Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Moonstone Beach in Cambria: A Review in Photos

man walking on moonstone beach in cambria california

Moonstone Beach Is My Go-To Place When it's Hot

I live about forty minutes from Cambria, California. When it's hot, Moonstone Beach is my favorite place to beat the heat. It seems people visit for a lot of different reasons. Most people just walk the boardwalk as my husband is doing in the photo above. Others like to play on the beach or visit the tide pools. Some fly kites. Some build things from the driftwood they find on the beach. And some hunt for jade left on the beach by the waves. I mostly walk on the beach and boardwalk and take pictures. Below is a another beach walker.

ocean - moonstone beach
Man walking the shoreline at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, © B. Radisavljevic

Most of the people I see at Moonstone Beach are not sunbathers. The weather is generally cool and often windy, as you will see in some of the videos below. The people I see in the water are generally not swimmers, but surfers. Most people don't venture deeper into the water than knee high. A lot of people build sandcastles near the water's edge.

Moonstone Beach is a Family Friendly Place

We once saw a family having a reunion there. The activity of the day for intergenerational fun was flying stunt kites. I'd never seen one before, and it was fascinating. In case you haven't seen them in action, either, I took a video with the family's permission. The grandfather was teaching his teenage granddaughter to fly the stunt kite with him. In between watching the action in the air, there are plenty of views of the beach, the commercial/residential area across the highway from the beach, and the structures people have built and left on the beach. Enjoy.

Sometimes as I sit at my computer trying to tend to business, I remember how much fun this family had that day. It might be fun to try it myself. Here's the kite I might get if I had a grandchild to share it with. It appears to be simple enough for me and a child.

aGreatLife Kite for Kids & Kites for Adults, Cometa, Easy to Fly, Kites for Kids Ages 4-8 Easy to Fly, Large Kites for Kids Ages 8-12, Kites for Toddlers Age 3-5, Beach Kite, Kids Kite for BeginneraGreatLife Kite for Kids & Kites for Adults, Cometa, Easy to Fly, Kites for Kids Ages 4-8 Easy to Fly, Large Kites for Kids Ages 8-12, Kites for Toddlers Age 3-5, Beach Kite, Kids Kite for BeginnerCheck Price


Nature is On Display at Moonstone Beach

I enjoy watching the waves and those trying to ride them. I also like to watch the wildlife -- especially the ground squirrels. They star in two portions of the video below. You'll also see a boy trying to figure out how to catch a wave on his boogie board and another climbing the rocks in the tidepools. It only looks like I'm in the water. Take a few minutes, unwind, and watch the waves with me.

As you saw in the video, there are quite a few ground squirrels, and they can put on quite a show. They aren't really tame, but they don't run away and hide until you get a bit too close for their comfort. I was happy to see and get to snap this.

ground squirrels that look like they are kissing

Those two appear pretty skinny in comparison to the one below. I'll bet it does a lot of begging from beach goers. You can also see some of the  beach flowers in bloom.

ground squirrel on a wooden porch rail

In all seasons but winter there's usually something you can find in bloom or even dispersing seeds. When I was there in August this bush lupine was forming pods.

bush lupine was forming pods

I think the pods look a bit like caterpillars. What do you think?

The buckwheat also blooms in August. It almost makes the beach look like a garden, unlike the beaches I used to frequent in Southern California.

buckwheat blooms

Seagulls seem to be everywhere, but they seem to really like hanging out on the tops of streetlights.

seagull on a streetlight

Sometimes, though, they like performing close to the water. This is part of the Santa Rosa Creek Watershed you see on Moonstone Beach.


Now the gulls have taken to the sky.  The watershed captured the sky's reflection so that it looks like an island of sky surrounded by the sand.

watershed surrounded by sand

Make Some Memories on Your Visit 

Then share them with somebody.

There's so much more to see than I've room to show you here. But there are a couple of things I should tell you before I post this. The beach does have some public restrooms. They are near the parking lot.

public restrooms at moonstone beach

If you want a really private place to take someone special, this is not far off the boardwalk. Behind this tree is a lone secluded bench facing the ocean. You can see a couple enjoying it now.

bench facing the ocean

Although one can usually find a place to park in the lot, if you're driving a long trailer, be careful. This lot, the one by the restroom, wasn't really designed to handle parking something as long as this man is driving.  He obviously got it parked, but  getting it out of the space he parked in presented a problem. You can see how much difficulty he's having. I had to go over and help direct him so he wouldn't hit anything or get stuck.

