My family recently took a road trip to Cambria, CA. If you are unfamiliar of where Cambria is, it’s in the central coast of California. I am going to share some of my tips on how we survived a five plus hour trip with a 5 and 2 year old with some of our dearest friends! I am also excited to share some of the kid friendly activities in and around Cambria, CA.
Road Trip Tips with Kids
- Know where your playgrounds are!
No matter what time you leave in Southern California, you are always going to run into TRAFFIC! This will inevitably add time onto your road trip… Sigh!
So, we just looked up awesome parks along the way and made it apart of our adventure. And can I tell you our friends were like playground connoisseurs. They knew where ALL the good stops where along the coast.
On the way up, we stopped at Tomol Interpretive Play Area in Carpinteria, CA. This is just south of Santa Barbara. The girls appreciated being able to stretch their legs and we were able to get a bite to eat. Win-Win!
On our way back to Orange County, we stopped in Solvang, CA and hit up Sunny Fields Park. Ummm, this park was like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. It was AMAZING! You have to check this place out if you are driving along the California coast.
I mean, who doesn’t love snacks? Load them up with yummy yummy snacks so no one is whining… Well, haha, reduced whining ;). I always like to buy novel snacks for road trips or plane rides. The “newness” of the snack allows a LITTLE bit of calmness on the ride.
- Screen Time
Yeah, preload those tablets with favorite Netflix shows and apps. Just do what you need to do to survive that road trip. Even my pediatrician said during travel, some of those screen time rules do not apply :).
- Coloring Books
I bought two new coloring books and fresh pack of crayons. I plopped a few crayons in the girls cup holder and they were very happy! Here are my favorite crayons so the 2 year old won’t destroy them! They are Twistable Crayons from Crayola.
Can I just tell you real fast how amazing and cute and charming our hotel was in Cambria, CA? We stayed at a place called Ocreanpoint Ranch. We randomly found it online and just went off of the reviews. This hotel is newly renovated and you can tell they went the extra mile to ensure their guests felt welcomed!
The design is very ranch style. What we loved was how kid friendly it was! In front of the rooms they had fenced in sections that included yard games. These yard games included corn hole, shuffle board, you can try your hand at lasso’ing a plastic bull and even croquet, and horseshoes. They have several fire pits and nice chairs surrounding it. We saw a few families making s’mores at night! They had a heated pool AND game room. But seriously, our kids just enjoyed playing around the hotel. If we weren’t exploring the area, they were very content just being at Oceanpoint Ranch.
Oh, did I also mention they had a private trail to the beach? Yeah, this place was amazing!
Kid Friendly Activities in Cambria
Okay, so the famous elephant seals near San Simeon were about 10 minutes from where we were staying. Of course we had to go explore this. The kids LOVED going to this lookout spot to watch the seals in their natural habitat.
I mean, these elephant seals really didn’t do much… Like, at all! Imma be honest real fast, I would love a day where I could live the life as an elephant seal. They just get to lay on a beach allll day and nap!
But before I solidify my new wish. Quick Question- Do you think their young ask for snacks all day? *Asking for a friend! bahaha- Moving on!
Big Sur was about 20 minutes from where we stayed. Along the way, there were several other hikes as well. We did a small hike because we had two, 2 year olds and two, 5 year olds.
Whatever your ability levels are, there is something for you in this area! A lot of options here.
One of our favorite activities was on Moonstone Beach. We just let our girls explore the rock filled beach and we were on a mission to find different colored rocks and gems. It was my husbands favorite part of the trip!
OMG, I could not get over the amazing food here. It was delicious. Who knew this sleepy little beach town could house such amazing food? We first ate at this amazing eatery called Centrally Grown. It came with amazing views and good food. What I loved the most was the cutest little secret garden on its grounds. So so cool!
We then went to lunch at a spot called the Cambria Cafe. WOW! The sub I had was probably one of the best sandwiches I have had ever eaten. We also somehow snagged an entire room to ourselves. Pretty handy for two families that include 4 kids total :).
So, one of the reasons we booked this weekend away was because the dad’s in our group were celebrating birthdays. Cambria has a local eatery named Linn’s. We noticed they have a block covered with businesses. One of which is Linn’s Easy as Pie! So, we grabbed a few desserts and decided to celebrate the guys birthday with what else… BUT PIE! And yes, it was also delicious.
Are you noticing that most of these Yelp reviews are 4+ reviews :). Yeah, it was a trend we were happy to continue on our weekend getaway.
Can’t wait to plan our next visit!
We will DEFINITELY be coming back to Cambria. We had a BLAST here and we were not disappointed with our trip. It was our first time and it was a great experience. I would recommend visiting this amazing little quaint town!