Posts tagged with "equestrian"

Special Olympics illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Special Olympics × USA Games

­LOCAL SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK ATHLETES SURPRISED WITH NEWS OF USA GAMES SELECTION

Kathleen, Jonathan, Sabrina, Thomas, and Ben to Represent New York in Orlando Next June

Special Olympics New York surprised five local athletes Wednesday and Thursday with the news that they’ve been selected to compete in the 2022 USA Games, which will be held at Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.  

Video of the surprises can be found here.

The Special Olympics New York USA Games delegation will include 121 athletes and coaches in 13 sports: Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, and Track & Field. More than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will compete.

“We are thrilled for all of our athletes headed to Orlando next year,” said Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, chair of the Special Olympics NY Board of Directors. “We know they will do an outstanding job representing their home state, and we know that their fans across New York will join us in supporting them and cheering them on from afar.”

“We are so proud of Kathleen, Jonathan, Sabrina, Thomas, Ben, and every downstate athlete representing New York at USA Games,” said Stacey Hengsterman, President and CEO of Special Olympics NY. “These are our champions. They are the best of the best in their sports and they continue to inspire so many to accept all people as they are. The road to Orlando begins now!”

Kathleen Maggi, 42, of Flushing, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 27 years. Though swimming is her favorite sport, she also competes in bocce and floor hockey and has previously competed in basketball, track & field, tennis and cross-country skiing. Kathleen is an athlete leader within the statewide organization and a health messenger for Special Olympics International. She has earned hundreds of medals over the years. She is most proud of being the first female athlete to win the gold in the 500 meter/20 lap backstroke at State Games. This will be Kathleen’s first USA Games.

Jonathan Beiner, 24, of Queens, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 10 years. In addition to bocce, Jonathan competes in swimming, softball, floor hockey, bowling and equestrian. He is an athlete leader and health messenger who welcomes every challenge and enjoys turning it into an opportunity for success. This will be Jonathan’s first USA Games.

Sabrina Walker, 48, of Amityville, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for more than 20 years and has previously earned a gold medal for tennis at World Games Aspen in 2011. Sabrina also competes in equestrian for Special Olympics New York and has served as a Global Messenger, sharing her story with those who support inclusion for people with disabilities.

Thomas Mensche, 25, of Suffolk County has been a Special Olympics New York swimmer for more than 10 years. This will be his first USA Games.

Ben Beavers, 48, of Amityville, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for more than 30 years. He is an avid runner who once ran the NYC marathon in memory of his mom. Ben was one of the first athletes to serve on the Athlete Leadership Council. He also competes in basketball and floor hockey with Special Olympics New York. Ben works at FragranceNet in Deer Park and previously competed in World Games China in 2007.

About USA Games

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is scheduled for June 5-12, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. Jersey Mike’s Subs is the Presenting Partner and Walt Disney World Resort is host. During this magical week, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will travel to Florida to unite in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 20 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week including forums and VIP receptions. Learn more at: Special Olympics USA Games.

About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit Special Olympics New York.

LAND ROVER × KENTUCKY

GREAT BRITAIN’S OLIVER TOWNEND CROWNED WINNER OF THE 2018 LAND ROVER KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT

Great Britain’s Oliver Townend riding Cooley Master Class were crowned the winners of the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event after a nail-biting finale to the competition. Michael Jung (GER) and FischerRocana FST finished second, with USA’s Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous ending their Land Rover Kentucky campaign not only in third place, but also as the Land Rover USEF CCI4* National Champions.

The final day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event started in dramatic fashion with both Michael Jung and Christopher Burton’s horses instructed to go to the holding area during the final horse inspection. Tensions were high as the packed crowds waited eagerly for the leading riders to re-present, with both horses eventually passed by the judges.

Over 25,000 spectators flooded the stadium in anticipation of one of the closest competitions in history at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event with only 1.2 penalties separating the top three riders, Michael Jung, Christopher Burton and Oliver Townend respectively.

