Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). The name Cambria, chosen in 1869, is the Latin name for Wales. Cambria is situated amidst Monterey pines in one of only three such native forests. Previously, the town had gone by the names of Slabtown, Rosaville, San Simeon, and Santa Rosa. The corresponding census designated place (CDP) had a population of 6,032 at the 2010 census, slightly down from 6,232 at the 2000 census.
Cambria has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate typical for the coast regions of southern California, experiencing an Indian summer with warmest days in August and September. Winters are cool and wet with mild days, chilly nights, and great rainfall. Summers are warm and dry with sometimes hot days, cool nights, and almost no rainfall.
Demographics and Census
The 2010 United States Census reported that Cambria had a population of 6,032. The population density was 708.9 people per square mile (273.7/km2). The racial makeup of Cambria was 5,166 (85.6%) White, 18 (0.3%) African American, 47 (0.8%) Native American, 78 (1.3%) Asian, 14 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 557 (9.2%) from other races, and 152 (2.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,187 persons (19.7%).
The primary economic activity of Cambria is tourism. Located on the Pacific Ocean, the area has rocky cliffs and beaches. The town and adjacent hills are known for the extensive Monterey pines that give the area a particular character. The 2012–2014 drought severely affected the forests, with estimates that as many as 40% of the trees were dying.
There are many bed and breakfast inns and hotels, especially along Moonstone Beach Drive. One visiting author described seeing "many impressive homes of highly imaginative design" and encouraged a casual tour of the residential district. The beach is home to various sea life such as seals and sea otters and tide pools filled with sea anemones, sea urchins, star fish, crabs, snails, and more. The beach was named after the moonstones that wash ashore there. Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is a 1.5 mi (2.4 km) walk with several beach access points and benches to allow for sea life observation and beach combing.
Points of Interest
Hearst Castle is located approximately six miles north, and the Northern elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas is some fifteen miles to the north.
Cambria is home to the Cambria Historical Museum in the historic East Village and to the California State Historical Landmark No 939, Nitt Witt Ridge.