Subject: Central California Coast: Cambria and more
Hi Ziners,

Its Friday afternoon and I just ran across some information about a trip i took last year along the 101 (Pacific Coast Highway) and I thought I would share the rest of the Info, to add to the recent discussion about this area ( including my post :)

Along the 101, heading towards Morro bay and San Luis Obispo turn off on highway 227 to view a nice waterfall called Big Falls Canyon. This is a beautiful back country road. Take Lopez lake road east .9 mile to Lopez lake. Just before the recreation area turn right on High Mountain road. Go left on Upper Lopez Canyon, following it north and west as you cross the creek several times until you reach a signed trailhead, at approximately 3.6 miles. Nice falls when there is water. http://www.slocountyparks.com/activities/lopez.htm

At Arroyo Grande you might want to visit the swinging bridge which is at the end of Short street. This bridge is a pretty cool suspension foot bridge over Arroyo creek, built in the 1880's and very historic. http://www.beachcalifornia.com/arroyo.html

Sycamore Hot Springs is a really nice place to visit. You can rent a tub for an hour or more and enjoy a soak or stay overnight, and enjoy the private tub on your balcony. Avila is a more primitive spot, but also nice: http://www.sycamoresprings.com/regular/home.html http://avilahotsprings.com/

Right near Sycamore Hot Springs is See Canyon and Perfumo Canyons, a beautiful back road through coastal canyons and valleys which connects to the Los Osos Valley and Morro bay. http://www.locallinks.com/san_luis_obispo/slo_links.htm#See%20Canyon

As this Road winds down toward Morro Bay you will see Sweet Springs Natural Preserve (part of The Morro Bay National Estuary) which has walking trails across two bridges and over freshwater and salt water ponds. Its a nice place to bird watch, or just relax and smell the Ocean. Here is a link to other places to see this beautiful Estuary: http://www.mbnep.org/places.htm

Past Morro Bay you eventually reach Cambria, first you will pass Harmony, a town comprised mainly of Artists. In Cambria we stayed at the Cambria Landing (upstairs with a fireplace and balcony with view) and enjoyed it immensely. It includes Breakfast, and local wine and cheese in the evening. We have also stayed at the Cambria Pines and the Fireside Inn, which are also very nice. The fireside inn is on Moonstone beach ( like the Cambria Landing) and has large rooms. The Pines is not on the beach, but has full suites with separate living and sleeping rooms. On Moonstone beach there is a nice boardwalk that takes in some ocean vistas and offers Whale watching opportunities too. Perfect way to end a day and catch a Sunset. http://www.bestwesternfiresideinn.com/ http://www.cambriapineslodge.com/ http://cambrialanding.com/

Santa Rosa Creek Road is a lovely back road worthy of a drive, or better yet a bike ride: http://www.pashnit.com/roads/cal/SantaRosaCreekRd.htm

Leffingwell's Landing (off Moonstone beach) has great tide pools to explore as well as Sea Otter watching. Its great for kids. Linns Fruit Bin is great for Jams made with local fruits and berries, free tastes and the drive to the farm is beautiful : http://www.linnsfruitbin.com/

Cambria seems to have some nice dining options, we enjoyed The Brambles and Robins Restaurant as well as The Hamlet at Moonstone Gardens which has great patio seats for lunch. If you are lucky enough to visit San Luis Obispo on a Thursday night, they have the most wonderful Farmers Market that is great for fruits and veggies as well as a large assortment of food like Tri tip and roasted corn. In Santa Barbara you cannot beat La Super-Rica for great Mexican food. http://www.bramblesdinnerhouse.com/ http://www.robinsrestaurant.com/ http://incambria.com/hamlet/ http://www.downtownslo.com/FarmersMarket/ http://www.santabarbaradirect.com/sbshopping/listings/restaurants%20dining/l_listings/lasuperrica.htm

I hope this helps,

Amelia Hesson Los Angeles