© Nancy McKarney

Family-fun along Highway 1.

Travel + Leisure
May 18, 2012

On California’s central coast, the seaside town of Cambria crops up along scenic Highway 1 and, along with neighboring San Simeon, is super family-friendly.

Hearst Castle

Tour Hearst Castle, perched high on La Cuestra Encantada (“the enchanted hill”) nine miles north of Cambria. The closest thing California has to a grand European palace—and an architectural testament to monomaniacal excel—this sprawling, opulent property is one of the state’s absolute must-sees.

Piedras Blancas Light Station

Everyone will love Piedras Blancas, one of only three traditional tower-style lighthouses in California.

Soto's Market & Deli

Build a picnic lunch with focaccia sandwiches. Don’t forget to pick up a Big Sur Bar, a local specialty involving oatmeal, nuts, chocolate, coconut, and raisins.

Cambria Pines Lodge

Along with more expected amenities, like a swimming pool and large, comfortable rooms, the property offers fanciful gardens that will grab the imagination of any dreamy child. (Check out the “bed” of flowers.)

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