Fifth-to-go, Marilyn Little aboard RF Scandalous, displayed a text-book clear round finishing to an eruption of applause from the patriotic home crowd, hoping to see a US rider victorious for the first time since 2008. This dream was short-lived as next in to the arena was Great Britain’s Oliver Townend who produced the ride of his life to go clear, celebrating in style with his fist punching the air in recognition of his incredible round. This heaped further pressure on the final two riders. Australia’s Christopher Burton followed but had an unfortunate eight faults pushing Townend closer to the coveted prize.

Only one rider could have prevented Townend’s success; all eyes fell on the three-time defending champions, Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST as they entered the arena, hoping to make history once more. On this rare occasion Jung was unable to clinch the title with four faults dropping him into second place to give Townend a well-deserved victory and keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery vehicle.

“It’s a different world, it’s something I have dreamt of for a long time. We have come a long way to be here and the owners have funded it so I am so grateful to them for this opportunity,” Equestrian Oliver Townend said. “The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of, if not, the best events in the world, the atmosphere is amazing and the fans are fantastic, it’s been the best week!”

Townend continued to pay tribute to Cooley Master Class, “I have had him since he was four-year’s-old, he has won at nearly every level and never lets us down. He has suffered with injuries in the past and at some points we weren’t sure if he would even come through but the last two seasons he has been amazing, he has always been cheeky and extremely talented so it’s great to be here with him.”

Michael Jung commented on his performance, “I am sad for FischerRocana as that was absolutely my mistake, but I am happy with our performance and I love this event, it is so beautiful. FischerRocana has been amazing and is incredible to ride, so I am pleased with her.”

Earlier on in the week equestrian and actress, Kaley Cuoco, was part of the judging team for the annual Land Rover Tailgate competition which saw Rick Perkins of Lexington, KY, receive the top prize. Their ‘Beauty and the Beast’ inspired arrangement impressed the judges Cuoco, Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land North America, LLC and Vicki Lowell, Chief Marketing Officer, US Equestrian, who presented Perkins with a pair of Dubarry Boots and a luxury gift basket.

LAND ROVER × KENTUCKY

LAND ROVER DISCOVERY LEASE OFFERED AS  TOP PRIZE AT THE 2018 LAND ROVER KENTUCKY THREE-DAY EVENT

–       Land Rover North America returns to Kentucky Three-Day Event for its first year as title sponsor

–       Land Rover’s new “Start Off-Road” teen driving experience will debut at the event, allows young adults ages 14 – 20 years-old a first experience  behind the wheel under close supervision of Land Rover Driving Instructors

 

–       Overall competition winner will be awarded  a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery

–       The new partnership with the prestigious equestrian event is part of a four-year deal, demonstrating continued support of the equestrian community 

 

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY April 26-29, 2018, is set to be the biggest edition yet. After 5 years as the presenting sponsor of the event, and a principal partner of US Equestrian for the past 8 years, Land Rover will assume the role of title sponsor. Tagged as the ‘Best Weekend all Year,’ the Land Rover brand will enhance the Kentucky Three-Day Event with new consumer activations for the entire family.

With the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon taking place in September, this year’s starting line-up is anticipated to be one of the most competitive yet as riders aim to make their mark ahead of team selection.

The renowned equestrian competition, won in 2017 by three-time Olympic gold medalist and current world no. 1, Michael Jung of Germany, will be sure to challenge those striving for their share of the significant $400,000 prize money.

As part of Land Rover’s partnership with the event, the triumphant rider of the inaugural Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will not only claim their share of the prize fund, but also will be presented with the keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery. The keys to the car will be awarded to the winning rider by Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC following the Show Jumping finale.

“We are very excited to be returning to the Kentucky Three-Day Event, one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Land Rover’s long-standing affiliation with equestrian sport has been strengthened by taking on the new role as title sponsor, making for an even more exciting year ahead.” said Kim McCullough, Vice President, Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America.

Situated within the Sponsor Village will be the newly created ‘Start Off-Road’ Teen Driving Experience, aimed at introducing young adults ages 14 years old and up to the exhilaration of driving, while maintaining the importance of car control and safety behind the wheel1. Teenage drivers will drive either the Land Rover Discovery Sport or Range Rover Evoque on a multi-terrain course all under the watchful and highly trained eyes of a Land Rover Driving Instructor.

