California Cities | Harmony

Harmony, California

Cambria, California on the Central Coast features Monterey

Who doesn't love "Harmony"? In musical notes, it's the state in which tones combine simultaneously to provide chords pleasing to the ear. In life, harmony is synonymous with agreement and accord, peace and unity.

In California, Harmony isn't just a state of mind but an actual place you visit and see glass artisans working in a studio setting at a building once functioning as as part of a creamery. The little unincorporated town of Harmony in San Luis Obispo County is located along State Route 1 approx. 10 miles north of Cayucos and 5 miles south of Cambria. It once served as the hub of local dairy farming and grew to become a cooperative of the finest dairy farmers between Los Angeles and Sonoma.  In its heyday it had an operating post office (still standing), restaurant, and variety of services.

Originally established in 1869, Harmony grew and prospered nearly 100 years till its plant ceased cheesemaking and buttermaking in 1958. It served as the collection depot for milk from the coastal area, which was transported to the San Luis Obispo plant for processing. By the early 1960s, the creamery plant in Harmony was closed, while the post office remained open to serve residents. In the 1970s, new owners promoted the small town as an artists' colony and tourist destination.  Harmony Valley Creamery Association buildings provide excellent work space for artists' studios, galleries, and shops.  Exterior alterations have been relatively minor and have neither obscured the historic fabric of the buildings nor detracted appreciably from the original setting.

When driving along SR-1 Highway, be sure to stop and see Harmony Glassworks (, a studio where contemporary glass art is made. Founded in 2007 by glassblower and instructor, Eric Dandurand, Harmony Glassworks is an art gallery, studio, and school all in one. Courses are offered to the public. Open daily, call to confirm: (805) 927-4248.  Location: 2180 Old Creamery Road, Harmony, CA 93435

This tiny 19th-century community on the Pacific Coast Highway halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco was up for sale for $1.49 million back around 2007.

Leased buildings include a glass-blowing studio, a pottery shop, a wine-tasting store, or whatever happens to occupy the space during the time you visit.

Harmony started as a dairy, and quickly became the scene of feuding among nearby ranchers. When one feud led to a fatal shooting, the residents agreed to a truce, from which the town drew its name.

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