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Spring Means Kite Fest & Carnival at Morro Rock, Kayaking, Skateboards, Paddle Boards, Tide Pools and Family Fun in Morro Bay, CA

04/07/2015

Relieve your spring fever with a visit to Morro Bay for family fun this April and May. Watch the kids light up at the idea of kayaking with sea otters, bicycling out to iconic Morro Rock, exploring the Morro Bay Natural History Museum or Skateboard Museum, surfing, paddle boarding, whale watching, kite flying and tide pooling. The whole family can relax and take in the natural beauty of this unique fishing village located on Highway 1, along California’s Central Coast. The town practically stands still in time: salt-water taffy smells swirl in the air, fresh local seafood abounds, and water adventures on the bay and the beach are abundant. Morro Bay is an engaging, thriving fishing village filled with restaurants, shopping and attractions and is located minutes from Hearst Castle. If you and your family haven’t experienced this classic CA town, now is the time. “Whether your family’s taste for adventure runs extreme or serene, you will find something for everyone in Morro Bay. You can bike it, climb it, row it, surf it or simply soak it all in, there are no shortages of opportunities here,” explains Brent Haugen, Executive Director, Morro Bay Tourism Bureau. “There are affordable kite, bike, kayak, surf, paddleboard and boat rentals dotted all along the bay. And, of course, beach combing, hiking and tide pooling is all free.” Morro Bay Adventure Pass Launching May 1, 2015, the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau will help tourists make the most of their experience in this quaint seaside town by purchasing a Morro Bay Adventure Pass. This pass is full of activities including wine tasting, kayak, stand up paddleboard and bicycle rentals, boat cruises and many more activities at one low price. Individual, Couple & Family passes available with special pricing during National Travel & Tourism Week, May 2-10, 2015. Go to www.MorroBay.org for more details and pricing. Natural History, Sea Life and Beach Combing The Museum of Natural History - the only one in the California State Park system - opened in 1962. It serves between 45,000 and 50,000 people annually, including 5,000 school children in programs that support California's required science and social studies standards. If bird watching is something your family enjoys, the Morro Bay area is home to over 250 species of birds, including peregrine falcons. The great blue herons and the great and snowy egrets roost all year at the Heron and Cormorant Rookery located near the entrance of the Natural History Museum. You can locate the rookery from the bay by the cluster of barren eucalyptus trees. Sea life, beach and coastal activities are numerous in Morro Bay. If you check out the two mile stretch of beach to the north of Morro Rock, you’ll inevitably find classic surfers, and possibly a kite surfer or two. This strand is also where a bounty of sand dollars can be found and be careful not to collect the live ones. South of Morro Rock is the recreational protected bay, where kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding and sea life abound. Like birds, sea lions and otters are abundant on the bay and viewable on the water or from the Embarcadero. Tide Pools Morro Bay is home to one of the most fascinating coastal environments you’ll find anywhere. The best tide pools in Morro Bay are found at Morro Strand Beach north of Yerba Buena St. off Highway 1 and at Windy Cove, north of the Morro Bay Natural History Museum. Twice a day, pounding surf surges in and beats against the rocky shoreline, whipping up an agitated froth. Six hours later the waters retreat leaving the area exposed and life within it on hold until the sea returns. Ochre Sea Stars, some orange and some purple, stand out against the deep green kelp while small black and brown turban snails pepper the pools. Some of these shells actually contain hermit crabs that scurry around hunting for food. There are sea urchins, crabs, sea stars, green anemones, barnacles, mussels, rock crabs, anemones, chitons, sponges, sea urchins, tube worms, sea cucumbers and thick beds of seaweed. The Central Coast Natural History Association offers docent walks at many of the above locations. Call 805-772-2694 for information. Spring Events Emergency Vehicle Show April 17 & 18, 2015 Friday night cruise and Saturday display of Emergency and Public Services Vehicles. Come enjoy a family friendly afternoon hosted by the Morro Bay Neighborhood Watch and the City of Morro Bay. The Morro Bay Police Department, Fire Department and Harbor District will have their emergency vehicles on display along with military and Special Service vehicles. On Main Street at the intersection of Morro Bay Blvd. Earth Day Fair & Music Fest April 19, 2015 Spend the day in the natural setting of El Chorro Regional Park, under blue skies and green fields from 10 