Upscale Inn on California’s Morro Bay
In 1542, Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo came upon an enormous rock standing in a bay off the coast of what is now California. He named it Morro Rock, and it still stands there today. You can see it from the Inn at Morro Bay, upscale, Cape Cod–style lodgings with sweeping shoreline views. Located within the boundaries of the 4,000-acre Morro Bay State Park, the inn occupies a secluded spot dotted with beautiful trees.
The chefs at the onsite restaurant serve up local produce, grass-fed beef, and fresh seafood direct from local fishing boats. In the dining room, you can sip California wines while looking out at Morro Rock. At happy hour, head to the Bay Club lounge to sample signature cocktails and casual bites.
The inn’s spa administers relaxing treatments such as sea-salt body scrubs and deep-tissue massages. Walk past the curvy outdoor pool to access the sandy beach—a great spot to watch the sunset. At night, you’ll retire to a partial-view or full-bay-view room, each of which features floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony.
Morro Bay, California: Coastal City with Rare Birds and Wineries
Located almost exactly midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Morro Bay is a little coastal town in central California known for its natural beauty. Morro Bay State Park, where the inn is situated, is a popular spot for sailing, hiking, and, especially, bird watching. An amazing variety of rare birds lives or passes through here. If you’re in town January 18–23, you can see all the pipits, albatrosses, pelicans, falcons, and auks you want during the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, a celebration of all things feathered.
There are plenty of nonaviary activities in Morro Bay as well. The area is home to a number of wineries, and nearly all of them host tastings and tours. For a quick road trip, drive 30 miles north to Hearst Castle, the opulent, 90,000-square-foot estate built for publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Seventy-five-minute guided tours cover some of the castle’s highlights, which include 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, two pools, and gardens that stretch across thousands of acres.
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