Seaside views, seafood, and live music – Morro Bay is a gem on California’s Pacific Coast Highway
A road trip through California’s Pacific Coast is often touted as one of the best in the world – charming sea-side towns and glistening waters dilly dally with vintage motels and overwhelming sights at every corner. There are a lot of cities along the way but none like Morro Bay. The waterfront city is home to the iconic Morro Rock and miles upon miles of unspoilt nature trails. It’s perfect for spending a couple of days during your road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. Spend your days strolling at the beach and binging on salt water taffy and whiling away evenings listening to live music and sampling fresh seafood. If you’re lucky, you might get a chance to experience a heavy fog descending upon the city in the evening. This lends Morro Bay a dreamy fairy tale feel.
Where to stay in Morro Bay
Pleasant Inn is a classic American motel that has recently been refurbished to a high standard. It’s within walking distance of the beach, all restaurants, and even the iconic Morro Rock. We opted for their luxury suite which is basically a gorgeous 1 bedroom apartment with a full-equipped kitchen and living area. The stark white furnishings, ivory drapes, and carefully crafted kitchen accessories make it as perfect as it gets. It’s hard to shake off the feeling of being on a pristine film set or homeware catalogue. Highly recommended!
Where to Eat in Morro Bay
There are lots of options to eat in the area including a couple of vegetarian and vegan options. If you’re driving a car along the Pacific Coast Highway, you will spot tons of supermarkets in the vicinity as well. There is no dearth of dining options in Morro Bay. But we would definitely recommend Windows on the Water, a fine dining restaurant with gorgeous ocean views. The menu focusses on curating local produce and seafood. Savi sampled the fresh Halibut while I tried the delicious seared scallops . If you’re not big on seafood, try the salami pizza, which comes to the table directly from their wood-fired oven. Yummy!!
Things to do in Morro Bay
- Morro Rock – It’s impossible to visit Morro Bay without dropping by to see the iconic Morro Rock. The rock is the focal point of tourism in the area and not without reason. It makes for a stunning photo at sunset (see below)
- Morro Beach – Morro Rock is surrounded by miles upon miles of unspoilt beaches and nature trails. Pack a picnic and explore the area barefoot for a truly relaxed day out.
- Taste Salt Water Taffy – No visit to a seaside city is complete with binging on some pastel-coloured salt water taffy – they make for such moorish nibbles! There are dozens of varieties available in Morro Bay but we love the caramel flavoured one the best.
- Whale Watching – Where else can you see humpback whales while walking along the waterfront. Morro Bay? Book a whale watching tour if you want to get close to these magnificent creatures. Make sure you dress up in layers as the weather can turn quickly! We saw lots of whales and dozens of sea lions and sea otters within inches of our boat – priceless!!
- Sip on a glass of wine – San Luis Obispo is frequently ranked as one of California’s best wine regions. As a result, Morro Bay provides easy access to some really nuanced wines. You could drive to a vineyard for a wine tour or just pick up a bottle of locally-produced Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from a quaint wine shop in the area.
- Spend some time exploring uncrowded beaches, the beautiful Hearst Castle, and quaint villages on the Highway 1 Discovery Route – it’s often regarded as the best and most varied stretch along the Pacific Coastal Highway.
Have you been to Morro Bay? Do you enjoy vintage motels and seaside getaways as much as we do?
56 thoughts on “Morro Bay: The perfect pit stop on a road trip in California”
I have never been to Morro Bay, never heard of it until reading this but it seems that California really has some hidden gems x
Yay – glad we could bring Morro Bay to your attention. Do stop by when you’re in California – it’s a charming city like no other 🙂
The pacific coast highway is incredible, haven’t ever been south of SF but looks like that has to change.
Lila you must checkout the Highway 1 Discovery Route when you’re in California next – it’s gorgeous 🙂
Wow Morro Bay looks beautiful. I’ve been to California but only just scratched the surface of the area x
Hey Rhian – you’re right, there’s such SO much to do in and around California 🙂
Ahhhhh… need to do the PCH soon … great pics!
Hope you make it to Morro Bay soon 🙂
My god how incredible is this? I would love to visit Hearst castle and Morro Bay just looks like something out of a fairytale!
I know right Ana? We got really lucky with Morro Bay in California 🙂
I’m in the process of planning an EPIC road trip through California and Oregon, so I’ll definitely note this down! It looks amazing!
