Although Cambria is the classical term for the nation of Wales in the United Kingdom, it also refers to a charming seaside community located along California State Route 1. This Cambria, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, has gone by various names during its history, including Slabtown, San Simeon, and Santa Rosa. Situated in San Luis Obispo County, Cambria is a village with about 6,000 inhabitants.
A primary draw for tourists coming to holiday rentals in Cambria is Hearst Castle, located just six miles north of the town. This large estate up in the hills above the town was constructed by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and remains an enduring testament to his great fortune. Visiting the estate, now part of the California State Park system, is like stepping into the past where rich and famous people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries amassed enormous fortunes and spent them building grand homes to rival those found in Europe.
An outdoor pool features an array of Greek-themed statuary and an inside pool has tiles inlaid with gold. The ceilings throughout the large home are works of art in and of themselves and the dining room features a table designed to seat dozens of guests.
The bus ride up to the castle allows visitors to glimpse the descendants of wild animals that Hearst installed on his estate, among them zebras.
Fifteen miles to the north of Cambria, tourists can view a rookery for Northern Elephant Seals.