A Beach Day at Morro Rock Beach: California Road Trip
During our California road trip from Los Angeles to Monterey, we celebrated Father’s Day at Morro Rock Beach. I took stalk of the irony that day. My husband is our rock, the anchor of our family, and honoring him with a day at this beach felt right for so many reasons. We loved Morro Bay and this beach was one of the most unique that we’ve visited. Like my husband, Morro Rock Beach is quietly strong and makes a great impression.
While packing for our beach day took some thought, I was able to fill this day with a ton of memories with a little help of a few things I picked up from Walmart beforehand. Also, big thanks to Walmart, who is sponsoring this post!
Morro Rock Beach: The Gibraltar of the Pacific
Morro Rock is a State Historic Landmark and was formed about 23 million years ago from the plugs of long-extinct volcanoes. For over 300 years, Morro Rock was an important navigational aid for mariners and continues to center Morro Bay with its impressive view. The rock is approximately 576 feet tall and the kids were excited to learn that a Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, named the rock “El Morro” in 1542, which means “crown shaped hill” in Spanish. The kids imagined they were a great explorer and made up the own names for the massive rock. Morro Rock is also sometimes called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” and is the last peak of the Nine Sisters, which extend from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.
Morro Rock Beach has a beautiful coastline of soft sand, but very cold waters. This Central California Beach can often have rough ocean environments, due to the marina and bay nearby. The City Beach staffs two lifeguards, but as always, definitely keep an eye on your kids. Morro Rock Beach has two sides (a bay side and an ocean side) and for very, small kids, the bay side of Morro Rock Beach is perfect. The current isn’t strong, waves are small and there is plenty of sea life to explore.
Packing for a beach day at Morro Rock Beach
You might think packing for a beach day is the same regardless of your destination, but that’s not the case! I pack differently for a beach day in Florida than I did for our adventures on the California coast. Morro Rock Beach is colder than our beaches at home, so extra gear to keep warm helps to keep those memories happily going. However, some stuff you’ll always need, like sunblock and hats and bathing suits. For sunblock, we use Neutrogena’s CoolDry Sports Spray because it’s easy to apply to wiggly kids aching to be free of mama’s grasp to explore the beach. For little faces, their sunscreen stick for kids have saved me! If you pack nothing else, throw a sunscreen stick in your bag!
Walmart has a great selection of bathing suits for the kids, including those with spf woven in. Morro Bay was chilly and overcast, but don’t be fooled! Be sure to keep their little shoulders covered with a protective suit. Hats and sunglasses are a must, too.
Daddy D stayed cool in his Walmart beach shirt and cargo shorts that I got him for Father’s Day, while I was comfy in yoga pants and a floppy hat (and a suit underneath). When you’re packing for a beach day, remember to be comfortable. Know the weather conditions and dress accordingly.
Also, while the sand was very fine and soft at Morro Rock Beach (you’ll be surprised how soft!), there are rocky areas that beckon for exploration. If your little ones love to observe sea life and scramble over rock piles like mine, check out Walmart’s selection of water shoes. They help you stay comfortable while exploring, which ultimately makes your memories even better. I’m so happy I threw a few pairs into the bag as a I was packing up for our beach day adventures.
After a few hours of playing in the sand and exploring for sea life (we found about a dozen sand dollars!), we ventured over to Morro Bay for a late lunch. We had some of the best Clam Chowder and Fish n’ Chips from that day’s catch. It was so yummy!
Celebrating Daddy D at the base of this massive rock was a beach day filled with magical memories. The simple, slow paced day filled with nuance and wonder was exactly what we needed. While I won’t deny that warmer waters are my favorite, the diverse coastline and sea life of Morro Rock Beach was pretty awesome too.