Things to do in Morro Bay, Cambria, Cayucos and San Simeon
A nice place for shopping, with some nice art galleries and boutiques. Cambria is also known for the lodgings that line Moonstone Beach below town.
Cayucos is one of California's best traditional beach towns, without the tacky sea shell shops and t-shirt stores that line the streets in other places but with lots of ambience, nice restaurants and places to stay.
Morro Rock is hard to miss as you drive along Highway 1, but there's more to the town than just the big volcanic formation and the peregrine falcons that nest on it. With a protected harbor, Morro Bay is a good place for kayaking or a harbor cruise.
At the Helm Boat Rentals
Rent an electric "Duffy" boat for your own personal Morro Bay harbor cruise.
Cayucos State Beach
Popular with locals, the Cayucos beach is wide, sandy and fairly flat, with a pretty pier in the middle. It's a good place for sand play, with lifeguards on duty in the summer and an outdoor shower in case of big messes. It's right in the middle of town so you can find food and drink without going far.
Take a Morro Bay harbor cruise or a Sunday brunch cruise on a 50-foot, two-story riverboat.
Coleman Park, Morro Bay
Follow Embarcadero Road along the waterfront toward Morro Rock or take the trolley to reach this multi-facted area. There's a skateboard park and small playground for the kids, good fishing and sea otter-watching off the rocky shore and a nice sandy beach opposite, where you can surf (or watch) and play in the sand. The link above takes you to a map.
Millionaire and self-indulgent rich guy William Randolph Hearst built this complex of houses on the hill above San Simeon in the 1920s and today it's one of the state's busiest tourist attractions.
Guided sea kayak tours in the Cambria area. Tours are designed for all skill levels and take place within the Southern end of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Moonstone Beach, Cambria
Better known for the cozy hotels that line the road nearby, Moonstone Beach has a little of everything: an easy clifftop boardwalk that's easily accessible by wheelchair or ECV, tide pools, surfers, crashing waves and golden-colored cliffs above the rocks. There's also a restaurant right across the road with a large outdoor deck. The link above takes you to a map.
Morro Bay Aquarium
This family-owned aquarium is also a rehabilitation center for marine animals in trouble. It's a modest operation, but kids love it and your admission fees help the owners keep up their good work.
Morro Bay Harbor Cruise
Take a Morro Bay harbor cruise on a 50-foot, two-story riverboat.
Museum of Natural History
Kids love this little museum, which has lots of hands-on exhibits where they can can build a sand dune, operate nature's cycle of water and dig into the food pit to create their own food chains.
Pewter Plough Playhouse, Cambria
This community theatre group performs year round in pretty little auditorium with a piano bar next door that serves drinks before the show and during intermission.
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
This lighthouse near San Simeon is open to the public once a month.
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery
Located 4.5 miles north of Hearst Castle, the elephant seal rookery is most interesting during breeding season, from December through February, but you'll find them hanging around at other times of the year, too.
Sub Sea Tours
Ride around Morro Bay in a semi-submersible boat to get a feeling of what it's like to be underwater without donning a wetsuit. This tour is especially popular with kids.
Virg's Landing Sport Fishing (Morro Bay)
Catch rockfish, lingcod, albacore or whatever else is biting on daily fishing trips. They provide live bait in season and you can rent tackle if you need it.