Friday, August 1

19 Days Of Vacation

Day 12: Morro Bay, CA

Morro Bay is stuck somewhere in the mid 20th century. Unlike most other central California coastal towns, it hasn't been completely taken over by surfers, latter day hippies, real estate agents, or wine snobs. They are here, and so are some trappings to keep them here, but the town retains most of its fishing-village-and-natural-wonders personality. There are easily 1,001 California coast destinations worth a visit. Morro Bay is in my top three.

The most obvious, imposing, and awe inspiring feature is Morro Rock, the last in a chain of weathered volcanic plugs called the Nine Sisters. It stands guard over a perfect natural harbor. The topography makes for a a fascinating place to walk, beachcomb, and birdwatch. Along the Embarcadero are souvenir shops, bike and boat rentals, fish markets, restaurants, and small gardens from which to watch the incoming fleet or the setting sun.

The pleasures of this destination are simple ones. The town prides itself, and justifiably so, for its bird sanctuary status. Hundreds of species take up residence or migrate through here, including the endangered peregrine falcons that nest on Morro Rock. There is a small but very good natural history museum. The old, tiny public aquarium ($2 admission!) is a sure bet for young and old alike, especially the rescued seals who perform tricks for fish scraps. Visit the shell shop. Fly a kite. Food is simple and hearty fare, mostly family style restaurant or bar and grill type spots specializing in fresh seafood. There is a yacht harbor, a large public park, long strands of beach on the outer harbor and north of the rock, and one of the state's best preserved estuaries. Most of all, this is a place for casting off self-imposed shackles. Enjoy the rhythm of the tides without the need for cell phones, itineraries, or an abundance of credit cards.

S - l - o - w . D - o - w - n .

Teasers on this trip: kayaks, Pismo Beach, wineries, Hearst Castle

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait!! :)