How well do you know Morro Bay? There’s so much more than meets the eye. Learn about the city’s maritime history, the National Estuary, the marine life that call the bay home, the local skateboard culture, and more by spending a day at the museums. With four formal museums, within three miles, there’s a wealth of discovery and resources in Morro Bay – find the perfect museum to fit your trip or visit them all!
Morro Bay’s Museums:
- Morro Bay Maritime Museum
1210 Embarcadero // (805) 225-5044
Morro Bay has a rich maritime military and commercial fishing history. The Morro Bay Maritime Museum’s mission is "to provide an easily accessible educational venue for maritime history, science and technology. To preserve and interpret the maritime history of California, and beyond."
Must see: board the US Coast Guard’s roll-over rescue craft
Perfect for: the whole family
Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday 10 am – 3 pm, Sunday 10 am – 2 pm, closed Tuesday & Wednesday. Be sure to check the website for the most up to date hours.
What next: Get out on the ocean yourself. Sailing adventures, whale watching tours, private rentals, and fishing charters are all located along Morro Bay’s Embarcadero.
- Morro Bay Skateboard Museum
783 Market Street // (805) 610-3565
See the complete history of skateboarding - from the 1920's to present day. Over 250 skateboards from all eras with rotating exhibits from extensive private collections. And their new location overlooking the Embarcadero has even more room to explore!
Must see: John Lennon’s board
Perfect for: the culture tourists
Hours: Current hours are Monday & Friday 11 am – 5 pm and Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. Hours do change periodically, so remain up to date by visiting the website.
What next: Staying on the theme of board sports, head to one of our surf shops and rent a surfboard for an afternoon catching waves at Morro Rock.
- Morro Bay Estuary Nature Center
601 Embarcadero // (805) 772-3834
The Estuary Nature Center invites visitors to experience the beauty of the estuary and learn about protecting its sensitive habitats and wildlife. At the Nature Center, you can view aquariums of steelhead trout and eelgrass, and learn about the threats they face. Find 3-D images of the estuary, learn about the watershed that supplies it with freshwater, and much more.
Must see: Enjoy the spectacular view and take advantage of the center’s binoculars to do some wildlife watching.
Perfect for: those new to the estuary
Hours: Open 10 am – 6 pm daily with limited hours in January and February (10 am – 5 pm).
What next: Rent a kayak or paddleboard and head out to do some paddle exploring of the bay. If you want to take the learning experience to the next level sign up for a nature tour with Morro Bay Paddlesports.
- Museum of Natural History
20 State Park Road // (805) 772-2694
A fun, educational, and interactive experience designed for people of all ages. Explore, discover, and learn about the natural habitats of the area and impacts of natural and human forces through hands-on displays, activities, and events. This destination museum is located in the heart of Morro Bay State Park with panoramic views of the bay, sand dunes, and Morro Rock.
Must see: special tours, series, and events that Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA) hosts at the museum
Perfect for: ecotourists
Hours: open daily from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Admission: $3 for adults and FREE for children 17 and younger
What next: Take your knowledge of the natural environment and explore the trails in Morro Bay State Park. A crowd favorite is the short hike to the top of Black Hill for a panoramic view.
- North Point Beach
3480 Toro Lane // (805) 772-6278
Not a museum in the formal sense, the Tide Pools at North Point Beach offer an outdoor learning environment for the whole family. The perfect spot to get up close to many aquatic creatures without disturbing them. Bring your guidebooks or check out this web guide to help with identification.
Perfect for: those who want to spend all day outdoors
Hours: accessible at low tide, be sure to check the tide charts before heading down
What next: Explore the over 6 miles of beaches in Morro Bay. Discover sand dollars, sea glass, seabirds and more along the sand.