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5 tips for exploring Moonstone Beach in beautiful Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach
Moonstone Beach
Jonathan Cook

Beach trips are always a favorite for the residence of the Fresno area and Moonstone beach should be high on your list of Fresno day trips. Moonstone Beach is located only a short drive from the intersection of Highway 1 and Main Street in Cambria's west village. Moonstone offers a relaxing boardwalk for the two mile round trip bluffs hike, but it is down on the beach where the intrepid explorer will find the hidden gems of Moonstone Beach.

Moonstone Beach crashing waves
Jonathan Cook

It's in the rocks
The early settlers appropriately named Moonstone Beach after the moonstone-like rocks that are on the beach. However, do not limit your exploration to moonstones. A rainbow of colors is in the rocks of Moonstone Beach.

The rocks are artists
If you look hard, you will find many examples of rock carvings caused by the wave action upon the gravel that resides in the nooks-and-crannies of the larger base rocks. Unique and beautiful patterns form over time leaving a mosaic of natural art on the canvas of rock.

Statues in the driftwood
Moonstone beach is littered with driftwood of all sizes and shapes. Driftwood is beautiful by itself, but if you look closely you may see natural statues of various kinds. One trip may reveal statues of animals and human faces in a montage of distorted expressions. Another trip may introduce a completely new stage of statuesque performers. You are limited only by your imagination, and maybe your viewing angle.

Colorful plants
Take a close look at the colorful plant life of Moonstone beach. Depending on the season, you will see flowering plants among the otherwise monochrome carpet of plants lining the bluffs. Clinging to the cliffs fronting the beach and you can find pockets of hardy but colorful species that are hidden to hikers on the boardwalk.

The boardwalk less traveled
A rarely discovered gem of the boardwalk is off the beach. It is accessible from the southeast at the El Colibri Boutique Hotel or further down Moonstone Beach Drive at the York Street parking lot. This small section follows Santa Rosa Creek and will introduce you to a new world of local plant and animal life. This is a fresh water environment so it is rich with the trees, bushes, flowers and animals that prefer a more sheltered home. Intrepid hikers can continue along Santa Rosa creek by picking up another section of the trail around the corner on Windsor Boulevard.

Moonstone Beach is an easy and richly rewarding day trip from Fresno. Not only will it reward you with cool breezes and breathtaking views, it will also reveal unique discoveries to those that take a closer look.