Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay is known as one of the most visually spectacular communities in America. Visitors can enjoy a plethora of year round activities including Oceanside golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, ﬁshing, surﬁng, biking, bird watching, kite ﬂying, shopping, ﬁne dining and miles of unspoiled beaches. The town’s breathtaking natural beauty, along with its close proximity to California’s preeminent wine region and extraordinary choices for accommodations make Morro Bay the perfect choice for anyone seeking a natural escape. With its busy harbor and active ﬁshing industry, Morro Bay is known as the place in San Luis Obispo County to savor local seafood, including local oysters and fresh salmon. Surrounding farms and vineyards yield a bounty of outstanding food and wines served with ﬂair at Morro Bay’s renowned harbor-view restaurants. For many, it’s the antiquing, shopping and browsing the art galleries that pulls them in. Of course, capping it off is Morro Bay’s friendly, laid-back style - a warm and welcoming backdrop to the perfect vacation.
With a rich history dating back to the 16th Century, the city of Morro Bay is celebrating a signiﬁcant milestone in 2014, reaching 50 years of incorporation. The ofﬁcial 50th Celebration Year of Morro Bay, called “Landmark & Legacy,” invites the community and visitors to celebrate all year long by joining in a number of events and activities listed here. There are also special anniversary deals at local hotels, restaurants, and shops where visitors can spend like it's 1964.
Things to do
For many, it’s the antiquing, shopping and browsing the art galleries on the Embarcadero that pulls them in. Others are drawn to adventures like whale watching, horse-back riding on the beach, kayaking or hiking. Whether your adventurous spirit is extreme or serene, you can discover the best of the outdoor life in Morro Bay. From kayaking, sailing or surﬁng to hiking, biking or golﬁng. Stand-up paddle boarding, bird watching, kite ﬂying, world class surﬁng… Morro Bay offers truly unique experiences on and off the water.
Morro Bay experiences a mild Mediterranean climate averaging daytime highs between 65 and 75 degrees throughout the year. Due to the remarkable ocean inﬂuence, the warmest months are between September and November and the coolest months are December and January. With the average daytime high at 65 degrees even in the coolest months, anytime of year is the best time to visit Morro Bay.
Morro Bay is also the name of the large estuary that is situated along the northern shores of the bay itself. The larger bay on which the local area lies is Estero Bay, which also encompasses the communities of Cayucos and Los Osos. The city of Morro Bay is 12 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo and is located on Highway 1. Los Osos Creek discharges into Morro Bay.
The town's most striking feature is Morro Rock, a 576 foot high volcanic plug. Morro Rock stands at the entrance to the harbor, and a causeway connects it with the shore. Previously, it was surrounded by water, but the northern channel was ﬁlled in to make the harbor. The Rock, as locals call it, was quarried from 1889 to 1969. There is no public access to the rock itself because it is a reserve for the locally endangered peregrine falcon. Morro Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area and Morro Bay State Marine.
These marine protected areas are located offshore from Morro Bay. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.
Morro Bay is a natural embayment with an artiﬁcial harbor constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is the only all-weather small craft commercial and recreational harbor between Santa Barbara and Monterey.
Morro Bay's economy is based on small businesses, tourism, and retirees. A number of tourist attractions are found along the shoreline and the streets closest to it, especially the Embarcadero, including restaurants, shops and parks.
Morro Bay offers a wide variety of lodging options, from elegant waterfront suites to tidy, budget-friendly motor lodges. Those travelers who want a more home-like atmosphere, where they can meet other visitors and be treated to home-cooked meals can stay at one of the town’s cozy bed and breakfasts. Others might want to just lose the road and explore their adventurous side by camping or RVing. There are also vacation rentals where visitors can spend quality time together.
Besides offering visitors some of the most breathtaking views of the Central California Coastline, Morro Bay is also known for its superb eateries and award-winning chefs. Morro Bay is known as the place in San Luis Obispo County to savor local seafood, including local oysters and fresh salmon. Surrounding farms and vineyards yield a bounty of outstanding food and wines served with ﬂair at Morro Bay’s renowned harbor-view restaurants.
George Ramos, born in East Los Angeles in 1948, died in Morro Bay in July 2011 at age 63. Ramos earned a Purple Heart during the Vietnam War and won three Pulitzers for the Los Angeles Times, before he returned to his alma mater Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as the head of the journalism department in 2003. At the time of his death, Ramos was a tenured professor of journalism at Cal Poly and editor of Cal Coast News.
- Jack LaLanne was an American ﬁtness, exercise, nutritional expert and motivational speaker.
- Bill Thomas was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Mel Queen was a professional baseball player, coach, scout and executive.
- John Konrad is an American author and journalist.
- Gladys Walton, who starred in silent ﬁlms at Universal Studios during the 1920s. Her home was locally known as "Glad's Castle."
- Kent Nagano, conductor of the Montreal Symphony who has worked with Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonics and the Chicago Symphony.