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“Cambria's own fantastically eccentric Castle! ”
Review of Nitt Witt Ridge

Nitt Witt Ridge
Ranked #5 of 44 things to do in Cambria
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Attraction details
Owner description: California State Historical Landmark No. 939 is the creation of Arthur Harold Beal. An Artistic, funky house designed, sculpted and built by one man, Art Beal. Considered one of the finest examples of Folk Art.
Manhattan Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
260 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Cambria's own fantastically eccentric Castle! ”
Reviewed January 28, 2014 via mobile

I am just thrilled that I was able to secure a tour at this wonderfully unique and historic creation of Art Beal. Thanks to the super friendly and flexible hosts (and owners) of Nitt Witt Ridge, Stacy and Mike O'Malley, for accommodating my changing schedule while in the Cambria area for a weekend getaway from LA.
For a donation of ten dollars, Mike met me at the house and gave me a 45-minute full, colorful and experiential tour complete with stories, show and tell, artifacts, as well as an awesome little 4 minute video of the creator Art Beal. The abalone shells that line all the steps, the stories of his recurring coffee/beer breaks, his rooftop "throne", the toilet seat frames, his and her outhouse, the winding and refrigerated staircase, mermaid wall paper, the garden sink and bathtub fountain and the rock animal zoo! Mike was so engaging with a theatrical flare, that I could've listened to his stories for another hour! I was completely impressed with Art Beal's ingenuity, creativity and passion for making a castle out of other people's junk! This man was no Nitt Witt. He may have been a bit of a kook, but he certainly was no dummy! I left there feeling like I just met him! Thank you Mike and Stacy for purchasing this jewel, protecting and restoring it, in order to share his memory and vision with us. Please get a website up and running so visitors (old and new) can share their experiences at the wondrous Nitt Witt Ridge! I can't think of a better morning than touring Hearst Castle and going straight to Cambria to experience the glory of this hillside mansion! What an awesome, fun mix of extremes!

Helpful?
3 Thank Sally M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Amarillo, TX
Level 6 Contributor
278 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Not Really A Nit-Wit”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Captain Nitt Witt was an eccentric man who built this crazy house. It's very indicative of the wild artists who have inhabited this village for so many years. Not hard to find--definitely worth the stop!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank tumbleweed_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo, California
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Don't waste your time.”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

They tried hard to make this place quirky. Toilets on the roof. The building is a building with junk added - oh, I mean reclaimed material. Who cares? Not me. $10 for a tour? It doesn't even seem safe for tours, but if they can get your money, they'll take you through the dump. I obviously disagree with other visitors. I'm not a snob, but I didn't see beauty there. Just an obvious attempt to be "unique." It sure isn't a museum by any stretch of the imagination.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank CamReviewer123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A unique building & story”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

It is unique because it is hand made by one guy. He put all his heart and effort to built it out of all reclaimed materials. Interesting to hear the story about his life but also a bit of a sad story. You have to appreciate this. But not everyone will. As they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. if you are a only a fan of immaculate and clean structures and interiors you might not like it. Some of the features in the house made me think of Salvador Dali's museum in Figueras Spain.

There is a sign outside indicating when the tour is. Just support the current owner and pay
the $ 10.00 to keep this unique feature and story told in Cambria.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Aksiram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garden Grove, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Visit to Nitt Witt Ridge in Cambria”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Very interesting and unique. Previously home of a recluse who built it of items from his job as the city's trash collector. Tours are by the current owner, who is obviously is deep into the story of the house and previous owner. You get the feel that he would live in it as if it was legal. There is a $10 fee but it is voluntary. This is how the owner pays for repairs and upkeep as even though the property is a state historical site the state does not invest any funds. If you are in Cambria and are interested in the bizarre or unusual, you should visit Nitt Witt Ranch.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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