Morro Bay California – Beach City

A man and child sitting at a picnic table.

Morro Bay California

Morro Rock at sunset

cc Michael L. “Mike” Baird via wikimedia

Morro Bay California – no mention or photo of this great beach city is complete without including the 581′ Morro Rock.

Morro Rock is the most westward of a series of nine volcanic plugs that ends (or begins) about 17 miles away in San Luis Obispo. It is very photogenic and you can drive out to it, but climbing is prohibited.

The Rock is one of those natural features that are difficult to judge just how big they are until you are standing close. And Morro Rock is big. It covers 80 acres at its base!

The City of Morro Bay

The City of Morro Bay began in 1870, and is situated along the harbor, which was first used for the shipping of dairy and ranch products produced in the area.

Today it supports a commercial fishing fleet, Coast Guard station, sport fishing and marine tours like whale watching in addition to tourism.

Quick Facts About Morro Bay

  • County: San Luis Obispo
  • Population: 10,234 (2010)
  • Elevation: 69 ft.
  • Coordinates: 35.366N, 120.850W (the intersection of Main Street and Morro Bay Boulevard)
  • Zip Code: 93442 and 93443
  • Area Code: 805
  • City Government: Incorporated; founded 1870
  • Translation of the name “Morro”: “crown” or “turban” from the shape of the Morro Rock as seen by Juan Cabrillo in 1542.


Morro Rock – State Historic Landmark #821
Morro Bay – State and National Bird Sanctuary; State and National Estuary; State Wildlife Refuge; California Marine Reserve

Morro Bay from the air


Morro Bay
from the air
cc Michael L. “Mike” Baird wikimedia

Morro Bay California

The city proper is found along the northern end of the bay, and the center of activity is right at the water’s edge at the Embarcadero. Most of the residential area is a bit to the north, on either side of Highway 1.

Morro Bay is a great place to stay on your visit to the Central Coast. There are many interesting and fun things to do right in the city itself, and it is close to many other attractions – Montana de Oro State Park, Hearst Castle, San Luis Obispo and the surrounding wine country.


There are a number of great seafood restaurants in Morro Bay including Windows on the Water, The Flying Dutchman and Dorn’s.

Art Galleries and Museums in Morro Bay California

Art Center Morro Bay

Art Galleries, Downtown Morro Bay
835 Main St. Morro Bay, CA 93442

By the Bay Gallery

895 Embarcadero Rd. Morro Bay California 93442
Open daily 10:00am-6:00pm. American Crafts and Fine Jewelry

Central Coast Natural History Museum Association

20 State Park Road Morro Bay, CA 93442
The Museum of Natural History overlooks the Morro Bay Estuary, a unique habitat where fresh water meets ocean water.

Nature walks, Youth Education, Mind walks, Native American programs, Native Gardens, “Kids Rocks” overnight expeditions, and Annual Art and Photography exhibits.

Fun Things to do in Morro Bay

  • Whale watching
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
    • See “events” below for the Bird Watching Festival
  • Kayaking
  • Wine Tasting
  • Hiking
    • Black Hill – a volcanic plug next in line to the Morro Rock
    • The Elfin Forest Preserve – just around the bay at Los Osos
  • Surfing
  • Golfing
    • Morro Bay Golf Course – 18 holes
  • Camping
    • Morro Bay State Park
  • Bike riding/surrey rentals
  • Kite flying
    • see “events” below for the Kite Festival
  • Dinner cruises
  • Picnicking


Events in Morro Bay California

Morro Bay CA flock of birds

Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival
Field trips, ocean trips, lots of opportunities to observe the abundant winter avian visitors. 217 species were viewed during the 2012 event.

Blessing of the Fleet
12:30pm at North T-Pier. Barbeque to follow at the Morro Bay Vets Hall. Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
(805) 772-4467

Morro Bay Kite Festival
Colorful kites take to the sky at the ROCK, family friendly fun. Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
(805) 772-4467

Cruisin’ Morro Bay Car Show
Classic cars from around the country show off their shines.
Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
(805) 772-4467.
Register at

Morro Bay Music Festival
Taste and tunes on the waterfront.
Morro Bay Harbor Festival, Inc.
(805) 772-1155

Art in the Park
Morro Bay Art Association
(805) 772-2504

July 4:
4th of July in Morro Bay
What fun! Enjoy a day of family activities ending with fireworks.
(805) 776-3301

Art in the Park
Art Center of Morro Bay
(805) 772-2504

Avocado & Margarita Festival
Sample guacamole ’til you see green. Across from Roses on the Embarcadero from 11am to 6pm.
Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
(805) 772-4467

Harbor Festival
Centered at the main fishing pier and waterfront area. Wine and seafood faire, arts & crafts and live entertainment.
Morro Bay Harbor Festival
(805) 772-1155

Christmas Street Faire
Arts and crafts from 10 to 4pm on Morro Bay Blvd.
Morro Bay Merchant’s Association
(877) 478-9477

La Luminaria de Morro Bay
A family-friendly festival of light. Begins at the city entrance with the roundabout at Morro Bay Boulevard.

Lighted Boat Parade
Local boats, of all sizes, decorate with lights for the holiday season and cruise the harbor.
Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
(805) 772-4467

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