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  • “The sun was shining on the sea,
  • Shining with all his might...
  • ‘O, Oysters, come and walk with us!’
  • The Walrus did beseech.
  • ‘A Pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
  • Along the briny beach...’”
  • – from “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll

A pleasant walk along the sandy beach could very well have taken place in romantic Morro Bay. Not such a stretch, really. A mere 337 miles from San Diego, the bay’s golden sands, tidepools, shore birds, deep, verdant hills and quiet streets are all nestled along the coast between Cayucos and Pismo Beach.

Visitors will especially enjoy docent-led walks from the Natural History Museum. Seaside restaurants wafting appetizing seafood aromas offer diners fresh fish, shrimp, crab, lobster and yes, even oysters – highly recommended by the Walrus.

If you’re a bird lover, go to morrobaybirdfestival.org for more on the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. Learn all about the Red-necked Phalarope, the Mourning Dove, the Blue-winged Teal and others at the festival’s informative workshops, cruises, boat or van tours.

Year-round activities range from kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving to wilderness walks, all awaiting you in the stunning little town of Morro Bay.

One of the town’s best lodging options is the Blue Sail Inn, high on a bluff overlooking Morro Rock and the Embarcadero. Don’t miss the giant chess matches down on the Embarcadero! A more modest choice is the Marina Street Inn Bed & Breakfast, which offers charming rooms with attached balcony or patio.

A pleasant drive north along Highway 1 takes you to the picturesque town of Cambria, with cool green pines, quaint shops and art galleries. The Black Cat Bistro is a favorite! If you drive inland to Paso Robles, you can do a wine tasting tour and sample its many excellent wineries.

Continue on the coastal road to San Simeon, the home of the famous Hearst Castle – lavish former residence of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, host to countless extravagant dinner parties for the rich and famous of the day. A wealth of art objects are now housed here. The estate tours include the colorful gardens, guest houses, the famous outdoor Neptune Pool, Casa Grande and the indoor Roman Pool.

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