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Central CoastFamily-friendly

Greet a new day at Morro Rock in San Luis Obispo County

Morro Rock in the early morning. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Morro Rock in the early morning. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Morro Rock looms lovably over Morro Bay. Usually it's a dark landmark in a sunny landscape. But not at sunrise.

What: More than 570 feet tall and 23 million years old, the rock is one of nine sisters -- nine volcanic peaks in San Luis Obispo County. Some can be climbed for nice views (including Black Hill and Cerro Cabrillo in Morro Bay State Park) -- but not this sister. You can't even walk all the way around her.  

Admire this great, rounded rock, preferably at dawn, from the nearby Morro Bay embarcadero. Or the beach. Or the dunes. Or a kayak. 

And don't be misled by Disney's "Finding Dory." One of that movie's key locations is the spectacular Morro Bay aquarium. But in real life, the great aquarium is in Monterey. The Morro Bay Aquarium and Gift Shop is far more modest and gets mixed reviews. The waterfront galleries and shops are nice for a few hours' browsing, though, and there are watercraft rentals.

Where: Morro Rock, Coleman Drive, Morro Bay, 203 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

How much: Free

InfoMorro Bay

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