15 Best Things to Do in Morro Bay

15 Best Things to Do in Morro Bay

California is famous for its beaches and sun- tans, but it is evidently more than that. The Morro Bay which is part of California changes the perspective of people. It has a forest area known as El Morro Elfin Forest which is well known for hiking and viewing several species of plants and wildflowers. The volcanic peaks such as The Morro Rock and The Black Hill are a sight to behold with their majestic presence.

The Embarcadero, satisfies the visitor with unique dishes and best shopping experience, all the while providing a splendid view of the waterfront. The museums are a window to the past lives and much celebrated culture of the people residing in the area. Animal lovers are given the opportunity to spend a day among wildlife in The Morro Bay National Estuary. Since its California, most of the tourist’s spots have different and exciting outdoor activities.

Lastly, it has several eye-catching beaches, which provides a spectacular view of the waves clashing against the shore and changing colors of the sky which leaves only a soothing aura behind. The Morro Bay promises to deliver only the very best.

The Mother of Rocks

Morro Rock
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Morro Rock is situated at the entry way of the Morro Bay Harbor. The massive rock which stands 576 meters tall is made out of pressurized lava that reached the surfaced of the earth and solidified. Due to its geological significance, Morro Bay is preserved and protected by the Morro Rock State Preserve.

The Morro Rock is also part of a volcanic rock formation chain which is shattered around Highway 1, known as the Nine Sisters of San Luis Obispo County, Morro Rock being the tallest of them all. If the visitors drive north on Embarcadero Road they can even visit the base of the rock. This rock forms a landmark which attracts many tourists and is a home to peregrine falcons, gulls, several sea bird species, and cormorants. This provides the tourists with an opportunity to experiment and showcase their photography skills.

Museum of Underwater Artifacts

Morro Bay Maritime Museum
Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A country which is surrounded by water on both the sides has immense naval military strength. The Morro Bay Maritime Museum showcases memorabilia associated with naval military and honors their effort and dedication towards the country. The museum is located across Embarcadero. At the entrance of the museum, a rescued sea vessel is kept which catches the interest of the visitors; this sea vessel is one of the four vessels that are showcased by the museum.

Apart from this, there are coast guard rescue boats, a deep sea roving vehicle and San Francisco tugboat. The museum is crafted by Jim Maul and is maintained by the City of Morro Bay and the Central Coast Maritime Museum Association whose main objective is to uphold the rich maritime cultural heritage of California to the present generation. The visitors will get submerged in the maritime history and will have the opportunity to inspect the vehicles and other rare artifacts.

Take a Stroll Through the Embarcadero

The Embarcadero at Morro Bay
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This area is meant for taking long walk along the picturesque waterfront while slow music plays in the background. The street is lined with diners, cafes, several fancy restaurants which serve delicious meals, and other small outlets to grab a quick bite.  One thing all the restaurants have in common is splendid seafood making the place a paradise for the food enthusiasts.

The Marina Square is a prominent spot for the shopaholics, as the street is adorned with a plethora of shops from which the visitors can purchase souvenirs and other collectables. Centennial Plaza hosts a humongous chessboard and well decorated resting places, which attracts a lot of tourists.

Apart from this the Marina Park has Estuary Nature Center which allows the visitors to rent a boat to get drenched in the serene beauty of the place or to book a guided tour to explore the waterfront of the Morro Bay.

Visit a Breathtaking Castle

Hearst Castle
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Located just thirty minutes away from the main center of Morro Bay, the Hearst Castle feels like, it belongs to the land of Naria with its unique architecture and overview. The Castle was built by William Randolph Hearst in the year 1919 and is situated on the top of a hill which gives a splendid view of the city of San Simeon. Previously known as the “enchanted hill”, this tourist attraction is maintained by the National Park Service that provides guided tours of the regal castle.

The Castle incorporates within itself an art museum, library, two swimming pools, one of the largest private zoos and magnificent gardens. The guided tour of the palace starts from the Hearst Castle Visitors Center which is located at the bottom of the hill. Over there, the visitors are provided with an introductory video which is related to the history of the place.

Visit a Nation Estuary

The Morro Bay National Estuary covers an area of 2300 acres and is a space where the salt water meets the freshwater. Ideal for bird watching activities due to its serene environment, the place is also a safe haven for wildlife. The place offers Kayak tours of the Morro Bay to the visitors and holds sessions which discuss problems with the ecosystem and the method which should be implemented to save the cause. The Marina Square has the Estuary Nature Center which gives a detailed account of the landscape.

Safeguarding the Culture of Skateboards

Any game or activity has a string of history attached to its formation, Skateboarding is one of them. The Morro Bay Skateboard Museum preserves history of skateboards. It educates the present generation about the culture of skateboards, and the walls of the museum are adorned with more than 300 skateboards, some of them date back to 1930s. The Museum traces the evolution of the boards. The visitors can purchase skateboard accessories from the shop which is part of the museum.

