California’s Quirkiest Landmark: Nitt Witt Ridge

Nitt Witt Ridge

As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This is quite evident in regards to Nitt Witt Ridge, a California historical landmark located in the seaside village of Cambria with a unique story to tell. Nitt Witt Ridge was purchased in 1928 by artist Arthur “Art” Harold Beal. Working as a Cambrian garbage collector, Art invested a great deal of time in making good use of thrown away rubbish. Combining trashed items with natural minerals and elements from various properties, he completely transformed the building over the next 50 years.


This quirky establishment provides its visitors with uncommon yet unforgettable scenery. In contrast to the exquisite Hearst Castle located just outside Cambria, Nitt Witt Ridge has made a name for itself through its less-than-elegant architectural makeup. Instead of gold and marble interior, think beer cans and seashells. Here are additional materials that Nitt Witt Ridge is composed of, just to name a few:

  • Old stoves
  • Car parts
  • Washer drums
  • Tire rims
  • Broken tiles
  • Toilet seats

What may be most impressive regarding the construction of this landmark is that Art carved every single terrace out using only a pick and shovel. Following his death in 1992, his ashes were scattered around his favorite tree on the Nitt Witt Ridge property. The house is currently under new ownership of Michael and Stacey O’Malley, who provide guided tours of the house. Tours require a reservation, so don’t pass up on seeing this incredibly unique California landmark if you’re in town. Make an appointment to visit Nitt Witt Ridge today!



Nitt Witt Ridge

Where: 881 Hillcrest Drive, Cambria, California

Hours: Call (805) 927-2690 for hours and to schedule a tour



The Morgan

A boutique jewel nestled along California’s scenic Central Coast, The Morgan welcomes you with a warmth and personality all its own. As the favorite choice in Hearst Castle hotels, The Morgan at San Simeon is located only 4 miles from the Visitor Center. 9135 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA 93452. 805-927-3878.