Monterey/Morro Bay – Day 4 of a 8-Day California Road Trip
Day 4 was a cloudy and rainy day, which was so unfortunate, because our drive through Big Sur was supposed to be so scenic! Instead we saw fog and mist. We did end up stopping at some key spots, but they did not have as much of an effect as they would on a clear day.
For breakfast, we headed to Cafe Guarani for empanadas. We ordered two empanadas which came with chimichurri sauce.
Afterwards, we walked down to Cannery Row to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium first opened in 1984 and is popular for its regional focus on marine habitats. The exhibits were very cool and we watched a diver feed the fish. We spent almost three hours at the aquarium!
After the aquarium, we headed to Carmel-by-the-Sea for lunch at Dametra Cafe. Dametra Cafe is a mediterranean restaurant. We ordered the baba ghanoug, the gyros, and a falafel wrap. The meal also came with bread (+ oil and vinegar for dipping) and dessert. It was so much food, we ended up packing some for our drive.
Due to the weather, we did not make as many stops on the way to Morro Bay as we had hoped. The spots we stopped at were the Rocky Creek Bridge, somewhere above the clouds, and Elephant Seal Vista Point. The Elephant Seal Vista Point is interesting as it is a popular spot for elephant seals during birthing and breeding seasons.
After a long drive, we finally reached Morro Bay. Morro Bay has an older community and is relatively quiet. Avila Beach is a 30 minute drive south and my California friends indicate it is a livelier area. We met up with said friends for dinner at Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant. Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant specializes in good seafood and their portions were big. We ordered the tuna tataki and the catch of the day, whereas our friends ordered the seafood pasta and clam chowder. The meal also came with bread and garlic butter (yum!).
After dinner, we headed to the Siren to grab some drinks. One of the drinks I had was a mango beer, which almost tasted like juice (it was good!).
Complete Day 4 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Enjoy empanadas at Cafe Guarani. Stroll Cannery Row (12 minute walk from Cafe Guarani).
10:00am: Visit Monterey Bay Aquarium (5 minute walk from Cannery Row).
1:00pm: Have lunch at Dametra Cafe (18 minute drive from Monterey Bay Aquarium).
2:00pm: Drive along Big Sur to Morro Bay (3 hour drive from Dametra Cafe). Weather permitting, stop at Castle Rock Viewpoint, Rocky/Bixby Creek Bridge, Hurricane Point View, Pfeiffer Beach, McWay Rocks, McWay Cove and McWay Falls, Ragged Point, and Elephant Seal Vista Point.
6:00pm: Have dinner at Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant in Morro Bay.
8:00pm: If staying in Morro Bay, have drinks at The Siren (12 minute walk from Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant). Else, continue to Avila Beach and have drinks there.
8-Day California Road Trip Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 8-Day California Road Trip Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in California!