Driving up the scenic central California coast I am always impressed by the sleepy little towns dotted along the way.
One such town standing out from the rest is the seaside village of Morro Bay. Morro Bay may not be the smallest of communities in the area but it does have one unique landscape feature that the others don’t have, the enormous Morro Rock. “The Rock” as locals call it stands 576 feet tall and looks like a landed meteorite straight out of a science fiction movie.
Morro Rock was originally surrounded by water but a breakwater was built so that people and cars can easily have access to its base. At present there is a paved road and a huge dirt area that serves as a parking lot for the surfers as well as the fishermen (and women) who fish at the harbor nearby.
There is no climbing allowed on the rock as the foundation is unsteady and rocky. Locals tell us that once in a great while someone will get caught climbing the rock only to be met with a hefty fine.
How to get there
Morro Bay is a coastal community located on scenic Highway 1 and nestled roughly 125 miles north of Santa Barbara and about 140 miles south of Monterey. This picturesque city has a population of just over 10,000 as of the 2010 census.
This part of the coast was lacking in natural harbors so the Army Corp of Engineers decided to build a small bay with the intention to house recreational and commercial boats. It is now the only harbor between Santa Barbara and Monterey that can accommodate smaller boats.
Protected by a large sand dune or sandspit , the harbor is calm and serene and home to boats moored peacefully against the backdrop of “The Rock”.