am to 5 pm. Enjoy a Dairy Creek Zero Waste Park Tour, Clean Energy Zone, Kid’s Korner, Eco Marketplace, Health & Well-being Center, Food Court, Beer & Wine and SLO and Botanical Garden Tours. Enjoy live music from two stages throughout the day. The main stage will feature some of the best music on the central coast. Official Website: earthdayalliance.com Morro Bay Kite Festival & Carnival April 25-26, 2015 What better place to vacation during National Kite Month than in Morro Bay? NEW to the annual festival this year: The Morro Bay Kite Festival Carnival! There’s a perfect ride for every member of the family including a Fiesta Ferris Wheel, the infamous Teacup ride, a Trackless Train with Station, and even a Bounty Pirate Ship. Tickets are $3/ride or $15 for unlimited rides (per day) with a special wristband. Meantime, the Morro Bay Kite Festival is a FREE annual event for kite enthusiasts and families, hosted on the beach just north of Morro Rock. Morro Bay offers some of the best kite-flying wind in the world. Come enjoy a fun family event for all ages and lifestyles. Hundreds of kites will be provided by “Central Coast Funds for Children.” For more information visit: www.morrobaykitefestival.org Cruisin' Morro Bay Car Show April 30 – May 3, 2015 Cruisin’ Morro Bay Car Show returns for the 18th time in 2015! Starting Thursday evening, rare cars will begin arriving in Morro Bay for registration. On Friday, secure a spot on Main Street for Cruise Night as classics and other rare cars cruise past. Continue the party on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and talk with the car owners. The event wraps up on Sunday morning with the announcement of the best cars. Visit the Morro Bay Cruisin’ Car Show website for more information. Miracle Miles for Kids May 9, 2015 Run a 10K (6.2 miles) from Morro Rock to the Cayucos Pier. Your participation in Miracle Miles for Kids makes a difference in the community. The funds earned through registration and pledging help to meet critical needs of the over 1,400 children, youth and families served by FCNI annually. For more information visit www.mm4k.com Lodging and Trolley Morro Bay offers a family-friendly adventure where moms, dads, grandparents and little ones will enjoy a fun and comfortable getaway with a wide range of activities and places to stay. There are over 30 hotels and motels to choose from, some featuring free breakfast and convenient amenities such as mini-fridges and microwaves. For a small fee from May through October, visitors can take a seasonal trolley runs from the Embarcadero, to Morro Rock, up to Old Town, to the State Parks by the Back Bay Marina, and out to North Morro Bay. In fact, the picture-perfect community of Morro Bay is a breeze for hotel guests to navigate thanks to the trolley service. Activities for All to Enjoy Both the young and the young at heart will enjoy a trip that includes learning and exploration. Families will find unique art galleries and museums as they stroll along the Embarcadero or get lost in the quaint downtown. Stop in for a matinée at the classic historic Bay Theater or hop on the trolley and head up to North Morro Bay to check out the fabulous beaches that stretch for miles along Estero Bay. Below find a list of tours, attractions, equipment rentals, hiking trails and shopping for all to enjoy: Farmer’s Kites, Surreys, Bikes & More 1108 Front Street Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-0113 Fun for the whole family! Farmers Kites & Surreys has a large assortment of all kinds of kites to make your time in Morro Bay fun for the family. When you are done flying your kites take a surrey though town. Natural History Museum 20 State Park Road, Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-2694 Visitors, and especially children, shouldn’t miss the Museum of Natural History, which covers the area’s natural and cultural history. The Natural History Museum has undergone a complete redesign of the 1960 circa exhibits, replacing them with new, state-of-the-art displays. These new exhibits feature interactive displays to educate the visiting public about the ecology of the Morro Bay estuary. Morro Bay Aquarium 595 Embarcadero Blvd, Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-7647 The Morro Bay Aquarium became a rehabilitation center for distressed mammals in 1984 and is a non-profit organization. It features three sea lions and a harbor seal that are housed there and were brought in because of their injuries or abandonment. Feeding the sea lions is fun for both children and adults. Open every day. Call for hours. Admission: children 1-4: free; children 5-11: $1; 12 and over $2. Group rates available for schools and other qualified groups. Red Anchor Charters Slip 1 501 Embarcadero Road Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-235-5488 Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or a day off, Red Anchor Charters will provide you with the most hospitable, fun, and relaxing first-class boating