Morro Bay-- a seaside jewel with much to offer the visitor

.. By The Editor

Think family when planning a trip to California's Central Coast on the Highway One Discovery Route. This is especially true at Morro Bay with its many attractions, some designed especially for youngsters. These attractions include the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History in the State Park and then on the Embarcadero. Here there is much to delight children including a Skateboard museum, and a tour aboard the tall ship Lady Washington. This sailing ship built in 1989 is a replica of a historic vessel that was the first to make a landfall on the west coast. It also was the first American ship to visit Hawaii, Hong Kong and Japan. The ship is located at Sub Sea Tours which also offers sub sea tour and rents Kayaks, Canoes and Stand Up Paddle Boards.

Just walking and exploring the shops, antique and art galleries, restaurants and wine tasting rooms that line the Embarcardero is considered a must for every Bay visitor.

The adjacent Morro Bay State Park offers camping and a good base for hiking the land surrounding the Bay including famous Morro Rock. We found that the hike around the Rock is a great place to view the Sea Otters that are native to this part of the Pacific Coast.

The Museum of National History, located in the State Park, is the perfect place for a family visit. The building occupies a rock outcropping offering a magnificent view of the bay, waterfront and towering Morro rock. A well kept trail surrounds the building on what is called White Point.

Inside the natural forces that shaped our planet are all presented in a most clever fashion often with moveable panels that are a great attraction for adults and children alike. Exhibits explain the forces that shape the terrain like volcanoes, earthquakes and erosion. Another describes how change is constant with rain, fog, wind and erosion. P>We found the history of the Bay Estuary most interesting and the role ocean waves play along with sand dunes and the tides to create the favorable environment for the many types of animal and marine life that abound in the region.

The museum has a wonderful collection of stuffed birds, both sea and land, all looking most natural. Some of these are located in the auditorium which offers movies, puppet shows for children and many public programs We sat and watched a fifteen minute video on the life of sea otters that are part of the ocean scene on California's Central Coast.

The Morro Bay Museum is the only one in the State Park system devoted to natural history. It is located at 20 State Park Road, Morro Bay, telephone 805 772-2694.

The mighty rock that dominates everything at Morro Bay is of interest itself. Drive the road that circles the Bay and on one side of the towering monolith is a view across the quiet waters to the Embarcadero and City, walk a few paces in the other direction and you see a beach that stretches for miles with the surf of the Pacific Ocean dashing the shore. We might add that all summer this is a very busy beach indeed with folks wading, surfing or just lolling next to their cold box filled with goodies.

The Pacific Coast Wine Trail begins in Morro Bay and then extends north through hamlets like Harmony and colorful beachside cities like Cambria. We have traveled many wine trails but none more conveniently located than PCWT of the Central Coast. In all the Trail includes ten wineries. At Morro Bay we were able to visit one of the wineries on this P.C. Wine Trail.

Chateau Margene has had a tasting room located on the Embarcadero since 2014. There we met personable and knowledgeable James Springfield who told us about the winery which opened in 1997. Also the legend of El Pistolero, an early California settler with a very clouded career.

Margene has a whole flight of El Pistolero wines including chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and meritage. We tasted the 2014 El Pistolero Chardonnay which is from grapes grown at the acclaimed Santa Lucia Highlands.

We were awed with the quality of the 2012 El Pistolero Riata Red made with 34% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot and 33% cabernet franc. We thought it excellent and value plus in its price range and unusual packaging. The wine showed its six years of barrel aging with wonderful flavors, mild tannins and a long finish.

The Chateau Margene Tasting Room is located at 845 Embarcadero Road at Morro Bay and open daily from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Winery is located at Creston and there is a tasting room there as well.

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Last Update:7/30/18

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