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Morro Bay

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Morro Bay[1] (population 10,000) is in San Luis Obispo County in the Central Coast region of California.

Surfers in front of Morro Rock

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Route 1 comes from Monterey and Cambria to the north, and San Luis Obispo to the South. Route 41 comes from Atascadero to the east.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, with flights to San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles. [2]

By train[edit]

Amtrak provides train service through their station in San Luis Obispo.

Get around[edit]

Morro Bay can be traveled on foot and isn't very car friendly. From Friday to Monday in the warmer months a free trolley shuttle runs the length of the Embarcadero (the main street along the waterfront) from larger parking areas at Morro Rock to the north of the bay and city marina at the south end of the Embarcadero.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History, Morro Bay State Park Road, +1 805 772-2694, [3]. Daily 10AM-5PM; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The only natural history museum in the State Park system, this museum focuses on the unique environment of Morro Bay and its estuary. Adults $3; 16 and under free.  edit
  • Morro Bay Aquarium, 595 Embarcadero, +1 (805) 772-7647, [4]. Every day. 12 years and over, $2.  edit
  • Morro Rock. The great sight is the surf at the base of Morro Rock (called "The Rock" locally) which is the lava plug remnant of an ancient volcano. A bayside walk completed in 2007 connects the Embarcadero waterfront to the ocean and harbor entry. The jetty that guards the bay mouth is a popular but dangerous surf vantage point, and one must take care with rogue waves which have killed visitors here. The Rock is a protected Native American shrine and home to endangered peregrine falcons.

Do[edit][add listing]

The Embarcadero is the main tourist area and lines the east side of the bay. It is a great walking experience along a working port and eco-tourist destination. A variety of marine life is here, from sea otters to sea lions, and the town is a declared bird sanctuary. Excellent deep sea fishing originates at the north end of the Embarcadero. A public park and boat launch are at the south end. RVs and mobile homes may day-park at either end. There is a giant chess board in the middle of Embarcadero Rd.

Popular surfing locations are to the north on easy access beach from free public parking and across the harbor entry to the north end of the sand spit that forms the west edge of the bay.

One can rent a kayak and explore the south part of the bay, which is one of the larger estuaries on the west coast. A favorite local tradition is to kayak from Morro Bay State Park or Embarcadero docks to the massive sand spit for a picnic.

To the north of town is the Morro Strand State beach which offers additional surfing possibilities and many locals with their dogs in a fairly open uncrowded setting. To the south of the town is Morro Bay State Park which includes an impressive public golf course set in pines on challenging hillsides with amazing views to the ocean and bay. A newly renovated public campground is available.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Shops along the Embarcadero cater to the tourist trade with art, t-shirts and the like.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Dorn's Original Breaker's Cafe (801 Market Ave.), right above the Embarcadero, has great views, and is both a popular and reliable choice, especially for older patrons.

The Outrigger Restaurant (833 Embarcadero) makes for a great dining experience and plays host to many out-of-towners as well as locals.

Delicious french dip sandwiches are hand-carved in front of you at the Hofbrau restaurant (901 Embarcadero), which serves up German fare as well as the popular waterfront fish and chips and clam chowder options.

For an amazing carne asada burrito and authentic experience, head to Taco de Mexico (980 Main Street) for lunch. Referred to by locals simply as "Tacos De," this popular spot is easy, fast, and inexpensive, though lines can be out the door around noon.

If you are looking for an escape from the often tourist-filled Embarcadero dining scene, follow Main Street to North Morro Bay. There you will find Lolo's Mexican restaurant (2848 Main Street), a great, family-friendly Mexican eatery with the best chips and salsa around (their salsa is bottled and sold in local grocery stores as well as in the restaurant).

Nearby and usually only open for dinners is the small, quirky, and charming Beach House Bistro (2770 Main St.), with a wide variety of gourmet fare, great specials, and awesome wait service. Perfect for a romantic date after a day of surfing.

For additional waterfront dining, check out the Bayside Cafe (10 State Park Road), located at the local Marina. Offering outside and inside seating and a view of kayakers, this restaurant is great for small family gatherings or long conversations with friends. Try the catch of the day sandwich, which is almost always salmon cooked to perfection. Their mud pie is especially good.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Comfort Inn, 590 Morro Ave, 805-772-4483, [5]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Located 1 block to the waterfront, restaurants and shopping. Hotel features Pillow Top Beds, Balconies, 40" HD TV's, Free Hot Breakfast, Free Internet Usage, Ocean View Rooms $79.  edit
  • Ascot Suites, 260 Morro Bay Blvd, +1 805 772-4438 (toll free: +1-800-887-6454), [6].  edit
  • Pacific Shores Inn, 890 Morro Ave (Morro Bay, Ca 93442), 805-772-4435, [7]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. Located 1 block to the waterfront. Luxury rooms at affordable rates. Room with Ocean Views, Woodburning Fireplaces, Heated Spa on site, Free Wireless Internet, in room Fridge & Microwave, Coffee Makers, Pillow Top Beds, King & Queen Beds available. starting from $49.  edit
  • Bay View Inn, 225 Harbor Street (Morro Bay, Ca 93442), 805-772-2772, [8]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. Located 1/2 block to the waterfront rooms with Ocean Views, Fireplaces, King Beds, Queen Beds, and Two Beds. Free Wireless High Speed Internet, in room coffee makers, fridge, microwave, iron/ironing boards. Booking direct with hotel and save. rates starting at $59.  edit
  • Best Western El Rancho, 2460 Main Street, +1 805 772-2212 (toll free: +1 800 628-3500, fax: +1 805 772-2212), [9].  edit
  • Best Western San Marcos Motor Inn, 250 Pacific Street, +1 805 772-2248 (toll free: +1 800 772-7969, fax: +1 805 772-6844), [10].  edit
  • Best Western Tradewinds Motel, 225 Beach Street, +1 805 772-7376 (fax: +1 805 772-2090).  edit
  • Days Inn, 1095 Main St, +1 805-772-2711, [11].
  • Econo Lodge, 1100 Main St., +1 805 772-5609 (fax: +1 805 772-1051). $40-$100.  edit
  • Inn at Morro Bay, 60 State Park Road, [12]. Uniquely located on 4,000 acres just inside Morro Bay State Park offering a coastal hideaway of unsurpassed natural beauty.
  • Motel 6, 298 Atascadero Road, +1 805 772-5641 (fax: +1 805 772-3233), [13].  edit
  • Pleasant Inn, 235 Harbor Street Morro Bay, CA 93442, 805.772.8521, [14].  edit
  • Travelodge, 220 Beach Street, +1 805 772-3333 (toll free: +1 800 549-2022), [15].  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Los Osos is south of Morro Bay, a little way off Highway 1 and closer than San Luis Obispo.
  • Montana de Oro State Park, 3550 Pechco Valley Road, Los Osos (Take Pechco Valley Road to the end), +1 805 528-0513, [16]. This 8,000 acre park has miles of hiking trails, ocean fishing, a beautiful cove, and 50 primitive camping sites (i.e. vault toilets and water from tanks). Located about 6 mi (9 km) southwest of Morro Bay.  edit


Routes through Morro Bay
MontereyCambria  N noframe S  San Luis ObispoSanta Barbara
END  SW noframe NE  AtascaderoFresno


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