Not wanting to disappoint the younger members of the family, Land Rover will also run a ‘Junior Drive Experience’ for children aged four through eight years old in mini electric cars, modeled on the original Land Rover Series I vehicle, on a specially created course1.

Adult ticket holders are invited to test-drive the full-size Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery, the midsize Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Velar on a purpose-built off-road course which is designed to highlight the vehicles’ deep breadth of capability, and refined luxury.

The Land Rover brand’s ‘Ultimate Stable Experience’ was created in 2017 to provide attendees insight into the six different Land Rover models, each which encompass their own defining characteristics, personality and positioning.  Given the excitement around that first event the program returns in 2018 showcasing the brand’s compact Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV.  It will be displayed alongside a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment. As part of the Stable Experience, visitors will have a chance to meet some of the competitors at rider autograph signings; there will even be a miniature pony for younger fans to pose with for photographs.

The seventh annual “Land Rover Tailgate Experience,” which invites participants to showcase their most inspired vision of a quintessential British designed tailgate, is back.  The winner will receive an exclusive ticket package and tailgate spot for the 2019 Three-Day Event.

Lastly, for those attending with canine companions they are encouraged to head to the “Rover Lounge,” located next to the “Test Drive” area, where furry friends can find treats and fresh water during their visit.

As one of only six annual Four Star Three-Day Events in the world, over 80,000 spectators are predicted to make their way to the Kentucky Horse Park to catch the four days of supreme action. The event will be telecast on the NBC Network on Sunday May 6, 2018 between 2:00-3:00 pm EDT and will re-air on the Olympic Channel on Saturday, May 26, between 3:00 – 4:00 pm EDT.  Go to the USEF Network for livestream details of the competition that will air daily.

To find out more information about the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, and how to purchase tickets, please visit their website.

1All participants will be required to complete an introductory safety briefing prior to participation and participant’s parent or guardian must sign a waiver. “Start Off-Road Teen Driving Experience” participants must be 14 to 20 years of age, meet height restrictions and be accompanied on course by a parent or guardian. Participants in the “Junior Drive Experience” must be four to eight years old. Description of programs are subject to change. Open to ticket holders only.

MORRO BAY

This seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures on the coast in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along the Central California Coastline on California’s scenic Highway 1, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers an unspoiled slice of California. Sitting pretty between the beach and the harbor is the most recognizable landmark – Morro Rock. This amazing landmark welcomes travelers as they approach the city from miles away and is unforgettable.

An ideal playground offering beaches, natural estuaries, kayaking, surfing, biking and hiking, fishing, golf and whale and bird watching, Morro Bay is an affordable destination for families, couples or groups. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions and breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town.

 

Sustainable Fishing in Morro Bay

The city of Morro Bay started out as a small commercial fishing village in the 1950s, and grew to be a tourism destination built on living an active healthy lifestyle. Today, Morro Bay is home to a thriving fishing community, successfully leading the way in sustainable small fleet fishing practices nationwide. Major publications like the New York Times and National Geographic noticed and wrote about the quaint town’s sustainable fishing practices in 2014. Leading the way in Morro Bay’s sustainable fishing practices is oyster farming. It actually began in the early 1900s and has been a part of the town’s rich culture ever since. The cold, clean waters of Morro Bay produce two specific kinds. Pacific Gold Oysters are farmed by the Morro Bay Oyster Company, and are a beautiful, hardy species that develop a robust flavor with a hint of melon. This impressive 130-acre oyster marine farm can be seen by paddleboard, kayak or from a guided tour with Lost Isle Adventure Tours. Grassy Bar Oysters are becoming a popular oyster grown and harvested in Morro Bay, exclusively raised by the Grassy Bar Oyster Company. These oysters are medium sized and have plump and juicy meats with rich, briny watermelon flavor.

 

Outdoor Adventures

Whether your adventurous spirit is extreme or serene, you will discover amazing outdoor activities in Morro Bay. For the adventurer looking for something exciting, sign up for a deep sea sport fishing expedition to catch the big one from one of the many charter boat companies that line the bay. Catch salmon, rockfish, lingcod, albacore or whatever is biting on daily fishing trips from Virg’s Landing Sport Fishing. They provide live bait in season and you can rent tackle if you need it. From kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing, to sailing and surfing, there are many rental companies to keep the active adventurer happy and healthy in Morro Bay.

Looking for a more low key adventure? There are plenty of hiking and biking trails to be found in and around Morro Bay. From the Black Mountain trail in Morro Bay State Park to hiking the Morro Bay sand spit in Montana de Oro, or the Cloisters Wetlands trails in North Morro Bay the natural beauty of this coastal community is breathtaking. Check out the Sub Sea tours for bay cruises and whale watching, or book an evening sunset or Saturday brunch cruise on the bay with one of the many other tour operators along the Embarcadero. You can even rent an electric boat and cruise the bay yourself! Or, head to the Back Bay for a round of golf at the Morro Bay State Park Golf Course. With amazing bayside views, this 18-hole course is a must do for the avid golfer. For the bird lovers, be sure to bring your binoculars. The Morro Bay National Estuary offers over 250 species of birds to discover.

 

Bustling Waterfront, Charming Old Town and North Morro Bay Districts

Morro Bay’s waterfront is a hub of activity that attracts tourists from around the world, local residents and anglers alike. Whether you are strolling the Embarcadero shopping and lunching, or heading out to experience one of the many water sport adventures, Morro Bay is an enchanting destination. Stroll along the Embarcadero and enjoy homemade salt water taffy, or the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Discover fresh fish markets offering fish and chips or steamed crab. Restaurants, wine bars, hotels, and shops abound. From the Embarcadero, take a walk out to Morro Rock, past the marinas, along the harbor walkway as you watch the boats come and go through the harbor mouth. Watch the surfers at the Rock, or have a picnic on the beach. Rent a kayak, motor boat or paddleboard and get on the water to explore the bay and appreciate the waterfront from the ocean.

Take a walk up to Old Town, the quaint downtown shopping district a short walk up the hill from the Embarcadero filled with lodging properties, antique shops, one of-a-kind boutiques, jewelry stores, art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants. The Saturday afternoon farmers’ market on Main Street is alive with produce, local vendors and fun surprises. Stop in for a matinée at the classic historic Bay Theater. Hop on the Trolley and head up to North Morro Bay to check out the fabulous beaches that stretch for miles along Estero Bay. A great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, North Morro Bay offers several destination restaurants, a Thursday afternoon farmers’ market, surf and coffee shops and great parks. Check out the distinctive surf shops, shell shops, home décor shops, wine tasting bars, live music venues and more in this amazing working fishing village.

 

Morro Bay National Estuary and Museum of Natural History

The Morro Bay Estuary Natural Preserve and its 800-acre wetland are home more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds, both migratory and resident and dozens of endangered species. This extensive marsh is located at the mouth of Los Osos Creek that opens out into Morro Bay, and is designated both a state and national estuary. Wildflowers bloom in the spring and green grass and brush cover the hills, offering a seed supply that attracts birds all year-round. Morro Bay hosts the Winter Bird Festival every January attracting bird watchers and photographers from all over the world.

The great blue herons and the great and snowy egrets roost all year at the Heron and Cormorant Rookery located near the entrance of the museum. You can locate the rookery from the bay by the cluster of barren eucalyptus trees. Or you can view the rookery from the parking lot of the Inn at Morro Bay. You can walk to the site and observe these magnificent birds, watch courtship rituals, nesting habits, and, in spring, adults caring for their young.

The Museum of Natural History – the only one in the California State Park system – opened in 1962. It serves between 45,000 and 50,000 people annually, including 5,000 school children in programs that support California’s required science and social studies standards. The museum offers new state of the art displays focused on the ecology of the Morro Bay Estuary. Several of the exhibits feature touch screens that provide visitors the opportunity to find out what the forces of nature are doing at that moment in time. Visitors can build a sand dune, operate the hydrologic cycle and dig into the food pit to create their own food chains. Entry fees are $3 for adults and free to children 16 and under. The Museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Agri- and Aqua- Tourism

Agriculture and Aquaculture is alive and well in Morro Bay. From grapes, avocados and tangerines, to oysters and abalone, local chefs are in heaven preparing seasonally fresh caught fish and local produce. Meanwhile, visitors benefit from the amazing food and can also tour some of the farms. Visitors can get a behind the scenes look at a working avocado farm, the Morro Creek Ranch, boasting more than 27,000 trees that produce delicious Haas avocados of the highest quality. This family-owned agricultural operation started in 1978 and offers an avocado stand open to the public just outside of town. Morro Bay hosts two farmers’ markets in town. One in north Morro Bay at Spencer’s Market on Thursday afternoons, and the other on Main Street in Old Town Morro Bay, up from the Embarcadero, on Saturday afternoons. You’re likely to find a chef or two browsing the seasonal fare. Many local wineries offer behind the scenes tours of vineyards and crush facilities, so be sure to call ahead when planning a wine tasting tour.

Morro Bay is also home to two of the area’s renowned oyster farms, the Morro Bay Oyster Company and the Grassy Bar Oyster Co, respectively farming delicious the Pacific Gold and Grassy Bar oysters. Situated on the pristine bay, the Morro Bay Oyster company is a 130 acre marine farm that can be seen by paddle board, kayak or from a guided tour with Lost Isle Adventure Tours. Morro Bay oysters are sustainable seafood, delicious and full of nutrition. They can be found at many local restaurants and food and wine events. Just north of Morro Bay in Cayucos is the abalone farm that produces local sustainably farmed abalone for restaurants and chefs to prepare, and for visitors and locals to enjoy.
Restaurants, Fresh Seafood, Wine Bars and Craft Beers

With thriving aquaculture and agriculture industries, fresh seafood and locally grown produce are in abundance in Morro Bay. Surrounding farms and vineyards yield a bounty of outstanding organic produce, fresh seafood and award-wining wines served with flair at Morro Bay’s renowned restaurants, wine bars and craft breweries.

Windows on the Water is a well know local favorite for its seasonal farm to table menus, Oyster Tuesdays, fabulous views, and an incredible wine list. Sunsets don’t get much better than from this romantic dining room on the bay. They also have a fabulous wine and extensive sake list. Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe on Market Street above the Embarcadero has been a Morro Bay favorite since 1942, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with breathtaking views overlooking the Embarcadero and the bay. They offer fresh seafood, a great brunch and make a mean bloody Mary.

Family friendly dining is abundant on the bay as well. At Tognazinni’s Dockside, Too visitors can actually watch the catch of the day being unloaded as they sit under patio umbrellas listening to live music while eating fish tacos, smoked salmon or fresh tuna from this restaurant and fresh seafood market. Oh, and they are super pet-friendly as well. The family-friendly Hofbrau der Albatross restaurant offers patio seating right on the bay with a perfect view of Morro Rock. Diners can watch the sea life frolicking in the bay as they dig into their freshly carved roast beef the restaurant has been known for serving for over 35 years. And don’t miss Giovanni’s Fish Market right on the bay, offering their famous giant calamari sandwich, fish taco Tuesdays and fried fish on a stick – a favorite for kids. This family owned fresh fish market has been a main stay on the waterfront for over 25 years.

Located on the bay with magnificent views of the harbor, the Morro Bay Wine Seller has been providing exceptional service and a comprehensive selection of local and regional wines to wine enthusiasts from near and far, for taste or purchase, for over a decade. They offer specialty cheeses, olive oils and craft beers to pick up and take with you. If you are looking for a wine bar that offers great food, stop by Stax Wine Bar & Bistro for a bite on the bay. Come relax by a fire on a plush leather couch and choose from over 150 local and imported wines with many offered by the taste, glass and bottle. Enjoy lunch or dinner from the Tapas Menu featuring gourmet cheeses and charcuterie, Panini sandwiches, prawn cocktails, oysters on the half shell, and more. Looking for craft brews? Look no further. The Libertine Pub offers patrons a cozy atmosphere, live music and an expansive beer selection, a great place to celebrate American Craft Beer Week each May. They focus their brews on barrel aged “wild ales” and offer up to 48 craft beers on tap at all times, so even the seasoned beer geek can satisfy their palate. When you’re REALLY hungry, you might be interested in trying their fish and chips burrito, deep fried in their Lagunitas IPA beer batter. It’s a legend on the waterfront.

Morro Bay: A Wine Lovers Paradise

Aside from great restaurants serving a great variety of award winning local wines and a fun sampling of wine bars dotted along the Embarcadero, Morro Bay is uniquely situated between two world class wine regions located in San Luis Obispo County.

Nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains, just 30 minutes northeast of Morro Bay is Wine Enthusiasts 2013 Wine Region of the Year, Paso Robles. In the mid 1990’s Paso Robles was home to 35 wineries and 13,000 acres of grapes. Today there are more than 250 wineries, many of whom are small boutique producers dotting the countryside amongst Paso Robles’ 32,000 planted vineyard acres. Although the region is largely known for its stellar Rhone varietals and big Cabernets, there are more than 40 wine grape varietals produced – from Spanish to Italian to Bordeaux and Rhône, including the area’s heritage variety Zinfandel. Wine lovers can visit a large variety of tasting rooms, many of which offer picnic areas and specialty winemaker dinners.

Just 30 minutes to the southeast of Morro Bay is SLO Wine Country, which includes two small adjoining American Viticultural Areas, the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley. This wine region boasts an average distance of just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in prevailing marine conditions that are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California, forging a unifying wine quality that is native to SLO Wine Country. Cool-climate varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel here and the ocean proximity exerts a moderating effect minimizing temperature swings so that growing conditions are rarely hot or cold. The result is an extraordinarily steady growing season that fosters balanced ripening and consistent quality from vintage to vintage.

Paso Robles and SLO Wine Country are home to many wine touring companies that will come to Morro Bay and pick you up from your hotel, B&B or vacation rental.

 

Family Fun

For a family-friendly California adventure head to Morro Bay where moms, dads, grandparents and little ones will enjoy a fun and comfortable getaway with a wide range of activities and places to stay. There are over 30 hotels and motels to choose from, some featuring free breakfast and convenient amenities such as mini-fridges and microwaves. From May through October, a seasonal trolley runs from the Embarcadero, to Morro Rock, up to Old Town, to the State Parks by the Back Bay Marina, and out to North Morro Bay so there is easy access to anywhere you want to go, no matter where you stay. In fact, the picture-perfect community of Morro Bay is a breeze for hotel guests to navigate thanks to the new FREE trolley service. The Morro Bay Tourism Bureau (MBTB) has partnered with the city to sponsor the trolley for the busy tourism season starting Memorial Day Weekend and going through the first week of October. Within this partnership, all guests staying at Morro Bay hotels and motels will be able to ride for FREE.

Spend a day exploring the bustling waterfront filled with classic places to stop like the Shell Shop, on the Embarcadero since 1955, or Crill’s Salt Water Taffy stand, in Morro Bay since 1970. Kids of all ages love the Sub Sea Tours where they can ride around the bay in a semi-submersible boat to get a feeling of what it’s like to be underwater without donning a wetsuit. Rent kayaks or a canoe and watch the kids light up when encountering wildlife like sea otters, pelicans or seals. Rent kites and a surrey from Farmer’s Kite Shop and bicycle out to Morro Rock along the harbor walk to fly your kites on the beach. Jump on the trolley and head up to Morro Strand State Beach and spend the day beach combing, building castles and swimming in the ocean. Oh, and don’t miss the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum featuring skateboards and memorabilia from the 1930s to present day. Every member of the family will enjoy Morro Bay no matter your age! The whole family can relax and take in all the natural beauty of this unique fishing village.

 

Art and Culture in Morro Bay

Art and culture take center stage in the seaside village of Morro Bay. The Art Center in Morro Bay is one of the largest California Central Coast venues for exhibiting original fine art by local artists, boasting two large galleries. The Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History is regally perched on a hill overlooking the Morro Bay Estuary. In addition to amazing panoramic views of the coastline, the view from the museum includes the world-famous Morro Rock. Featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, this is the only museum of its kind in the California State Park system. The Morro Bay Skateboard Museum is the place where visitors can see the complete history of skateboarding – from the early 1930’s to present day. More than 200 skateboards are on display from all eras with rotating exhibits from extensive private collections. And there are the many shops and boutiques that carry the works of local artists. Now visitors can add the Morro Bay Mural Mile Walk to their itineraries. The Morro Bay Mural Mile tour is the perfect way to tour the downtown and waterfront areas, enjoying the 23 murals that depict the area’s natural beauty, its history and the amazing array of sea life beyond the shores.
There are also many unique art galleries and specialty boutiques in the quaint seaside town including:

John Ramos Art Gallery a few blocks off the Embarcadero at 407 Morro Bay Blvd showcases the original paintings and limited edition prints of John Ramos, capturing images of the California beach lifestyle along CA Highway 1. (805) 772-4700; www.johnramos.com

Forever Stoked Gallery at 1164 Quintana Road is a grass roots art collective that spreads positive energy through artwork. Nature is the source of their inspiration and currently features the paintings of Charlie Clingman, Chris Pedersen, Peter Pierce, Jordan Haughey, and Dave O’Brien and quality goods locally made in Morro Bay. (805) 772-9095; www.foreverstoked.com

Fiona Blue Gallery at 900 Embarcadero offers an eclectic mix of sculpture, lighting, clocks, glass, pottery and paintings. Fun gallery; (805) 772-0541; www.fionableu.com

Gray’s Inn & Art Gallery at 561 Embarcadero features original watercolors of the Central Coast area by Todd Gray; (805) 772-3911; www.graysinnandgallery.com

The Garden Gallery at 680 Embarcadero offers a blend of indoor and outdoor living products that capture the essence of the California lifestyle. Here you’ll find lush plantings of succulents along with pottery, fountains and home accessories; (805) 772-4044; www.thegardengalleryinc.com

The Shell Shop at 590 Embarcadero is family-owned and operated since 1955 and exhibits the largest selection of marine sea shells on the Central Coast. Shop for decorative corals, unique crafted sea shell jewelry and sea clams; (805) 772-8014; www.theshellshop.net

Suite 1 Gallery at 601 Embarcadero #1 is a full service gallery where you can view, purchase and create your own art; (805) 772-4972

Seven Sisters Gallery 601 Embarcadero #8 showcases beautiful one-of-a-kind items such as jewelry, art and gifts; (805) 772-9955; http://stores.sevensistersgalleryca.com/

Poppy at 901 Embarcadero offers shoppers a warm, friendly shopping experience where you’ll find artisan soaps and lotions along with women’s clothing and accessories; (805) 771-9750

Morro Bay offers a wide variety of cultural events and exciting things to do on California’s Central Coast. From on-going events like cruises, whale-watching tours, brunch and dinner cruises, and fishing charters departing daily from the Embarcadero to the annual Surfboard Art Festival, Bird Festival, Kite Festival and Art in the Park Fests, there’s something for everyone in Morro Bay. Stay in the know on what to do in Morro Bay by checking this calendar regularly.

BFF Getaways – Two Legged and Four!

Morro Bay, CA is the ideal location for a best friend’s getaway along California’s Central Coast. From girlfriend getaways to bro-cations and pet-friendly adventures, this quaint seaside village is the picture-perfect destination offering everything from golfing, fishing, and hiking, to restaurants, shopping, wine tasting and plain relaxing. The variety of lodging options in Morro Bay offers BFFs the opportunity to stay in beach front vacation rentals, luxurious inns, leading brand hotels, reliable budget and specialty accommodations that fit any budget.

Girlfriend’s getaways are perfect for Morro Bay with its fabulous water front, extensive list of restaurants, boutique shopping, wine bars and relaxing spas – not to mention amazing beaches. Start the morning off taking a nice speed walk down the Embarcadero and out the harbor walk to Morro Rock, a great way to get in exercise before the day really begins. Reward you and your BFFs with a girl’s brunch at Dorn’s, sitting on the patio overlooking the Embarcadero and the bay planning out what adventure to tackle next. From horseback riding on the beach to kayaking on the bay, to renting surreys and riding around the Embarcadero, there is no shortage of things to do. And, then there is wine and food. Located 30 minutes from Paso Robles and Edna Valley Wine Countries, wine tasting tours are a great way to spend some girl time with your BFFs. Paso Robles and SLO Wine Country are home to many wine touring companies that will come to Morro Bay and pick you up in front of your hotel, B&B or vacation rental. Or, stop by the many wine bars located in Morro Bay for some waterfront wine tasting.

Morro Bay also offers everything for the bro-cation from exciting deep sea fishing and whale watching adventures to a challenging round of golf at the Morro Bay Golf Course, offering incredible bayside views. When the tide is right, Kayaking through the channels in the Back Bay Estuary is a wildlife adventure not to be missed. When it’s time for a hearty meal and craft brew, head over to The Libertine Pub, offering an expansive beer selection and a great menu of man grub. They focus their brews on barrel aged “wild ales” and offer up to 48 craft beers on tap at all times, so even the seasoned beer geek can satisfy their palate. Their fish and chips burrito, deep fried in their Lagunitas IPA beer batter is a legend on the waterfront, sure to satisfy the hearty adventurer. Or, stop by Giovanni’s Fresh Fish Market and enjoy their blue crab sandwich or fish taco Tuesdays while you sit out on the patio.

And, you don’t need to leave your four-legged best friend at home when you travel to Morro Bay! From hotels and restaurant patios, to beaches, parks and wineries there are plenty of businesses welcoming pups with open arms. The Inn at Morro Bay located on the water next to the Morro Bay Golf Course offers a warm welcome to Fido’s and their owners. From the Best Western El Rancho, and the Bayfront Inn, to the Beach Bungalow and vacation rentals, there are dozens of pet friendly accommodations to serve every budget. Pet-friendly restaurants on the water front offer great bayside views and yummy treats for owners and their pups. From Giovanni’s and Dorn’s to Frankie and Lola’s and the Bayside Café, there are a dozen restaurants with patios that offer pet friendly choices. One of the few off leash dog beaches along the Central Coast of California is just north of Morro Bay on the way to Cayucos. This two mile stretch of sandy shoreline is a great place for a playful afternoon or a full beach day with your BFFs.

Romance is Everywhere in Morro Bay

With majestic Morro Rock casting its own shadow on the bay at sunset each night, Morro Bay offers couples a blissful, off-the-beaten-path romantic getaway. Morro Bay exudes romantic vibes and a dreamy waterfront and marina, dotted with boutique lodging options with views right on the bay. Dozens of cozy hotels, Inns, and B&B’s are within walking distance to the shore offering great amenities that serve any budget.

Think horseback riding on the beach, or renting a surrey to ride along the Embarcadero with your honey. Take a romantic stroll along the harbor walk out to Morro Rock to watch the sunset or have a picnic on the beach. Romance is whatever you make it. Kayak the bay out to the sand spit with a bottle of wine and spend the afternoon frolicking on the beach or have a romantic lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants and wine bars that line the Embarcadero and bay.

A variety of wedding venues like The Inn at Morro Bay, The View at Morro Bay Golf Couse and the Garden Wedding Chapel at Coalesce Bookstore Old Town Morro Bay are known to offer amazing destination weddings. And, of course, Morro Bay offers miles of beautiful sandy beaches offering unique scenic backgrounds for your unique wedding day. Whether planning an engagement, wedding, honeymoon or just needed time away, Morro Bay has something romantic for everyone.

 

Nearby Attractions

Morro Bay is conveniently located on the Central Coast – close to everything and far from ordinary. Beaches and hiking trails run for miles north and wind their way up Highway 1 from Cayucos to Cambria. Morro Bay is also close enough for a day trip up to Big Sur for hiking and a nice lunch. Just north about 40 minutes is the area’s most well-known attraction Hearst Castle State Park, located just south of the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, the largest on the Pacific coast and, and the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse near San Simeon, which is open to the public for tours on Saturdays. Hearst Castle offers not-to-be-missed daily tours for only $25, and the Elephant Seal Rookery offers docent lead walks and is open every day for free. The most active times of the year are during breeding season, from December through February when almost 4,000 pups are born in just a few weeks.

Located south of Morro Bay, in Los Osos, is Montana de Oro State Park, offering hiking access to the famous sand spit that creates the western boarder of the Morro Bay harbor. This park features over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including the 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner’s Cove, which offers a beautiful beach with endless tide pools. The park’s name means “Mountain of Gold” and comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring.

 

About Morro Bay

This seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. Recently named as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, outdoor activities are a way of life. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone.

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit http://www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on its Twitter or Pinterest pages.