Be Surrounded by Golden Sand

Morro Strand State Beach
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Morro Strand State Beach resides between the Morro Rock and Cayucos. The long scenic stretch overlooking the sea provides a place for camping. The place provides a much needed escape from the humdrum of the chaotic modern life as it gives a splendid view of the tumultuous ocean, sand dunes and wet lands. The beach has several picnic table scattered around the area. There is a campground available which has the capacity to host 70 campsites for tents and RVs. The spot also gives a stupendous view of the Morro Rock from the south side of the beach.

Trails to Follow

View from Black Hill Trail
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The Black Hill Trail of Morro Bay offers a much needed respite to the visitors. The volcanic rock is quite easy to summit as it is only 661 foot high. Even though the hike is short, nature lovers has the options of elongating the time by taking a different and longer route. While hiking, the tourists will have a view of various kinds of plants and wild flowers which are native to the place.

The trail is famous for hiking, climbing, bird walking, walks and being in the lap of nature. The place is open all year round which works in the favor of the tourists. After reaching the peak, the visitors will be granted the most stupefying view of the Morro Rock and the Morro Estuary.

The Enchanted Forest

El Morro Elfin Forest is ninety acres broad and is three mile drive from the main center of Morro Bay. The California Live Oak constitutes a major portion of the forest but surprisingly they do not grow beyond a height of twenty feet. Due to its miniature height, the forest provides an explicit view of the bay in all its glory.

Apart from California Live Oak tree, the forest has more than 200 sorts of flora, such pygmy oak woodland, coastal brackish marsh, coastal dune scrub, riparian woodland fringe, etc. Within its expanse there is also a mile long boardwalk which can be accessed by all the visitors. The place can be accessed throughout the year from the time of sunrise till the sun goes down.

A Touch of Gold

Montaña de Oro State Park
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Located just about 6 miles from the Morro Bay, the Montaña de Oro State Park has a rich cultural history. The place originally belonged to the Chumash people who all have disappeared along most of their cultural practices. Some traditional practices of Chumash people such as middens, can only be found in this state park. The park covers an area of 8000 acres and is famous for its colourful flowers which only bloom during the spring season.

It is after the color of the flowers that the place is named. The area has mountains in the colour of gold which provides a scenic view of the entire bay area. The area is frequented by bikers, Hikers as well as photographers. There are fifty camping sites which is open to RVs and tents. While in the area, the visitors can take a walk to Spooner's Cove, a beach known for its unique rock formation or take a walk towards Valencia Peak which is the highest point (1,347-foot) in this state park.

Fun Day at A Park

The Tidelands Park is a small park covering an area of two acres. It is situated at the southernmost part of the Embarcadero. The place is well maintained with evenly cut grass and clean gardens. The park is popular among the kids as it has a pirate ship play space, interactive sculptures of octopus and many more. There are numerous picnic tables scattered throughout the area. The beach cannot be accessed from this spot but it offers a scenic view of the Morro Bay and the sailboats.

Immense Yourself in The Past

Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History
"Mike" Michael L. Baird, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History is located on the top of a hill residing at the center of Morro Bay. The place overlooks the Morro Bay Estuary and the Morro Bay state park. As the name of the place goes, it keeps a detailed account of the native history so that the present generation is well acquainted about the historic as well as cultural significance of the place.

It conducts fun educational tours and interactive session which explains and demonstrates the impact of human being on the environment. The Museum of natural history is open throughout the week from 10 am to 5 pm.

Visit Another State Park

Estero Bluffs State Park
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Since Morro Bay is situated in California, it has several outstanding beaches; each has a quality of its own. The Estero Bluffs State Park is one such beach which is located ten miles away from the center of Morro Bay and is just beside the village, Cayucos. The coast is overburdened with sea stacks which do not diminish the beauty of the beach but makes it aesthetic. Photographers and hikers frequent the place due to its scenic beauty and animal sighting. The place is open from sunrise to sunset.

The World of Sea Otters

Morro Bay T Pier
Kevin Cole, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Morro Bay T Pier is a treat to people who love being around wildlife. The Morro Bay T Piers houses California sea otters. The animal has been on the endangered list since the year 1977 but due to the collective effort of the locals around the place the numbers of California sea otters are rising. The place provides a safe habitat for the Sea otters and takes necessary steps for their preservation. The T pier is located just beside the estuaries and the visitors can get a peek at them if they decide to take a walk along the Embarcadero.

One Day at The Sea

Boating at Morro Bay
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The Morro Bay is equipped with a plethora of outdoor activities; most of them are linked to the water world. The Paddleboard Company offers the visitors the ultimate stand up paddleboard experience which is best suited for the beginners as the water of the Morro Bay is perpetually tranquil. This bestows them with the opportunity to encounter wildlife, get an unforgettable glimpse of the Morro Rock, bird watching, visit more than hundred feet tall dunes which are abundantly scattered in the area, and visit beautiful beaches.