Morro Bay, CA

The entire central California coast is the shit. My mom and I camped at the Morro Bay State Park Campground in November 2012 over Thanksgiving. The campground itself is nice because it’s not too busy, there are lots of trees, it’s right along the bay so you’re right next to the beach without having to put your tent directly on sand, the natural history museum is within walking distance, and there are showers and toilets.

Usually when I go to this area I just wander around on foot and by car and find new beach access points and different trails for meandering. These beaches are ultimate chill zones. They’re never crowded, the fog rolls over the hills and down onto the sand, it’s brisk but not uncomfortably cold, the pacific ocean is rough but not angrily so, and the seals are sweet. It would be romantic if I went there with anyone besides my mom.

I can’t remember how we ended up at Morro Strand State Beach…just one of those turnoffs we took on a whim. We parked in a tiny lot in a residential neighborhood and walked along the sand with Morro Rock in the distance. Lots of sand dollars and birds, hardly any people.

Montana de Oro State Park was a few minutes’ drive from our campground. We parked along the road and followed an unmarked trail that we later found out to be the Horse Rim Beach Trail, which leads to Sandspit Beach. The trail was not necessarily difficult, but it is deceivingly long. It looks like you’re just walking over a hill to the beach, but you’re actually doing some intense dune traversing. Once we got to the beach we were the only people for miles. Fortunately we found an access point with a quicker way up to the main road to go back because we weren’t really up for another 2 hour hike back. I couldn’t say where this access point was, we just saw a tipi made of driftwood and walked toward it hoping for the best.

Spooner’s Cove is part of Montana de Oro State Park in Los Osos off of Pecho Valley Road and is one of the more popular beach areas. The sand is full of sea glass, the cove is surrounded by cliffs, and there are giant rock formations leading out into the water. I was able to scramble around the rocks, solidified mud, and tide pools. The water and wind here are fairly strong but it’s beautiful and worth dealing with all the schmucks. I read that there are a lot of good trails around the peaks, bluffs, and the estuary nearby.

Cayucos is a quiet, small, foggy town that we pass through whenever we are in this area. We stopped at the pier to watch the sunset on our way back from this particular trip. Just another chill spot.

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