Is it the yellow submarine? No, no, no. I don't want to go. Wait! It isn't a submarine but it is a boat, half in the water with windows to the sea and half out of the water with fresh air seating under the sun. Okay, more my speed. This is a fun way to go around Morro Bay and see what is going on under the water as well as above. Sub-Sea Tours is waiting for you, under the sea, oh yeah, but also above. I have to remind myself that this is one boat that doesn't go under the water but you can see via the windows that are on the lower deck. Stay dry and high but see the kelp beds with fish galore. Sit up on the upper deck and see the Morro Rock and the sea vistas. The tour lasts about one hour total and costs $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, and $7 for children 3-12.
You don't need to look far to find Morro Rock in Morro Bay. It stands up like a beacon on the coast, and once was a notable navigational landmark. Now you can join the thousands of tourists who come here to enjoy the views from all along the coast, or go across the short causeway to get close up.
To get a somewhat decent view of the rock while in town, drive just to the south of the row of shops and restaurants to the small shoreline park. This is also a docking are for boats, so it is a pleasant place to stop.
It's been a while since the explorer of the California coast, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo spotted and named the 576 feet high rock, El Moro, in 1542, after the turban head of the Moors, but then the Rock became known as Morro, as in Spanish morro means pebble, crown, or nose depending on who you talk to ,so this rock is one big pebble to me. Actually, Morro Rock is one of nine volcanic plugs within the distance of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, about 12 miles on a straight line. They are referred to as the "Nine Sisters". The Rock is still there today, maybe a little worse for wear from the buffering winds, but standing tall at the entrance to Morro Bay.
Famous names of yesteryear camped within it's shadow. The captain of one of many Spanish Galleons, Pedro de Unamuno, claimed the land for Spain in 1587. 1769 brought the California explorer, Don Gaspar de Portola to camp next to the Rock with his party on the way, by foot, to Monterey.
In 1870, a man named Franklin Riley, founded the town of Morro Bay and built a wharf on what is today's Embarcadero. The Morro Rock was an Island during certain tides and a land fill was built in 1933 with rock off the Rock to form a jetty to make a permanent connection with the mainland. So, there it sits still high and mighty, saved by an act in 1968 declaring Morro Rock a State Historical Landmark, number 821.
The photo shows Morro Rock. You can drive your car all the way to the bottom of the rock. But climbing the rock is prohibited, as the rock is a protected falcon nesting place.