Harmony and the 2cs
This 5-hour excursion explores California's Central Coastline taking in the historical towns of Harmony, Cayucos, and Cambria. Each of these wonderfully preserved communities has a unique story to tell. Take a peek through a portal into some of California’s rich history and a step back in time.
We start this scenic journey heading up the coast on Highway 1 to what some people call "the last of the California beach towns," Cayucos by the Sea. Sitting quietly between the Pacific Ocean and the rolling hillsides of open ranchland, Cayucos' name evolved from a Hispanicization of a Chumash word for "kayak," or "canoe." Cayucos beach and pier have been known to draw its visitors to the water’s edge where you can walk, beach comb, build sandcastles and explore the tide pools. This nostalgic beach community offers some of the best surfing; many enthusiast make this their destination for surfing, boogie boarding, kayaking and kiteboarding.
Visit the renovated Cass House, original home of Capt. James Cass, founder of Cayucos while taking in the sense of the old west or simply stroll through town and enjoy everything from surf shops, antique stores and local eateries.Heading further north we pull into the peaceful town of Harmony; population 18. Established as a dairy settlement by Swiss immigrants back in 1869 it anchored itself with a creamery and a few dairy farms. Today Harmony hosts local artists and small shops displaying their creations of pottery and Harmony Glassworks. Harmony continues to build on its history with its
recent restoration and the launch of the Harmony Valley Creamery. This close-knit environment has given Harmony a sense of community that is true to its name, and what lends the hidden gem a special atmosphere of nostalgia and respite, one that every person traveling the central coast should experience.
Next we travel just a few miles north to the historic town of Cambria filled with rich history rooted in the exciting story of the American West with tales full of Native Americans, cowboys, miners, merchants and pioneers. The earliest human settlers were the Native American Chumash, who lived off abundant marine resources in the coastal area. Legend has it that early settlers were drawn to the area by its fertile lands, streams and lumber. The Oceanic Quicksilver Mining Company quickly claimed its stake, soon employing 300 people, creating the largest mine in the area and the sixth largest in the world. The town was originally called “Slabtown,” but on January 10, 1870, to the name Cambria a Latin word for Wales. The exact story of how Cambria got its name is shrouded in mystery and has been lost as subsequent generations have stepped forward to claim the honor of naming our town. One story that seems to have the most facts to support it is that Cambria is named after a Welsh town in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. One of the oldest homes in Cambria, built in 1870, the Guthrie-Bianchini House still stands and is now the home of the Cambria Historical Museum.