A panorama of Morro Bay created with a four photo composite. From left to
right: the south end of the Morro Bay waterfront; the faint hills in the background
are Los Osos and the Montana De Oro State Park; the strip of sand across the center
is the huge sand spit which shelters Morro Bay from the open sea; at right, the
700 foot high Morro Rock, a volcanic plug; at far right, Australia's visiting
Endeavor, a replica of its famed 18th century namesake.
During our recent visit, the Australian ship, Endeavor, had just docked at
Morro Bay for a week of public display. The ship is said to be an exact
duplicate of the famed 18th century British man of war, H.M.S. Endeavor, with
which the renowned explorer, Captain Cook, circumnavigated the globe, making
voyages of discovery in the South Seas of the Pacific.
Under the aegis of the National Geographic Society, Endeavor has replicated
Captain Cook's journeys, and was on a tour of the west coast of the United States (Summer, 1999).
We are told the crew handles the ship in about the same way as the original, and that
the main difference is today's crew eats quite a bit better than their 18th
The California beaches are often thought of as highly congested places.
However there are many outstanding beaches and coastal areas which can
be enjoyed with an absence of crowds. The central California coast
offers coastal beauty with less commercialism and smaller crowds.
At left is a hidden cove in Montana De Oro State Park, located near
San Luis Obispo. The park offers trail access to a very rugged section
of coastline with many outstanding views of sheer cliffs, rocky
shorelines, and hidden coves.
If you come in the spring or early summer you may be treated to some
amazing wildflower displays on the bluffs. This is especially true
following a rainy winter.
There are numerous wide open beaches within a short
distance of this state park. These areas offer excellent opportunities
for tidal pool exploration and beachcombing.
Left, the surf pounds a rocky finger jutting out from the base of a cliff.
Right, the bird (foreground) and the surfer (background) seemingly have
the beach to themselves at Morro Strand State Beach.
Sand dunes meet the beach at nearby Pismo Beach State Park. Early morning
beach combing here will reward you many large and beautiful seashells
including clams, sand dollars, and scallops. Intact clam shells as large as
4 to 5 inches across can be found.
The Pismo clam was once highly prized for its culinary value and was
harvested in tremendous numbers, almost to extinction. The clams are now
protected, and clamming is quite limited. However the local restaurants
offer a wide variety of great seafood.
Location: The beaches are off of the Pacific Coast Highway (California Highway 1), north and south of San Luis Obispo.
Pacific Coast Highway - California Coastline - Montana De Oro to Morro Bay Vistas (Part 2)