Our Central Coast is Full of Beaches

Our Central Coast beaches each have a distinct character and people visit them for different reasons. A lot of the sunbathers prefer Pismo Beach. Surfers especially like Cayucos and Moonstone Beach. You can see a how different Cayucos is from Moonstone Beach in Enjoying the beach at Cayucos, California. Get a brief look at most of our beaches and coastal towns here

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  1. When we lived outside San Luis Obispo, Moonstone Beach in Cambria was frequently included in our regular Saturday outings. Each Saturday our family of five would take our little grill, picnic food, frisbees, and other outdoor activity items and visit one of the surrounding beaches from Pismo to Montana de Ora to Cambria. Moonstone Beach was a frequent favorite. In the late 1970s, the boardwalk was not there and we would climb down to the beach from the grassy picnic area near the parking lot. About where the boardwalk appears was a cliff on the left side of the beach and at the base was a natural rock formation that looked like a giant's chair. A favorite place to sit and was the waves up until high tide would force us off that location. :) SO many good memories of a favorite place in my past.

    1. I guess nothing ever stays the same as we remember it. It's funny, but even as the world becomes more polluted, governments will spend more money trying to make their tourist attractions more attractive to tourists. I have a high school friend who moved to the country my husband was born in. He often posts photos of places we visited in the 70's or that my husband remembers from his post WW2 childhood and the historic places have become more parklike than when I was there. I don't even recognize them. I guess as countries stopped spending as much on war they had more funds for this development or thought it would help grow their tourist industries. I'm glad seeing these photos brought back some happy memories.

  2. I always enjoy your nature photos, and the videos really brought Moonstone Beach to life for those of us who don’t live in the area. I’ve never seen stunt kites before and getting to watch multiple generations of that family having a blast with them was wonderful!

    1. It was a lot of fun for me to watch, though those kites moved out of range so fast it was hard to catch them in the video. The only kites I'd had any experience with were the kind Charlie Brown loses in trees. Thanks for coming along to visit one of my favorite places.

  3. Moonstone Beach looks like the perfect retreat for the day, especially since you live so close. I would probably end up spending most of my time there, especially if I could find a way to work online while watching the activity around me.

    1. I haven't had time to get there yet this summer. I can't seem to get a day off except on Sunday. Almost went last Sunday, but I was too tired to go anywhere except out to lunch with Hubby. We ate lunch for another two days on what we brought home, so it saved me some meal prep time. It was fun to revisit Moonstone Beach in photos and watch the videos again while writing this post. How wish pocket size digital cameras had been invented while I was doing a lot of traveling around the country and in Europe.

      I'd never be able to write on the beach. That's where I get the photos that inspire me to write about them later. When I write have to be in my office to fully concentrate.

  4. Very nice...thanks for the pictorial tour of Moonstone beach.

    1. Mary Beth, I'll bet you and your camera would have a good time there, too, but you'd probably want to drive a few short miles north to the lighthouse. I've never been because you have to be on a tour and I never know when I'll be in the area. Our trips to the coast are pretty spontaneous.

  5. This looks like a great place to visit Barbara, guess I will have to put that on my list of places to go when I get the chance......hopefully soon!

    My dragon kite would look great against that sky.

    1. You have a dragon kite? I'd love to see you fly it. Are you coming our direction anytime soon?

  6. Thank you for introducing us to Moonstone Beach in Cambria. It looks like a lovely place, I can see why it is a favorite of yours.

    1. I wish I had time to take off and go there today. But it's not going to happen. Where do you go to beat the heat?

  7. The beach looks beautiful. As usual, you take us on a trip with photos. Just looking at the water relaxes me. What a lovely spot.

    1. Barbara, I know my videos are longer than most in blog posts, but I, too, like relaxing by looking at the waves. So I relax again as I did while making the video when I watch it. In our hurried world, it's hard to find time to just watch the waves. It doesn't seem productive, but renewing our minds and relaxing our bodies make us more productive over the long haul. Thanks for visiting Moonstone Beach with me.

  8. I didn't realize you lived so close to Cambria. One of my author friends lives there (Catherine Ryan-Hyde). It looks like a place I would enjoy visiting. Reviewing your photos of ground squirrels, I was thinking how they have spots like fawns. And yes, those pods do look like caterpillars. That thought crossed my mind right before I read your same words about them. I would love to try stunt kite flying. When I lived along the Gulf Coast, on Padre Island, I very much enjoyed flying kites above the sand dunes. Thanks for sharing your special places.

  9. Cambria is the home of many artists and writers, and I can understand why. Unfortunately, it seems Cambria has more power outages than most of the north county. But at least when the power goes off, people have a good excuse to go enjoy that close beach. What does your friend write?

  10. I love the beach though we live far from it and I am totally happy just walking so I think I would love Moonstone Beach! Thanks for the visit you shared here.


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