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Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

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Perth, Australia
posts: 30
reviews: 33
Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

We will be visiting California in late Sept from Western Australia and would like to stop overnight in either Morro Bay or Pismo Beach. Is Morro Bay the better option, seems to be more hotels to choose from? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

San Clemente...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 10,212
reviews: 5
1. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

I like Morro Bay better. There is another small town close to Morrow Bay called Cambria which is really lovely. There are a number of delightful small hotels(B&B's) on Moonstone Beach there.


Pismo Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach
posts: 1,140
reviews: 85
2. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

It depends on who you are what you like. Pismo is very old in the downtown area, with lots of motels (drive-up one-story) with a few expensive resorts in the outskirts. However it is quite a family area with great beaches and nice pier.

I live in the Morro Bay area and recommend it for a small town atmosphere, fish and chips on an Embarcadero, shopping, etc. It has more medium type hotels/motels available. This is a very environmental area with a bird sanctuary, kayaking in a quiet bay etc.

Cambria is the most expensive but the most romantic for a couple. I love it there - we all do. The restaurants are higher end and good, the view and Leffingwell landing state park is gorgeous, shopping fabulous.

Take your pick!!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,334
reviews: 57
3. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

I vote for Cambria. There are lots of places to stay on Moonstone Beach . Not all are so expensive and it is a really cute town where prices are not extra high just because tourists go there.

posts: 1
reviews: 1
4. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

My vote is for Morro Bay!

Miami Springs...
posts: 35
reviews: 27
5. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

Sorry to cut in on your post but, did find it interesting can you tell me how far is that from Carmel?

Pismo Beach...
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach
posts: 1,140
reviews: 85
6. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

Carmel is about 3 hours away, maybe four, north by Monterey.

posts: 26,224
reviews: 708
7. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

Cambria gets my vote! If you do stay in Morro Bay, we like the Inn at Morro Bay, in Pismo the Sea Venture Resort is our choice for lodging. Have fun! :)

Los Angeles...
posts: 2,633
reviews: 63
8. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

I love all three places!

Be sure to have salmon and chips at the Lil' Hut on the embarcadero in Morro Bay. You can eat them at the outside tables and enjoy the view. One of my favorite stops.

San Luis Obispo...
posts: 46
reviews: 18
9. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

You don't give us locals much to go on--Morro Bay is a flat beach with a very cool HUGE rock (Morro Bay Rock) and quaint little harbor and tends to be more geared for the more established traveler. Pismo has a pier and tends to be more youth oriented. Both have good resturants and the full gammet of hotel/motels to pick from. If you gave us more of an idea of what you're looking for, I'm sure we could rally to give you some ideas that will truly work for you--price range, style (tree-hugger or posh, etc). Cambria is just simply WAY cool with lots of little local artisans--kind of a lovers beach (always see couples walking hand in hand there). So give us more information on what you're looking for, ok?

SLOduck :-)

san luis obispo
posts: 53
reviews: 27
10. Re: Morro Bay or Pismo Beach?

I recommend Morro Bay as it is almost always quieter and less crowded than Pismo Beach. For one thing, Morro Bay is off Hwy 1, the coastal road from Big Sur to San Luis Obispo, not 101, a major north-south artery between SF and LA. Morro Bay may have more motels than Pismo, but Pismo is next to Shell Beach where there are several large hotels and resorts bigger than anything in Morro Bay. Check the websites for Pismo and Morro to see if your visit is going to coincide with any festivals or gatherings - it might influence your choice. For a real treat consider staying at the Sycamore Hot Springs near Avila Beach.