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How to Visit Morro Bay in a Day

We attended as a guest of Morro Bay

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Morro Bay is a true gem of the Central California coastline offering families and couples a memorable vacation. While on our summer California road trip, we stopped in Morro Bay for the day to experience the vacation destination that so many families have been talking about over the years. We were able to have an epic family vacation in Morro Bay in just one day.

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When planning your family California road trip, plan to one full day in Morro Bay to get the most out of the intimate seaside community. We arrived around 8 pm on a Wednesday and left at 10 am on a Friday, and yet we were able to experience all the fun that Morro Bay has to offer.

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Begin by checking into one of the intimate seaside Inn’s and then make your way over to Dorn’s to watch the sunset while enjoying juicy steaks and fresh seafood. The restaurant has an outdoor patio with fire pits and a large dining room with panoramic ocean views.

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In the morning, start the day with breakfast at the popular Frankie & Lola’s. Don’t miss trying the chilaquiles or fried green tomato eggs Benedict on the relaxed outdoor patio. The family-friendly diner has reasonable prices and large portion sizes.

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Once your family is done fueling your day with breakfast from Frankie & Lola’s walk a couple of doors over to The Morro Bay House of Jerky. It is the perfect place to purchase a souvenir to bring home to your friends and family, and your kids can play an interactive shooting game for just $1. They have samples available of their 20-year-old family recipe jerky to ensure that you’re bringing home a flavor that will bring back memories of your trip to Morro Bay with every bite.

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Right, next door to The House of Jerky is Farmer’s Kites Surreys Bikes & More where your family can jump onto a double surrey and head out to Morro Rock in a fun new way. Take the bike past the future site of the Morro Bay Maritime Museum, visit Morro Rock Beach and Morro Beach. There are multiple places to stop and admire the beautiful Morro Bay views from different benches, watch the surfers or walk along the beach where your children will discover hundreds of beautiful sand dollars. There is even a park near Morro Rock where your kids can swing or catch a quick game of basketball before riding the bike back to town.

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Return the surrey at Farmer’s Kites and Surreys and then walk over to visit the Morro Bay Aquarium. Your children can feed the seals for $.50 a bag and watch the different sea life swimming in the different tanks. The aquarium is small but special offering a place for rescued sea animals to live and be rehabilitated. There is a small gift shop where your kids can purchase a souvenir to remember their time with the animals living in the aquarium.

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The education continues as your family walks across the street to the complimentary Estuary Nature Center. Children can learn, explore and find out what they can do to help save the bay. There are multiple interactive learning stations and donations are graciously accepted.

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Just a short walk from the Nature Center is Blue Sky Cafe where your family will have the best clam chowder in Morro Bay. The family-friendly restaurant has tables right on the bay and is the perfect place to relax, refuel and take in the beautiful views.

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After lunch have a tubular time at the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum. In the museum, your children can explore the different skateboard memorabilia and climb aboard the 2nd largest skateboard in the world! The museum entrance is complimentary, and donations are graciously appreciated.

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Then get ready to explore the magical world under the sea on the Sub Sea Tour. The tour takes about an hour, and they keep the groups small so that families can have an intimate experience. The glass bottom boat will take your children to see the sea lions, sea otters and the beautiful fish that live in the bay. While riding on the Sub Sea tour your children can ask questions about the harbor and animals while basking in the sun.

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Once the boat docks at the harbor, your kids will be ready for a refreshing treat at the popular Crills II. The small snack shop offers a wide variety of ice cream flavors, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, candy, popcorn and more. The ice cream tastes sweeter than anywhere else while savoring it on the dock while looking at the beautiful view of Morro Rock.

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While your kids are licking their ice cream, walk over to The Shell Shop that has been open since 1955 and had the largest selection of shells on the Central Coast. Your kids will want to fill up a bag full of beautiful shells to bring home as a souvenir from the trip.

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Before dinner, spend some time with your kids at Centennial park where your kids can play a couple of rounds of golf while mom and dad sip on an iced coffee from the bakery next door. Our kids loved this park so much that we couldn’t get them to leave when it was time for dinner.

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Right across the street from the park is Dutchman’s Seafood House that is the ideal place for dinner. The family-owned restaurant has some of the freshest seafood dishes in the area with beautiful panoramic water views and a relaxed family-friendly ambiance. They have the best service we experienced during out time in Morro Bay, and the kids didn’t leave a crumb behind.

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Before ending your day dreaming of the magical time in Morro Bay, stop into Carousel saltwater taffy for a quick treat before walking along the bay watching the sunset behind Morro Rock.

When the sun begins to rise the next morning, walk over to The Coffee Pot Restaurant for a filling breakfast before getting back into the car to continue your California road trip.

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The memories of your short time in Morro Bay will last a lifetime, and will live in the hearts of your children forever.

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