That’s awesome Elodie – do send us photos from Morro Bay when you make it there 🙂
Such a lovely post to read on a cold Winter’s day. I love finding little motels to stay in when I visit the states. Jo x
Thanks a ton – lol yes we could definitely do with some sunshine in UK right now eh! 😉
Wow you captured some amazing pictures! I can’t believe you saw a whale that close, it must have been so cool 🙂 x
It was so cool seeing the whale at such close quarters Jodie – something we won’t forget for a long long time 🙂
ive not heard of morro bay before. it definitely looks like a lovely pit stop. the views are stunning
Hey Nicol – Morro Bay is definitely a great stop on the Pacific Coast Highway 🙂
Your photography is amazing! I really want to visit California! xo
Thanks a ton – hope you make it to California soon 🙂
Your photos always make me so jealous! Would love to drive the PCH one day when the kids are a bit older. x
Hope you make it to the Highway 1 Discovery Route soon 🙂
Your pictures as always are fantastic. That restaurant sounds great I do like seafood. I’d love to visit California.
Thanks Melanie – We had a truly memorable meal at Windows on the Water, Morro Bay 🙂
I have spent a lot of time in California, but I have never been here. The scenery looks stunning.
Hey Dannii – Morro Bay is gorgeous – a new place for you to consider when you’re in California next 🙂
Oh wow… what a lovely place and the views are amazing! I’d love to visit one day 🙂
Hey Lubka- hope you make it to Morro Bay soon 🙂
These photos are beyond beautiful, jealous of your trip!
Hey Amelia – thanks a ton. Travelling with a travel photographer in tow has its perks 😉
I have never been to Morro Bay before but wow it looks beautiful! I need to go one day
Hey Melissa – hope you end up driving around in California super soon 🙂
Just absolutely incredible and Morro Rock is so beautiful, thank you for sharing your journey!
Glad you enjoyed reading it Rachel – sunsets at Morro Rock are well and truly stunning!
I haven’t ever been to Morro Bay but it sounds just wonderful!! Something to put on my ever expanding list!
Hehe thanks to the internet our bucketlists are bursting at their seams isn’t it 😉
I’ve never even been to America and I’ve never heard of Morro Bay! But my how beautiful it is, I do have family in Calinfornia and keep saying to my other half we need to go and visit them and do a road trip along the coast.
Hey Georgia – how lucky are you to have family in California 🙂 You must visit them pronto!!
My family’s been cooking up a California road trip for years and it just might be happening finally this summer (eek!) and after seeing these gorgeous pictures and reading this, Morro Bay will HAVE to feature on it! Cannot wait to read your full itinerary for your road trips ☺️?
Hey Adele – hope you make it to California this summer. A full itinerary is coming right up sometime later this week 🙂
Your photos are always so incredibly beautiful – wow!! This place looks absolutely gorgeous. x
Thanks Amy 🙂 Vid had an amazing time capturing California’s beaches
It looks so incredible here! California is on my places to visit.
Thanks Jemma – California is worthy of a place on every bucket list out there 🙂
Sounds amazing! I really want to go back to California! Wish I will one day 🙂
Did you have a good time in California Paula? I really want to go back too 🙂
how do you get time to shop for clothes and accessories and also the ideas on how to mix and match..All the pictures are beautiful…
Thanks Veni – it’s just something I enjoy doing. Inspiration is all around 🙂
I had never heard of this place but your words and pictures made it look beautiful. I could just imagine the place with all your description. I’m not exaggeratin bit I truly truly admire your work and passion for travel. I hope to be like you someday. Savi you make any pic beautiful with your smile 🙂 you’re my spirit animal ?? Love you both. Don’t ever stop what you’re doing.
Thanks a ton Preethi 🙂 So happy to see you here. Much love
What a gorgeous place! I’d love to go and visit California x
You would love visiting Morro Bay Stephanie 🙂
The pictures of you are just amazing and it tells the story about the place ,good job guys keep doing.
Thanks a million 🙂
You guys are amazing! I live in California but haven’t been to Morro bay ever! Its only after reading your blog, I am planning our next long weekend at the Morro Bay. Yes, entire long weekend dedicated to following your recommendation on Morro bay and PCH highway 🙂 Thanks, you guys are an inspiration!
Thank you so much 🙂 Glad we could convince you to go to Morro Bay – do share your experiences and photographs with us 🙂