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Highway 1 Must-See Stops Near Morro Bay

Highway 1 Must-See Stops
Camille Reddick
Camille Reddick
April 26, 2024

Highway 1 is one of America's most beautiful stretches of road. For more than 650 miles, it runs along California's Pacific coastline, bringing visitors past an endless list of scenic sights and iconic landmarks. Visiting the Morro Bay portion of Highway 1 is an especially magical experience. From castles to coastal views, Highway 1's stops near Morro Bay show off the best California offers. Here's a look at five must-see stops near Morro Bay.

Morro Rock

Belonging to a nine-peak volcanic chain in Morro Bay called the Nine Sisters, Morro Rock is an unmissable natural landmark formed nearly 25 million years ago. At 576 feet tall, this landmark pierces the skyline right at the mouth of the harbor leading into the Pacific Ocean. The best way to get to Morro Rock's base is via Embarcadero Road.

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is one of California's most enduring landmarks and attracts more than 700,000 curious visitors annually. William Randolph Hearst's iconic estate overlooking San Simeon was constructed between 1919 and 1949. Nestled high in the hills, the estate contains 127 acres of terraced gardens, ornate guest houses, pools, and fountains. Guests of the estate have opportunities to enjoy guided tours of the grand rooms, suites, and grounds that bring them back in time. The property is also known for its amazing paintings, textiles, antiques, and sculptures collection. Hearst Castle is a California State Park, National Historic Landmark, and California Historical Landmark.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa has been a spiritual epicenter on the central California coast for more than two decades. However, it is a popular attraction for spiritual seekers and history lovers. The Spanish mission was founded in 1772 by Father Junípero Serra. During a visit to the mission's museum, visitors can tour the former quarters of Franciscan priests and friars. The museum also hosts artifacts from Indigenous Californians, American settlers, and missionaries. While tours are only available during specific hours, the mission is open to visitors every day of the year. The public is also invited to mass, confession, and parish events.

Montaña de Oro State Park

Prepare for once-in-a-lifetime views! Located just a few miles southwest of Morro Bay, Montaña de Oro State Park features a stunning landscape of 8,000 acres of daring cliffs. The park also has a 7-mile coastline peppered with dunes. Visitors can marvel at canyons, streams, and plains throughout the rest of the park. Of course, the crown of Montaña de Oro is a 1,347-foot-tall coastal mountain called Valencia Peak.

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach View

Pismo Beach is one of the most colorful spots when exploring Highway 1's stops near Morro Bay! Life here is all about enjoying the best of the outdoors. Surfing, swimming, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, fishing, and dune riding in four-wheel ATVs are just some things you can do in Pismo Beach. For those who prefer to take life slowly, there's nothing like a relaxing walk at the boardwalk near Pismo Beach Pier. For a longer coastal walk, head to the 900-acre Pismo Preserve, which shows off diverse landscapes and exceptional views.

Shopping is another popular pastime in Pismo Beach. There are plenty of local shops offering crafts and artwork. The Pismo Beach Premium Outlets center is home to 40 popular retailers.

Planning a Perfect Day Near Morro Bay

Visitors learn pretty quickly that a visit to Morro Bay is all about enjoying the finer things in life! In addition to visiting beautiful places, people who check out Highway 1's stops near Morro Bay also enjoy some of the top eateries in the world. In fact, the food scene here even has its list of the best fish and chips Morro Bay locals and out-of-town visitors can love!

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