The particulars of living on the coast have faded since moving to Texas almost seven years ago (has it really been seven years!?). The fog moving in on “little cat feet” (as Carl Sandburg so perfectly wrote), the echoing cry of a fog horn, Sea Gulls trying to make friends with beach-goers and the distant searching yawps of Sea Lions are all wonders that I recently had the pleasure of re-discovering. There have been a few desperate moments here on the high plains where I’ve driven down a road and actually believed for a split second that I was driving alongside the ocean. The field next to me flat, the horizon obscured by yearnings for home and a blue haze that could be mistaken for a fog bank. Sometimes, on misty mornings, when the air is overwhelmingly damp and almost smells of…salt, I pretend I am back in Morro Bay, taking the dog for a walk up behind the golf course.
It’s strange to write a travel post about a place where you used to live. Morro Bay, California holds a special place in my heart. It was the first town Matt and I lived in as newlyweds. We had a tiny yellow house with a white picket fence that was an arm’s throw from the Pacific. His grandparents lived a few blocks away. It’s a town where I spent 12 years of my life working in a fabric store. More days than not I drove down to Morro Rock and spent my lunch break watching the waves crash and the pelicans dive for dinner.
Here’s a map of the area; you can see the size of the bay and where it is in relation to Morro Bay and Los Osos:
One of Morro Bay’s claims to fame is the enormous rock protruding from the water. Morro Rock is the last in a chain of long-extinct volcanoes, covering over 50 acres at its base and towering 576 feet above the entrance to Morro Bay.
The city installed a boardwalk along the road leading to Morro Rock; it’s a gorgeous stroll at any time of day.My mom and I ate dinner right on the water at “Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant & Fish Market.” It’s right along the embarcadero; a bayside drive filled with restaurants and shops.
The Cotton Ball (A fantastic little quilt store where I worked all those years!)
May I also suggest visiting nearby Montaña De Oro State Park or trying your hand at kayaking in the bay? (Tours are available, but I suggest renting them and exploring on your own. Just make sure to check for high tide-you don’t want to get stranded if the tide moves out! Trust me, I know from experience…)
My FAVORITE places to eat in Morro Bay:
Shine Cafè (Extremely fresh vegetarian food. Huge portions! Try my favorite: Tempeh Salad) This also has a health food store next door 🙂
Taco Temple (Best fish tacos ever! Only $6 and huge! Don’t miss this local favorite restaurant. It’s always busy, but worth the wait!)
Bayside Cafè (Fresh, local + a great patio or sun room for seating. Try their fish and chips, and save room for the boysenberry crisp with heavy cream! Lots of seafood, Mexican and Vegetarian/GF options. Check their hours- they’re closed during certain days and times)
Tacos De Mexico (Total dive but soooooo awesome when you want a cheap late night burrito! Authentic food -yes, it can be spicy-and friendly staff, and it’s right across the street from a liquor store with a great beer selection. Grab a burrito and beer and head to the beach for the sunset!)
* These are all MY opinions. I am not being endorsed by anyone.
Other posts with photos of Morro Bay: