptions of this beautiful boardwalk along Moonstone Beach and the shops, etc. in Cambria. So glad I saw this on tsu! Up votes and happy to share.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 23 months ago from East Coast, United States

I've never heard of Cambria. It looks like a wonderful place to visit, especially for someone who loves beaches, and I do love a beach. I remember when my kids were little, how we used to gather sticks, driftwood, and other debris on the beach to build little houses or villages. Cambria looks like driftwood heaven!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

I have been to California only twice and neither time did I visit the beach. I wish I could some day. I love the ocean and spend as much time at the beach as I possibly can.

this sounds like a spot I would enjoy

Angels are on the way to you today ps


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 23 months ago from Templeton, CA Author

Cambria is driftwood heaven, for sure, Dolores.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 23 months ago from Templeton, CA Author

pstraubie, I'm sorry you didn't see our beaches. I love Moonstone Beach, but if you only have time to see one beach in California, I'd recommend Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove near Monterey. I wrote about it under my other account, BarbRad as "A Trip to Monterey County With Your Child." Of course, I've never been to the beaches in the Bay Area.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 13 months ago from Northeast Ohio

This sounds like heaven, Wanna B Writer. It looks so picturesque in those pics. Thanks for sharing this travelogue. I would love to visit there someday or place a future storyline there, too.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 13 months ago from Templeton, CA Author

Kristen, he only body of water I have near me that isn't empty during the drought is the ocean. The river is dry. The two closest lakes are dry. And the three next closest lakes are almost dry. They are like puddles. So I'm glad we at least have the ocean. I really love Moonstone Beach.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 13 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Wanna B, oh wow. I'm glad you do have the beach with the ocean. It sounds lovely.

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