March 7, 2018

Introduction to Morro Bay


1 South

INTRODUCTION TO MORRO BAY

sunset at Morro Rock in Morro Bay, California
sunset at Morro Rock in Morro Bay, California

A Little Background

Named ”El Morro” in 1542 by explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo because it reminded him of a turbaned Moor, the huge volcanic rock here is visible from just about everywhere in town.  The area is also referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Pacific."  Morro Rock stands 576 feet high and is now a State Monument.  Peregrine falcons--said to be the fastest moving animal in the world and an endangered species--nest at the top.  Rafts of sea otters can also usually be viewed in the bay here.

viewing a Peregrine falcon nest at Morro Rock in Morro Bay, California
viewing a Peregrine falcon nest at Morro Rock in Morro Bay, California

Because the area’s wide variety of landscapes offer myriad nesting sites for some of California’s most interesting birds, bird-watching is particularly good.

Commercial fishing is this small, picturesque town's main industry.  Albacore and abalone are the local specialties, and they frequently show up on restaurant menus.





Morro Bay National Estuary Preserve  Located along the Pacific Flyway, this 800-acre wetland consists of salt marshes and mudflats that are the winter home to more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds, plus dozens of endangered species such as Peregrine Falcons.

The small Morro Bay National Estuary Center (601 Embarcadero, in Marina Square, (805) 772-3834.  Free.) offers an array of exhibits--including an 18-foot mural depicting habitats in and around the bay--as well as a spectacular view of the bay and Morro Rock.  See steel-head trout in an aquarium, and hermit crabs and tine anemones in an eel-grass tank.  Local travel literature is also available.

Morro Bay National Estuary Center in Morro Bay, California
Morro Bay National Estuary Center in Morro Bay, California

Getting There
Located approximately 30 miles south of San Simeon.  Cayucos and Avila Beach are just north.

More Information.


More things to do in Morro Bay.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images and video ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

10 comments:

  1. I stayed in Morro Bay for a couple of nights two years ago. I loved the town. I had a great evening cruise on the water. We enjoyed watching the sea otters. And lots of interesting little shops and restaurants.

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  2. I love Morro Bay - it's one of my favorite overnight stops because there is just wonderful light on the rock at different times of day and plenty to do on and around the bay the rest of the time!

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  3. One of our favorite things about being travel bloggers is connecting with others in the same field. That way we can travel vicariously through their blogs, and learn about amazing places we never knew existed. South Morro Bay is a prime example. Thanks for sharing this piece.

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  4. Never knew about this El Morro south of San Simeon. Since my daughter lives in San Francisco and my granddaughter lives in Santa Monica, we will have occasion to visit this interesting place and the enchanting town near it. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Any place that has sea otters is the place for me! I'd love to visit Morro Bay and see the otters and visit the Estuary Center. Thx fore the great post.

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  6. I share Doreen's enthusiasm for sea otters, so I'll be adding El Morro to my list of places to visit in southern California.

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  7. I think I've driven by Morro Bay but never stopped. What a missed opportunity! I'll suggest it to my husband who loves birdwatching and will be in CA in the spring.

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  8. I love this part of Central California and all the beach communities, Morro bay is a gem and I love the waterfront area and shops there.

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  9. I've driven from San Francisco to Los Angeles and always in a straight shot. I wish l'd stopped at Morrow Bay at least once. It would have been nice..gotta fix it the next time we're back in the States :-).

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  10. Morro Bay looks like a wonderful spot to spend some time.I'd love to go kayaking there and experience some of the wildlife. Great off the beaten path find!

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