When people ask, “What is there to do around here?” whether they are visitors or residents trying to entertain company, sometimes one wants to look beyond the basics. I mean, yeah, Moonstone Beach and beyond are pretty darned awesome to walk or sit and stare at. And Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is a jewel within our village limits that offers a cardio workout hiking up and down hills or respite on a bench overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. What else?
Obviously, there is no shortage of food or wine tasting. I don’t believe there is a block of business in this town that doesn’t have restaurants and wine rooms. You will neither hunger nor thirst here. The plethora of galleries and boutiques offers not just unique items to embellish yourself or your home, but also serves as inspiration for decorating your own space or adorning your bod in artful style.
And, the art galleries — we’ve got several and they are so worth checking out! Local artists are well represented, as are out-of-area painters, sculptures and more. If you do live here, when was the last time you walked down Main Street? Do you know what is even in your little town? Shops and galleries have come and gone, and even the stalwarts change it up some, making it worth the exercise of parking and strolling the streets.
Even if you can’t shop, window shopping and just chatting can turn a day into something memorable — or at least a pleasant diversion. When I was a child growing up in L.A., we always took our relatives from Wisconsin or Louisiana or wherever, to Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm. It was fun, to be sure, but now… nooooo, thank you. Cambria’s Main Street USA is far more appealing. Obviously, visitors think so or they wouldn’t write about us.
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But wait, there’s more! Did you know you can schedule or participate in several creative workshops/classes right here in town? Cambria Beads in the West Village offers lessons in basic wire wrapping or putting together the perfect accent for your favorite ensemble. Patricia Griffin Ceramics offers pottery classes throughout the year. Her handmade wares are available for sale, of course, but you may also want to try your hand at making your own coffee mug!
Harmony Glassworks in Harmony (of course), has glassblowing available to the public. If you’re like me and always wanted to play with molten glass, here’s your chance. Everything is provided, including a close eye from your instructor, so it’s safe. Many artists offer painting or ceramics classes in their homes, and you may find them by contacting Allied Arts/Cambria Center for the Arts for leads on those folks. The Wednesday Irregulars invite anyone who wants to do plein air painting to join in. I, myself, will teach tie dye and needle felting and a few other things you think you might want to try.
Tour Hearst Castle? Been there, done that? Go again, perhaps on an evening tour! Or, tour Cambria’s most epic former residence, Nitt Witt Ridge! Every man’s home is his castle, eh? Book a tour to explore this compilation of toilets and trinkets cemented into walls and walkways. There are real home tours seasonally available for certain fundraisers as well. Check the newspaper or Chamber of Commerce for listings as well as details on festivals of various sorts.
Kayaking is available at Hearst San Simeon State Beach (the Cove) with Sea for Yourself Kayak. Horseback riding can be enjoyed through Covell’s California Clydesdales.
Here’s the thing: Read the paper (read several newspapers) to keep up on what’s going on in your own town. Take a walk. Take your time. Explore.
Plays, readings, live music, lectures, ecstatic dance … there is something happening in Cambria almost every night! Meditations, yoga, fitness of all sorts are available at our gyms or through the Joslyn Center.
I mean, what a great way to work off all the holiday goodies you’ve consumed!