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Dog Friendly Cambria Vacation – Oceanpoint Ranch Hotel

  • June 5, 2018
  • By MaggieLovesOrbit
Dog Friendly Cambria Vacation – Oceanpoint Ranch Hotel

“A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.” Patrick Rothfuss.

There’s something about Cambria.  I’m still unpacking it all in my mind.  Maybe it’s the rolling green hills so peacefully contrasted next to the rocky moody coast.

Maybe its the fog that blankets the path in front of you and slowly melts away in the sun.

I particularly enjoyed walking along Moonstone Beach.  Twice a day.  Up and down the wooden path.  Admiring the vegetation or the coastline.  It all depended what turn you were on.

Maybe it was the seals.  They remind me a lot of dogs.

This was our second trip … it could have been the deserted beach we found to ourselves.

And the long drives we took without any destination in mind.  It could have been that too.

There aren’t that many quiet places to go to.  But this is one of them.

Can I bring the dogs?

I am in a different stage in my life.  Seasons ago we were flying all over the world checking destinations off our bucket list.  In between we’d socialize with our friends.  There was always something going on.  And if there wasn’t we’d call a last minute brunch party.

Now we’re more into activities that regenerate our soul.  We are both hard working professionals.  Putting in long days.   Not that this makes us warriors at any level.  Other than when we have time off … we want to relax.  And unwind.  The less crowds the better.  Preferably it involves nature.  But not too rustic.  We’d camp if we wanted that.  The perfect balance in feeling like we’re alone somewhere yet still have the comforts of society at our fingertips … or maybe in the background is more like it.

And … most importantly … can we do this and include our dogs?

Enter Cambria – Dogs Are Welcome Here

I’ve been to Cambria previously in the fall.  Read about that visit via this LINK.  I had a marvelous time.  That time I was there for two nights and three days.   It was cold (as in 50’s and 60s) but that’s because I’m used to our mild weather.

It rained a bit during that time.  So exploring the town was limited to walks when the rain broke.

It didn’t bother me at all because I loved the fog.  But this visit occurred mid May.

Spring time in Cambria is absolutely delightful.  It’s when the hills are the brightest shade of green and all the flowers are out in in all their glory.

Where we stayed: Ocean Point Ranch by Pacifica Hotels

Cambria – Dog Friendly – Oceanpoint Ranch Hotel 

The way to my heart … any dog owner’s hearts for that matter, is through our dogs.  If you love our dogs and our dogs love you back we are instantly friends. We came to Cambria upon the invitation of Pacifica Hotels which has over 25 California coastal hotels to choose from.

The lobby employees were welcoming and friendly at check in.

We’re chatty and inquisitive ourselves and learned that the ocean is the oldest property in Cambria. They shared some historic photos of what it looked like 50+ years ago … and explained the story about the trees on property and across the street.  They were planted there to block the wind. After we were all checked in, they gave my two girls bandanas and they gave us a list and map of every dog friendly restaurant in town. Let’s just stop here.

This is service.

I used to work in the hotel industry.  At one point I had 26 resorts under me.  And the spirit of service and anticipation is something that is deeply ingrained in me.  By the way my partner works for the best hotel in San Diego so we’re both into service. Receiving a map… of all the dog friendly restaurants … immediately put me in a easy state of mind. There’s nothing worse than being hangry and trying to look on Yelp and debating and calling which restaurant to go to. In any event – this was all taken care of for us.  I tend to lose papers so I took a photo of the map and restaurant list before we checked into our room.


Right across from Moonstone Beach.  It’s at the end of the stretch before you go to the main highway.  And there are no properties on either side because they have quite a bit of land surrounding it.


Industrial chic meats ranch/farmhouse.  The rooms are lively yet cozy.  Our room had a mini fridge, coffee maker, 50″ TV and bathroom with the best lighting I’ve had the pleasure in using in a hotel bathroom.  The lights go all the way around the mirror.  You’ll see this and appreciate it when you visit.

Pet – Friendly Rooms: 

Guest rooms include your choice of 1 King or 2 Queen beds.  Pets are welcome up to 40 pounds with a non refundable $75 fee.

To Reserve: 

My years in the hotel industry have taught me always book direct.  Especially if you are traveling with a pet.  That way you can be sure to be offered the best available rate, and discuss any special requests or room location recommendations right on the phone.    When you book direct, the reservation and room assignment is typically handled personally by the staff members you speak to. When you book through a third party you’re a name record that is emailed to the front desk and the reservation is processed without speaking to you.


Cambria Dog Friendly Activities

Ok now to the fun part.  What can you do in Cambria with your dogs?  Pretty much everything … except for Hearst Castle.  But I knew that.  And remember the part about disliking crowds and loving nature?  That’s more our thing anyway.

Moonstone Beach

Across the street for about a mile stretch is a wooden path.  It overlooks the beach.  And is a fabulous place to walk at least once a day.  In our case we started and ended each day on this path.  If you wake up early enough you’ll be lucky to experience the fog. Dog are allowed on the boardwalk. If you run out of poop bags, you’ll see the customary poop bag poles at the start of the trailhead coming from the hotel. The beach itself is off limits to dogs.  But that’s ok.  I think the vantage point from above is better.