experience the Central Coast has to offer. Cruise with Red Anchor on Minerva, their 32-foot captained yacht, for a memorable hour, half-day or full-day charter with up to five of your friends on historic Morro Bay’s beautiful waters. Red Anchor Charters also offers a sunset dinner cruise. Captain Stew’s Bay Cruise 1213 Embarcadero Road Morro Bay, CA 93443 805-995-3019, Captain Stew’s Bay Cruise will transport you for 50 minutes to a world of warmth and relaxation. Experience the roar of the crashing waves and the delicate mist of the warm sea as it crashes on the rocky landscape. Drag your toes through the warm and soothing sand of the sand spit. Whether you are seeking a peaceful retreat, a romantic getaway, or simply experience the natural wonder of Morro Rock, you will find what you are looking for during this cruise. Just a short stroll brings you to the quaint Salt Building at the corner of Marina and Embarcadero. Lost Isle Adventure Tours 845 Embarcadero Morro Bay, California 93442 805-771-9337 Take a leisurely cruise on our Tiki boat and let your troubles turn into bubbles as you enjoy the beauty of the central coast and hear the history and see our wildlife in our amazing water wonderland. Oyster tours: The only oyster farm tour by boat in California. Morro Bay oysters are sustainable seafood, delicious and full of nutrition. Tiki Boat & Beach Parties: We will bring you by boat to pristine and private beaches for your special celebration! Morro Bay Skateboard Museum 601 Embarcadero Road Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-610-3565 As of July 2012, the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum has declared that, “Skateboarding isn’t a crime in Morro Bay California.” See the complete history of skateboarding – from the early 1930's to present day, featuring more than 200 skateboards from all eras with rotating exhibits from extensive private collections. Many of the skateboards in the museum are on loan from private collectors such as: Stephen Pizzo, Todd Huber’s Skatelab, Indoor Skatepark, and Skateboarding Hall of Fame Museum. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. Morro Bay National Estuary Program 601 Embarcadero Blvd. # 11 Morro Bay 805-772-3834 The Morro Bay Estuary is a unique and special place. This 2,300 acre expanse of sheltered waters, tidal marshes, mudflats and sea grass beds is rich with natural resources at a time when many coastal wetlands have been lost or severely damaged. At the Estuary Nature Center, visitors can learn through hands-on exhibits about this home of endangered species, nursery ground for fish, and critical stop for migratory birds. Track the rain’s journey at the watershed exhibit, see live eelgrass and steelhead trout, experience the variety of birds that make this their home or visit on their migratory journey, and watch seabirds, sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters in the estuary outside the window. The Estuary Nature Center is located upstairs on the Embarcadero at Marina Street in Morro Bay in the Marina Square building. Open every day from 10am to 6pm. Central Coast Stand Up Paddling 1215 Embarcadero Morro Bay, CA 805-395-0410 Offering kayak eco-tours of Morro Bay National Estuary, come explore this amazing place with our naturalist guides. Regular half-day tours depart daily at 9:00 am from State Park Marina and include a wonderful gourmet picnic lunch served on the sandspit. Ideal for beginners and family groups. Sunset and Full Moon Paddles available. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED THROUGH WEBSITE or call 1-888-873-5610. We also offer bike and hike tours of the area. Central Coast Outdoors 10 State Park Road Morro Bay, CA 805-528-1080 Also offers kayak eco-tours only of Morro Bay National Estuary with professional naturalist guides. Beach Butlerz Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-878-4283 Planning a fancy picnic or a BBQ and bocce ball family outing? Let Beach Butlerz plan and implement it for you! This beach service will plan a seamless birthday, anniversary, wedding, reunion, and more on Morro Bay’s beautiful beach line. Offering everything from beach service and catering to umbrellas and volleyball nets, Beach Bulerz will make your next beach outing unforgettable. Kayak Horizons 551 Embarcadero Boulevard Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-6444 Located just south of the Morro Bay aquarium, Kayak Horizons offers kayak rentals (single or tandem), stand up paddleboard rentals, Ocean Nalu paddleboard rentals, guided tours, and equipment for sale. