Unexpected Morro Bay

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Elisa Cepale

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MORRO BAY Anyone who has heard of Morro Bay or approached it from a distance can’t have escaped noticing the imposing rock that juts up from the bottom of the sea, a memento of volcanic activity in the area. What they (we) wouldn’t have realised is that this little coastal city in California is peppered with an unexpected amount of vintage shops, indie cafes, and free-spirited people.

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While planning our road trip from Monterey down the Pacific Coast Highway, we knew we would need somewhere to break up the journey to Los Angeles. We’d considered San Luis Obispo, which came highly recommended, as well as the more popular Avila Beach, but Morro Bay seemed a better fit for relaxing and exploring the area. Once we’d found our sweet room on Airbnb, we were sold on the idea! 

We arrived to a sunset quite unlike any other. The sun sliding down behind the rock creates an impressive silhouette and casts a peaceful glow about the bay. The distant sounds of sea otters playing and the fresh scent of eucalyptus enrich the feel of the place.

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Where to stop for an indie snack

The following morning we started out to explore the area with some tips from our hosts. We enjoyed a juicy, healthy breakfast at Shine Cafe, a local favourite for vegan and gluten-free food. After a trip down to Morro Bay State Park, we returned to the Embarcadero. This road stretches along the sea front and is where we found many souvenir shops and restaurants. We also indulged our sweet tooth (again) at the quaint Sun-N-Buns Bakery.

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Vintage and second-hand shopping

Continuing on up, we came across an unexpected row of indie shops and antique stores. We still had some gifts to buy, so Summer Cottage attracted our attention with its vintage and artistic offerings. We left the shop after buying something for our family but didn’t get far. A few doors down, we were drawn to the alternative Coalesce Bookstore, which surprisingly offers up its backyard garden for weddings and intimate gatherings.

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It was fun to pass some time browsing the kitchenalia and collectables at Treasures Antique Mall, where we found some treasures to use as props for our recipe posts. Our last shopping discovery was the delightful Vintage Rose, a tea room and a place selling retro accessories for the home. We took away two blends of delicious tea that we’re still enjoying on summer evenings at home.

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We loved how bohemian and laid-back everything is in Morro Bay. The cheerful vibe and the colours contribute to making this place a must-see while in California!


More photos here:

Unexpected Morro Bay

Elisa Cepale