City of scarecrows: Cambria's charming fall tradition will soon make hay

The quaint figures will pop up around the coastal village throughout October.

Mitch Diamond

What to Know

  • Cambria Scarecrow Festival
  • Oct. 1-31; free to see
  • Local businesses and residences will display imaginative scarecrows throughout the month

SPYING A SCARECROW... is like encountering autumn in its nearly human form. You're not expecting it, you're not even looking for it, but then you turn a corner near a corn or wheat field and there it is: A fantastical figure in a rakish hat, flannel shirt, and well-worn jeans. Where, though, should you go if you'd like that experience over and over again, with each scarecrow looking a bit different, from a classic hay-filled cutie to a weirder, more elaborate representative of the season? There are a few intriguing answers to that question if you're in the Golden State, with "Cambria" appearing on the list of every scarecrow-seeking fall fan. The San Luis Obispo County hamlet has scarecrow-ready vibes all year long, thanks to its natural quaint-a-tude, but when October arrives the adorable sights are out in festive force, with many businesses and homes placing the creatively constructed characters just outside their front doors.

THE CAMBRIA SCARECROW FESTIVAL... began in 2009 with several fanciful entries — think around 30 — gracing the picturesque town, which sits close to the Pacific and just a scoot south of San Simeon. That number has grown, but something sweet? The festival is still a free thing to see. And there's a map, too, that shows up on the festival site when October arrives. A "Salute to Scarecrows" fundraiser helps keep the merriment going, year after year, but road-trippers are invited to stop by the scenic town at any point during the month to admire the seasonal sights. Past festivals have been populated with sweet and strange figures, with dragons, pop culture favorites, and potted plant people making appearances, though, yes, hay-tastic icons do make appearances, too. Want the hashtags, details, and everything ''crow-y" before Cambria-ing up your fall? "Scare" up the info here.

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