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The Ultimate Weekend Getaway to Morro Bay

things to do in morro bay

If you’re looking for a sleepy, quaint seaside town, look no further! Morro Bay is  a hidden gem nestled between forests, natural preserves, and hills. The perfect escape from a busy city life, Morro offers one of the best weekend getaways from Los Angeles.

Read on below for the ultimate weekend getaway guide to Morro Bay!

things to do in morro bay

Weekend Getaway to Morro Bay

Things to do in Morro Bay

Explore the Elfin Forest

This is one of the most unique places I’ve ever been to! A natural preserve, the Elfin Forest in neighboring Los Osos spans 90 acres and overlooks the Morro Bay estuary. Pick up one of these guide pamphlets at the entrance, and take a stroll on the boardwalk around the loop to see some pygmy oak trees and get lost in the woods!

Helpful links: hiking trails, how to get there.

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Discover the outdoors at Montana de Oro State Park

A gorgeous, underrated state park, Montana de Oro is the perfect place for outdoor activities and uncrowded camp sites. With an assortment of hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, and the opportunity to discover coves and gorgeous beaches (see my favorite below!) plan on spending at least a day here.

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Visit the beach at Spooner’s Cove

By far one of my favorite beaches in California! Located within Montana de Oro, Spooner’s Cove is similar to Malibu’s El Matador beach, with wonderful rock formations to climb around on. The beach itself is made up of half sand, half smooth, colorful stones — suitable for those who wish to skip rocks! This site was also used as a filming location for the 1977 movie Pete’s Dragon, and there is plenty to do for kids and adults alike.

If there’s one tip I can offer, it’s be sure to stay for the sunset!

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Stop by the Shell Shop

Come here for your seashell fix! This store has been opened since 1955, and is renowned for its decorative corals, shells, and jewelry.

Address: 590 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442

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Kayak in Morro Bay

Rent a kayak (or some Airbnbs come with them!) and paddle around the bay, marveling at wildlife and enjoying the quiet peace of nature. If you’re journeying from Los Osos to Morro, make sure to stop by Bayside Cafe for lunch!

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Watch the sunset over Morro Rock

Finish off the day with a nice dinner in town. I recommend picking a restaurant with seaside views so you can watch the sunset over Morro Rock (see below for recommendations.)

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Getting there

From Los Angeles, take the 101 all the way up to San Luis Obispo, then the 1 to Morro Bay. The drive should take you around 3.5 hours without traffic.

Where to stay

There are a variety of inns and hotels to stay at, but I actually recommend choosing the neighboring town of Los Osos, which is 10 minutes south of Morro Bay and super cute! Rent out one of the Airbnbs in the area. They are plentiful and give you the local experience of seaside living.

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Where to eat

For food, Morro and Los Osos both have wonderful options. Some recommendations below to satiate your appetite after a long day of activities!

Back Bay Cafe — a local spot in Los Osos serving breakfast fare. Tip: make sure you’re not in a rush, as the wait can get pretty long.

Bayside Cafe — the perfect pit stop during a day of kayaking.

Off the Hook — look no further for a sunset dinner, with stunning views of Morro Rock and the surrounding bay.

Blue Sky Bistro — my top choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Generous portions at decent prices, combined with fantastic views.

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Have you done a California road trip? Let me know your suggestions below on where to stop and what to see!

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  • Kathy Myers August 27, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I would never want to leave there! What a beautiful place, thanks for sharing!!

  • Michelle @Military Wives Saving August 27, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    What an amazing adventure – your pictures are all so beautiful! Haven’t made it to LA yet, but maybe one day and then over to Morro Bay!

  • AppleGreen Cottage August 28, 2016 at 12:15 am

    What a lovely idea for a fall seaside trip! You must have had a great time there. And the shell shop, amazing! Have a great weekend,

  • chefjoe11 August 28, 2016 at 4:19 am

    I would love to visit Morro Bay one day! Beautiful photos!

  • Olivia Douglass August 28, 2016 at 5:58 am

    I would love to visit Morro Bay for a weekend getaway. My husband and I are looking into places for our 10 year anniversary so I’m going to share this with him ;).

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 10:04 am

      That’s incredible! Please do let me know if you end up picking Morro, and your experience there! 🙂

  • Brandy August 28, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Looks like an amazing experience. I am in love with the photos and the food 😉 Delish looking!

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Thank you for your kind words, Brandy! 🙂

  • Jeanine August 28, 2016 at 8:53 am

    What a gorgeous place to get away to! The food looks lovely too, I wouldn’t want to ever leave once there!

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Oh trust me, I definitely didn’t want to leave! :’D

  • Life With Lorelai August 28, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Morro Bay is absolutely gorgeous! Beach road trips are so relaxing. You captured some really beautiful photographs…makes me want to head up the Coast Hwy. 🙂

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thank you so much for your constant support, Lorelai! 🙂

  • Amanda Love August 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Everything is so picturesque here! The sights are breathtaking and it will definitely help you relax. The food looks great as well. I’d love to spend a weekend here with the kids and just take in the lovely view!

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

      What an awesome idea! Let me know if you go – would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Taty Pradilla August 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I have never been to California but it is somewhere I would love to travel to one day. It looks like a beautiful place with delicious food.

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 9:58 am

      It truly is! I’m sure you’ll get to visit one day 😀

  • Rebecca Swenor August 29, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Morro Bay looks like a gorgeous place to visit and it looks so peaceful. I would love to visit here some day and see the Montana de Oro park which looks so beautiful and calming. Thanks for sharing your experiences and these gorgeous photos.

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 9:46 am

      It’s honestly such a wonderful, hidden gem of a place. Let me know if you ever get to go, Rebecca! Would love to hear of your experiences there.

  • Bites for Foodies August 29, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I’ve been to L.A three times…how have I not heard of this place?? It is absolutely stunning!

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 9:44 am

      It’s definitely a hidden gem! Would truly recommend a road trip 🙂

  • Gwendolyn Mulholland August 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Morro Bay looks like a hidden gem worth visiting. I love the pictures and they truly seem to capture the beauty of the place. I will be adding this to my list of places I want to visit.

  • crystalandcomp August 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve never been to the west coast but I should. Morro Bay looks beautiful and serene. I would love a quiet week just exploring the Elfin Forest

  • Lori Felix August 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Morro Bay looks like a great place for my next getaway. I can’t wait to visit the shell shop and pick up a few shells to add to my nautical decor.

    • Pier Nirandara August 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      It really is! And I love love love nautical decor as well 😀

  • Debra Pearlstein August 30, 2016 at 9:47 am

    We visited San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay looks lovely. That tree is amazing!

    • Pier Nirandara August 30, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      OH it’s so gorgeous! I hope you had a wonderful time at San Luis Obispo – it’s still on my list to explore around!

  • Terri Ramsey Beavers August 30, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Oh my gosh, your photos are amazing. I’ve never been to morro bay but I’ve got to check it out and see if I can plan a trip there sometime soon.

    • Pier Nirandara August 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      Thank you so much, Terri! I’m really glad you enjoyed them – let me know if you end up going. Would love to hear!

  • Chrishelle Ebner August 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Oh my goodness this looks like the perfect weekend retreat. I love that you can hike, enjoy the seaside, and have an awesome meal. So many great activities.

  • Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen September 5, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    You have amazing photos of Morro Bay and you make me want to leave and go there right now. The place looks magical in your photos.

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