Cambria is a seaside village located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). The name Cambria was chosen in 1869. Previously, the town had gone by the names of Slabtown, Rosaville, San Simeon and Santa Rosa. Cambria is the Latin name for Wales.
It is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 6,032 at the 2010 census, slightly down from 6,232 at the 2000 census.Tourism
The primary economic activity of Cambria is tourism. Located on the Pacific Ocean, the area has rocky cliffs and beaches. Monterey Pine woods are extensive. There are many bed and breakfast inns and hotels, especially along Moonstone Beach Drive.
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.
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. 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.
Hearst Castle is located approximately six miles north, and the Northern elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas is some fifteen miles to the north.
A Castle and A Shipwreck
Cambria has benefited greatly from the building of the Hearst Castle. During the high unemployment years of the Great Depression, many of the Cambria citizens found welcome employment in the building activities. Additionally, Cambria provided supplies, services, and accommodations for many who came to build the Castle, creating prosperity in Cambria in an otherwise not really prosperous decade.
War also affected Cambria when the 8,000-ton Union Oil tanker, SS Montebello, was attacked and sunk in the early morning of December 23, 1941. Cambria citizens rallied to the rescue and all six crewmen were rescued. According to the captain, Olaf Eckstrom, these citizens of Cambria were real heroes: “God Bless ’em — they performed like American seamen, orderly, efficient, without hysteria.”
Other notable locations in the town include the historical Old Santa Rosa Chapel which was built in 1870, and as one of the oldest churches in the county of San Luis Obispo, held Catholic mass until May 26, 1963. The church fell into neglect until 1978, when the chapel and cemetery were restored. Wooden markers and tombstones as old as the founding year of the chapel (1870) grace the Santa Rosa Catholic Cemetery to the rear of the small chapel; at the entrance there is a large sign reading: In Pace Requiescat (Latin for Rest In Peace).
Photo Credits: Pam Craig
There are no schools near by this property.