In January, the hubs and I took a few days to get away and explore a new spot on the coast.
Last year I discovered that we have not one, but TWO beaches in California called Moonstone Beach (the other is in Trinidad). I’m a bit of a rock
nut hound, so my initial reaction when I found this out was “There are actual beaches where I can just waltz right out and find gorgeous, flashy moonstones scattered about??? Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?
Actually, yes, they were… but more on that later.
Wanting to stay as close to Moonstone Beach as possible, I found Fireside Inn on, you guessed it, Moonstone Beach. It’s located on Moonstone Drive in Cambria which, you guessed it again! runs right along Moonstone Beach. It was a fabulous place to stay- quiet, clean rooms, friendly staff, breakfast every morning! But by the looks of the rest of the inns along the beach I think it would be hard to find a bad place to stay.
There are boardwalks along most of the stretch between the roach and the beach, with stairs every so often for easy beach access. Anyone who has ever been to beaches in Northern California and has had the experience of butt-sliding down the steep, sandy, wet, slippery cliffs and then having to have your must-have-been-a-mountain-goat-in-a-past-life husband drag you back up can appreciate the greatness of beach access via stairs.
During our stay, we could have literally never left Moonstone Drive if we didn’t want to. We had breakfast covered at the inn, and we could get lunch and dinner at the Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill or just dinner at The Sea Chest Restaurant. We did try the former and liked it, but were never able to get into the latter because it was always so busy, but we heard it was very good (probably the reason why it was so busy).
Being the suckers we are for touristy shops, we did explore the town a bit and found it to be nice for the most part. If you love antiques, you’re in luck- there are a TON of antique shops in town, as well as a lot of gift shops with a nice range of stuff to blow your hard-earned money on. The only down side we found is there are not a lot of hole-in-the-wall places to eat. Now if you love fine dining, you will be in Dinner Heaven- there is no shortage of high-end restaurants in this town. But if you are like us who like a good meal without having to take out a small loan to get it, there is just not a lot of choices. One place we did find and really liked was Sandy’s Deli on Main street. Their sandwiches and pastries are to die for and won’t break your wallet. Unfortunately, they are only open from 7am – 4pm, so they’re not an option for dinner.
Okay, so back to Moonstone Beach.
Here’s the thing- although there are rocks and minerals galore on this beach to make any decent rock hound drool, the moonstones that I was getting all worked up about? Well, they’re not technically moonstones. The stones that we all know and love as moonstones are a variety of feldspar, whereas the “Cambria Moonstones” are a variety of chalcedony.
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed to find out the moonstones weren’t really moonstones, but everything else about the trip was amazing and more than made up for it.
And the most amazing thing? It was actually WARM outside.
On a beach in Northern California.
Usually when we visit the coast, even in the middle of summer, I have to bundle up like Ralphie’s younger brother in A Christmas Story. But this time I was comfortable in a t-shirt and yoga pants.
I still can’t believe it.
If you ever decide to visit here, you won’t be disappointed (as long as you’re not too picky about the moonstones).