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned paddler, Kayak Horizons will get you outfitted and exploring the 15 miles of protected waters in the beautiful Morro Bay estuary and bird sanctuary. A family adventure will always result in spotting wild life. Rock Kayak Company 845 Embarcadero Boulevard Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-2906 Rock Kayak Company offers a safe, natural, and healthy adventure on the water, where you can paddle your kayak, or stand up paddleboard, with family and friends. Rock Kayak offers free lessons for first-timers and provides additional equipment like kayak paddles and life preservers. Whether you’re renting or touring, all of their personnel are trained to assess the equipment that will best serve you. This Kayak shop is also wheel chair accessible and does everything possible to provide the physically challenged with a great kayaking experience. A Kayak Shack 10 State Park Road Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-8796 A Kayak Shack is the premiere location to begin your kayak session, stand up paddleboard, or canoe adventure. Located within the Morro Bay State Park Marina and adjacent to the National Estuary, A Kayak Shack has friendly and knowledgeable staff available with new fleet of boats for your paddling pleasure. TKD Surf Shop 911 Main St. Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-772-2431 The TKD Surf Shop is one of the best spots to get surf gear and other sporting goods in Morro Bay. We have a second store at 571 Embarcadero just across the street from the Shell Shop. Brand names and great prices! Sandprints Photography 870 Main Street Morro Bay, CA 93442 805-550-9386 During your relaxed and fun vacation, book a professional photo shoot for the entire family in gorgeous Morro Bay! Whether jumping in the sand dunes or walking through Montana de Oro’s eucalyptus groves, Sandprints will capture you and your family at your very best in stunning, natural surroundings. Sandprints specializes in non-posed portraiture with the emphasis on having fun. At Sandprints, the photo shoot is free, and all you pay for is the prints. Photographers are always available for last-minute bookings. Harbor Walk 2999 Embarcadero Morro Bay, CA 93442 The new boardwalk that leads to Morro Rock is finished and many locals and visitors appreciate the benefits of walking along the bay and enjoying seeing the Otters, birds and squirrels at play. The boardwalk is 2,800 feet and is made of a composite of recycled material, plastic and wood fibers. It is textured and is guarded against bacterial or fungal growth to prevent a slippery surface when wet. The bike path is partly made up of reclaimed road and allows not only bicyclist a smooth surface to ride on but parents pushing young babies in strollers can enjoy their running workout without the fear of the nearby traffic or a bumpy road. Morro Bay State Park Known for its estuary, bay habitat and the view of Morro Rock, this 2,700-acre park offers myriad recreational activities, including golf with views of Morro Bay, camping, hiking and mountain bike trails. Birdwatchers can enjoy the park’s saltwater marsh, which supports a thriving bird population. For more information call the park at 805-772-7434. Morro Strand State Beach Families will enjoy this breathtaking three-mile stretch of beach on Highway One. A perfect place for a family picnic, the park is also popular with fishing enthusiasts, windsurfers, joggers and kite fliers. For more information call the park at 805-772-7434. Seal Floating Dock Embarcadero (in between Harbor & Pacific Streets) Morro Bay, CA 93442 Morro Bay is a great hang out for seals in the bay. Whether you are at Morro Rock or looking into the bay from the Embarcadero, check out the floating dock for these creatures. Audubon Overlook 3rd Street & Santa Ysabel, Los Osos, CA 805-772-1991 Bring your binoculars and enjoy the birds of the Back Bay at this tranquil place in the Morro Bay State Park and National Estuary. Sweet Springs Nature Preserve 633 Ramona Avenue Morro Bay, CA 93442 Enjoy this 24-acre coastal preserve with a trail system approximately 1-mile long. Elfin Forest South Bay Blvd & Santa Ysabel Los Osos, CA 805-528-0392 Enjoy this 90-acre nature filled with coastal brackish marsh, riparian woodland fringe, pygmy oak woodland, maritime chaparral, coastal dune scrub, and oak and manzanita complex. The Elfin Forest supports more than 200 species of plants, as well as 110 kinds of birds, 22 species of mammals and 13 species of reptiles and amphibians. It is home to rare plants, butterflies, snails and birds. Shopping The entire family will enjoy the distinct experiences found in Old Town, the Embarcadero and North Morro Bay. There is something for every family member in this beautiful coastal village including incredible shells, handcrafted items, unique jewelry finds, distinctive clothing, antiques and one of a kind treasures. Carve out some time to stroll through the boutiques, galleries and shops in Morro Bay. About Morro Bay This seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. Recently named as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, outdoor activities are a way of life. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone. Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit http://www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on its Facebook, twitter or Pinterest pages.