Get in the car and drive

The name Cambria, chosen in 1969, is the Latin name for Wales.  When you drive north of Oceanpoint Ranch – you’ll understand why.  To the one side of you will be soft, deep and bright green rolling hills.  You’ll see cattle grazing.  And on your other side the rocky coastline. You won’t be able to make it all the way to Monterey – because there was a landslide last yet.  But you can take the road as far as you can. And stop to soak in vantage points.  Which is what we did.  We’d stop at turn outs, peek over the edge.  Admire the views and get back in the car again. At one point we stopped at a look out point and the name escapes me now. But you’ll find some trails and gardens.  We stretched our legs, took a few pictures.

Dog Friendly Cambria Vacation - Oceanpoint Ranch Hotel

Find a deserted beach

My eyes are trained to looking at trail heads off the road.  On the way up the coast I was mentally marking the ones that looked interesting so that we could decide on which one to visit, on the way back to the hotel.

We were fortunate enough to find one deserted beach.  It was more like a very short trail + bay + beach.  Three experiences in one.  This was especially fun for the two dogs Maggie and Orbit who proceeded to smell and pee on every bush and rock they found interesting.

We also had the drone with us – so while I played and walked with the dogs, my partner flew his drone from above.   This particular location was at the San Carporforo Creek.  The wild flowers were so pretty and the beach was off the charts unreal.


Go see the seals

After a few hours, we realized we had to head back home.  But we also decided to stop by and see the sea lions.  They have a section dedicated as viewing points.  Be sure to grab an informational newsletter when you arrive.  If you want to read more about them do so via this link to the


Male seals grow to as much as 5,000 pounds and 16 feet long while female seals can grow up to 1,800 pounds and 12 feet long.  The average pups weigh between 60 and 80 pounds at birth and are weaned off after 28 days.  At 3 months, the pups can dive deeper and stay down longer than adult sea lions and harbor seals.


The seals have been coming to Piedras Blancas only since 1990.  One pup was born in 192 and more than 2500 were born in the 2017 birthing season.  Most of the rookeries are on islands in California and Baja but the largest rookeries are on the Channel Island off Santa Barbara, California.

They estimate that the population at Piedras is about 23,000 large although they are never in the rookery at the same time.  The number of seals on the beach ranges from hundreds in July and August to thousands from January through May.

While we were there, it felt as if there were thousands.  May is the time they shed their skin.  It takes a month so they stay on shore until their new skin and hair grows.  The seals are fasting during this time, eating no food and drinking no water.

Where to eat in Cambria with your dog

If you stay at the Oceanpoint Ranch – you’ll receive this same list at check in.  But just in case you need it – I share it below.

In our case, we ate the majority of our meals on property.  We were both tired from exploring during the day that it was easier to just go to the restaurant, order our food to go and eat in our room.

One night we did go into town to order take out pizza.  We stopped by the local market to pick up some local craft beer and called it a night.

Other places to go with your dog – the next time around

Vacations are never long enough.  I’m not a fan in trying to do EVERYTHING on one trip.  I like to savor what we’re doing and note what to do if we were to return.  So here’s two dog friendly activities for next time:

Salmon Creek Trail

I saw this trail head when we were in the Big Sur hills.  The trail head looked plain jane.  I couldn’t tell where it went to but now that I’ve looked it up this is on the list for you to explore.  Read more about the trail via this link.

Fiscalini Preserve

We saw this off the highway and made a note to visit it next time.  The preserve covers 436 acres of protected forest, riparian habitat, and grasslands.  It was in full bloom while we were there.  Read more about the preserve via this link.

Cambria is good for the soul

It just is.  It’s rugged.  It’s quaint.  It’s unassuming.  It’s natural.  It’s not crowded (at least while we were there).

As a dog family we enjoy dog friendly vacations with our dogs. But this is certainly a destination for all travelers alike.  As long as you appreciate quaint coastal towns.  So yes, put it on your bucket list.  You won’t be disappointed.  And as always, if you have any questions drop me a comment below or shoot me a direct message on our Instagram MaggieLovesOrbit

Disclosure:  I want to thank Pacifica Hotels and the Oceanpoint Ranch for hosting our stay.  We had a lovely time.

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By MaggieLovesOrbit, June 5, 2018
  • 5
  • Irene McHugh
    June 16, 2018

    Cambria and Ocean Point Ranch both look gorgeous! With so many dog-friendly options, no wonder you had such a great time. The hotel style of industrial chic mixed with that ranch coziness is working for me. Within my own home environment I like earth tones, neutrals, clean lines, modern. But when I’m on vacation, there’s something about colors and patterns complimenting each other that I find incredibly soothing. The black gingham headboard, pillows with blue birds, and the quilt’s red background just ooze comfort. Maggie and Orbit certainly look adorably comfy lying down on the quilt. Cheers!

  • Sweet Purrfections
    June 17, 2018

    I’m glad you found such a special place to get away from it all with your dogs and relax. Now that I’m retired, I need to take some time for myself and take some vacations. I wish my girls were comfortable traveling.

    • MaggieLovesOrbit
      July 12, 2018

      The magic in Cambria/Big Sur is it’s raw and real. Please do try to go you’d enjoy it.

  • Michelle & Watson
    June 30, 2018

    Everything about this looks AMAZING!! Big Sur is my favorite place on earth. We will absolutely look into replicating this trip!

    Woof Xo,
    Michelle & Watson

    • MaggieLovesOrbit
      July 12, 2018

      Thank you! YES PLEASE GO do this trip. I am in love with Cambria/Big Sur. Rugged. Real. Raw.

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