On a beautiful day, Morro Rock towers high above the estuary while surfers glide through the waves, pelicans fly in v-shaped formations and otters lounge just offshore in the kelp beds. Its inhabitants greatly enjoy the outdoors and are often found walking along the ocean front's many beaches and pathways.
With an elevation of 576 feet, Morro Rock is also known as "the Gibralter of the Pacific." First sighted in 1542 by Juan Cabrillo, it has been sacred ground to the area's Native American Indians as well as a nesting ground for the endangered Peregrine Falcon.
The history of Morro Bay, California is fascinating in many respects. In 1953 groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the sometimes-controversial PG&E power plant still standing today. In 1964 it became a general law city and its first City Council was elected. In 1968 Morro Rock was declared a State Historical Landmark (No. 821). This allowed the quarrying of the rock to discontinue and to be preserved after many years of having bits and pieces sheered off for construction use.
Some of its largest employers include the City of Morro Bay and The Inn at Morro Bay. The Dynegy power plant, previously owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and several others, has also been a key employer.
The Museum of Natural History, located in Morro Bay State Park and within sight of Morro Rock, was originally built in 1962. A well-known educational facility, used to learn about the surrounding estuary and its many inhabitants, has newly updated exhibits featuring interactive displays that will educate both children and parents alike. With close to 65,000 visitors each year, it offers one of the most extraordinary views of the entire bay.
Morro Bay State Park, also home to a marina and 18-hole public golf course, offers camping, hiking trails, bird watching, dining facilities and kayaking rentals.
In the 1940s Morro Bay was a prominent abalone fishing center until they started to decline. Still thriving, the fishing industry includes shark, halibut and rockfish. The areas largest industry these days remains tourism.
Home for such famous people as Jack Lalanne, the fitness guru, he can be seen greeting guests at some of the city's restaurants on a regular basis. Also home to many who enjoy the seaside charm, the Morro Bay Yacht Club is popular non-profit organization devoted to boating activities throughout the year. Formed in 1956, sailing races, boat parades and public service ventures along the waterfront are common.
With 45% of the population registered as Democrats and 52.69% registered Republican, it's a mixed population that thrives here.
A number of highly recommended must-sees exist in charming Morro Bay. A few of the more popular include: