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What’s Living in Morro Bay Like? | Ultimate Moving to Morro Bay CA Guide!

What’s Living in Morro Bay Like? | Ultimate Moving to Morro Bay CA Guide!

Last Updated on: 12th August 2023, 02:31 pm

Before moving to Morro Bay, here is everything you need to know! A charming California coastal city located in San Luis Obispo County, Morro Bay is famous for being the home to the beautiful Morro Rock and is nicknamed “three stacks and a rock.” Morro Rock is a 576-foot volcanic plug and historic landmark positioned at the harbor’s entrance. Not only are the beaches in and surrounding Morro Bay beautiful, but they’re also great places to swim! The beaches are popular areas for enjoying watersports such as fishing, boating, and swimming.

Before Morro Bay was a delightful California city, it was home to the Chumash people, who settled in the area hundreds of years ago. The land was referred to as Obispeño, meaning “Place of the Dogs.” The racial make-up of Morro Bay is much more diverse nowadays; 80.2% White, 74.5% White alone (non-Hispanic or Latino), 15% Hispanic or Latino, 5.6% two or more races, 5.3% Asian, 0.2% Black or African American.

In 1870 Franklin Riley founded the city and used it as an exportation plant for dairy and ranch products. Morro Bay was officially incorporated in 1964 and has since become a wonderful place to live—Morro Bay is definitely worth its higher cost of living! The city has seen great development, which makes living in Morro Bay terrific! There are many fun attractions, safe neighborhoods, and tasty eateries! Keep reading to get more insight into the city and what to expect when living here!

Where Is Morro Bay?

Morro Bay is a San Luis Obispo County city on the central coast of California. It’s bordered by Cambria, San Luis Obispo, and Atascadero and is 200 miles from Los Angeles. The southwest side of the city faces Morro Bay, whereas the northwest faces the Pacific Ocean; expect ocean views almost anywhere you go in here! 

Morro Bay Transit provides public transportation. The Morro Bay Transit bus provides fixed routes as well as a Call-a-ride service. Call-a-ride is a service that provides curb-to-curb pick-up and drop-off anywhere within 3/4 of a mile of the scheduled route, which is ideal for riders that are unable to get to the designated bus stops. You must call 805-772-2744 to schedule this service. The Morro Bay trolley system operates seasonally, providing transportation through the downtown, waterfront areas, and select tourist attractions.

Helpful transportation links:

Morro Bay Population & Demographics

Before moving to Morro Bay, here’s an in-depth look at the Morro Bay demographics.

  • Median household income: $80,808 ($69,021 US)
  • Median age: 51.3 years old
  • Sex ratio: 51% female, 49% male
  • Marital status: 50% are married, 50% are unmarried
  • Educational attainment: 92.4% have high school diplomas, 42.8% have bachelor’s degrees
  • Foreign-born population: 6.8%
  • Race: 80.2% White (74.5% non-Hispanic), 15% Hispanic or Latino, 5.6% two or more races, 5.3% Asian, 0.2% Black or African American.

Morro Bay, CA, has a population of 10,757 and is the 2nd smallest city in San Luis Obispo County.

Famous people from Morro Bay:

Is Morro Bay safe? The Morro Bay Police Department has 17 sworn officers protecting its citizens. The Morro Bay crime rate is 1,938 per 100k people, which is 24.9% lower than California and 17.3% lower than the US. Morro Bay has lower violent and property crime rates than California.

  • Morro Bay violent crime rate per 100k people: 435 | 1.6% lower than the state and 12.2% higher than the nation.
  • Morro Bay property crime rate per 100k people: 1,503 | 29.7% lower than the state and 23.2% lower than the nation.
  • California violent crime rate per 100k people: 442
  • California property crime rate per 100k people: 2,139
  • US violent crime rate per 100k people: 388
  • US property crime rate per 100k people: 1,958

Although San Luis Obispo County has a higher crime rate than the state and nation, Morro Bay’s crime rate remains low and is an exceptionally safe place to live.

Cost of Living in Morro Bay CA

Morro Bay, California, has a cost of living index of 154.8, which is 54.8% higher than the US average of 100. The most expensive cost is housing, which is 177.8% higher than the US average.

Most Morro Bay expenses are close to the US average or slightly under.

Cost Of Living Morro Bay USA
Groceries 108.3 100
Healthcare 108.9 100
Utilities 86.2 100
Transportation 94.6 100

The Economic Policy Institute suggests a median household income of 104,773 for a family of four living in San Luis Obispo County. 

Typical living expenses in Morro Bay:

  • Inexpensive restaurant meal: $19.00
  • Gallon of milk: $4.16
  • Loaf of white bread: $1.99
  • Pound of local cheese: $4.80
  • Pound of chicken filets: $6.16
  • Average city of Morro Bay utilities: $359 (per Doxo)

Source: Numbeo—The figures above are for San Luis Obispo, CA; you can expect similar prices when living in Morro Bay.

Morro Bay real estate is expensive; the Morro Bay median home price is $800,000, and the median price per square foot is $585. Any Morro Bay homes for sale go quickly, selling within 22 days; if you’re considering living in Morro Bay, we suggest starting your search soon. The average rent in Morro Bay for a 1-bedroom rental is $1,900, compared to nearby San Luis Obispo’s $2,679 for a 979-square-foot rental.

Overall, the Morro Bay cost of living is much more affordable than most California cities, especially for a coastal town offering a low crime rate and plenty of activities!

Morro Bay Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Morro Bay

Here are a few great areas to consider when moving to Morro Bay.


Embarcadero is a picturesque area offering a plethora of attractions. With stunning waterfront views, this charming neighborhood provides a scenic backdrop for various activities. Whether you’d like to stroll along the harbor, enjoy boat tours, or watch a breathtaking sunset, Embarcadero is the place to do it!

One of the main draws of Embarcadero is its abundance of delightful restaurants. Notably Giovanni’s Fish Market And Galley (known as one of the best fish markets in Morro Bay) and eclectic coffee shops like Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe.

While Embarcadero’s allure is undeniable, it comes with a price. The real estate market is expensive, with homes priced around $800,000 or higher. 

Downtown Morro Bay

Downtown Morro Bay is a charming and vibrant hub that captivates locals and visitors with its unique offerings. This neighborhood is a treasure trove of small retail stores and a diverse selection of restaurants. The area is amid recent development and boasts a new music venue and the Morro Bay Farmers Market. The housing market predominantly consists of luxury condos, providing residents with a comfortable and convenient urban lifestyle. For those seeking single-family homes, you will likely find options on the outskirts of downtown, either along Main Street or near the picturesque waterfront of Morro Bay.

Morro Bay Weather & Climate

Not sure if the Morro Bay climate is for you? Morro Bay has a koppen classification of Csb, better explained as a mild warm-summer Mediterranean climate. The summers are dry and warm, and the winters are cool and damp.

The weather in Morro Bay is typical of coastal California. Temperatures vary from 44 degrees Fahrenheit and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high in the summer is 72 degrees, and the average low in the winter is 64 degrees. Depending on where you live, you may be susceptible to flooding. There are 158 properties in Morro Bay with a 26% chance of severe flooding within the next 30 years. This area is also prone to earthquakes; there have been 192 earthquakes in Morro Bay in the past 365 days.

The rainy season goes from mid-November to early April, with about a 12% chance of rain on any given day. February sees the most rain, with around 6.3 inches per day. The annual rainfall in Morro Bay is 19 inches, whereas the average snowfall is 0 inches.

Overall, the Morro Bay weather is delightful most of the year, but the best time to visit Morro Bay is from late June to late September. Summer offers ideal weather for enjoying activities, such as hiking at Morro Bay State Park, fishing, or even a whale-watching trip!

Things to Do in Morro Bay

Are you looking for fun things to do in Morro Bay? Here is a list of the top Morro Bay attractions. Consider stopping by Marina Square and The Shell Shop, Inc. for any shopping.

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park is a recreation area located off the Morro Bay. The park provides amenities such as fishing, hiking, sailing, bird-watching, and even golf! Morro Bay State Park is family-friendly, making it a must-see activity during your stay.

60 State Park Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442, (805) 772-2560

Morro Bay Golf Course

This public golf course boasts pristine ocean views throughout its 18 holes. This course is an avid golfer’s dream. It’s considered friendly and suitable for all ages and skill levels.

201 State Park Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442, (805) 772-1923

Bay Theater

Ideal for a romantic date or rainy day, the Bay Theater is a historic 1940s Morro Bay movie theater. It’s recently renovated and offers a full-service concession.

Additional attractions in Morro Bay:

Morro Bay Parks and Rec maintains over 30 Morro Bay parks while offering many activities, events, and community outreach programs. The city is no stranger to unique events and community gatherings. For example, the annual Morro Bay Kite Festival is popular amongst its citizens and tourist—people travel from all across the country for it! Keep up with other events with their special events calendar.

Morro Bay Restaurants

While Morro Bay is typically associated with fresh seafood dishes, the city does offer a wide variety of top-rated eateries. Here are the best restaurants in Morro Bay!

Taco Temple

Taco Temple is a casual taco joint. Locals and tourists find the traditional menu options and family-friendly ambiance captivating. It’s renowned for its large portions and delicious Alaskan Cod Tostada.

2680 Main St, Morro Bay, CA 93442, 805-772-4965

Dutchman’s Seafood House

If you’re looking for authentic Morro Bay seafood, Dutchman’s is your place. They’re most famous for their clam chowder and fish n’ chips, but the pristine waterfront views truly elevate the entire experience.

701 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442, (805) 772-2269

Hungry Fisherman

Looking for breakfast in Morro Bay? Hungry Fisherman is the ideal eatery to grab a casual breakfast. They have hearty options like steak and eggs or lighter dishes like yogurt parfaits.

399 Beach St, Morro Bay, CA 93442, (805) 772-3444

Morro Bay Jobs

Morro Bay’s economy is growing faster than the average US city; it’s seen a 1.3% job market increase since 2022 and is projected to see a 34.2% job market increase by 2033.

With 661 businesses in the city, you’ll find there are countless jobs in Morro Bay. The Morro Bay workforce comprises 4,400 people, and their average commute time is 22 minutes, meaning most don’t have to travel far for work.

The dominating industries in Morro Bay are retail trade, health, social services, public administration, construction, and educational services. Major employers of the San Luis Obispo County residents are California Polytechnic State University, Department of State Hospitals- Atascadero, and Pacific Gas & Electric. If you’re considering working for the city, 10 Morro Bay city jobs are hiring right now!

There is a significant wage gap between men and women in Morro Bay, as the median earning for men is $54,916, and the median earning for women is $33,663. The highest-paid industry for men is public administration ($210,471), while the highest-paid industries are finance, insurance, and real estate ($83,415) for women.

Before moving to Morro Bay, consider the average hourly wage compared to your current earnings. The average hourly wage in Morro Bay is 22.51, and the average yearly salary is $73,000. Men working in the educational and healthcare sector earn a median income of $61,000, whereas women earn $48,700.

Morro Bay Schools

Morro Bay is part of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. While there are 16 schools in the district, there are only two in the city limits; Morro Bay High School and Del Mar Elementary School. Middle school students are zoned for nearby schools like Los Osos Middle School. Morro Bay High School is ranked the 6th best high school in the San Luis Unified Coastal District, and Del Mar Elementary is ranked 7th, receiving an overall score of 77.23/100. The city is also located near two major colleges, California Polytechnic University, and Laurus College.

Morro Bay is fortunate enough to be a part of a great school district that offers unique programs. For example, the iINNOVATE Initiative is a program emphasizing 21st-century skills (technology-based learning.) Morro Bay has the resources you want when choosing the right school district to raise your children in. The city also has its own public library with an enclosed patio (ideal for reading) and a teen corner, which is often used for studying.

Morro Bay Statistics & Information

  • County: San Luis Obispo
  • Morro Bay area: 10.32 mi²
  • Morry Bay zip code(s): 93442 , 93443
  • Morro Bay area code: 805
  • Morro Bay elevation: 62’
  • Morro Bay time zone: Pacific Daylight Time
  • The closest airport to Morro Bay: San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is 17 miles from Morro Bay, California.

Morro Bay Map

Explore more things to do with this map of Morro Bay, CA!

Living in Morro Bay is very good; the economy is developing faster than the US average, there are countless beautiful homes for sale, and the city has many things to do. If you’re considering relocating to this terrific coastal city, let our trusted Morro Bay movers handle the heavy lifting. Call Martian Movers at 805-779-3844 for a free estimate.






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