Route Information: May 18, 2016 - Stage 4 Start
San Luis Obispo County (SLO County) is located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s Central Coast. The region captures 315 days of sunshine a year and encompasses more than 80 miles of scenic coastline. With over 16 different cities and beach towns, SLO County offers visitors the perfect destination getaway for those seeking a Culinary, Coastal and Cultural vacation.
One of those beach towns is the strikingly scenic seaside village of Morro Bay. With the iconic Morro Rock standing imposingly at its harbor entrance, Morro Bay is a must-see stop along the coast. Morro Bay is a family-friendly small town that enjoys welcoming visitors from around the world and excited to welcome the 2016 Amgen Tour.
Never a Dull Moment
Morro Bay was voted one of America's 14 Best Small Beach Towns (by Thrillist Travel, May 2015) with great reason. Its pristine, expansive beaches are undeveloped and all provide sweeping, sandy vistas of Morro Rock. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, wineries, 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.
Morro Bay's temperate climate throughout the year helps outdoor enthusiasts stay active by hiking, biking, surfing, sailing and golfing. Stand up paddle boarding and kayaking is popular in the protected harbor. The bay also hosts a bounty of wildlife including marine mammals and a variety of migratory birds
In addition to fun in Morro Bay, you can enjoy an abundance of activities throughout SLO County, such as wine tasting from over 250 award-winning wineries in the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo wine regions, or discover the bustling fine and performing arts scene, with gallery tours, art lessons, live opera, theatre and dance performances. Seek thrills in a dune buggy on the only beach that allows vehicles. Whatever your perfect journey involves, you will find it in SLO County, the unspoiled classic coastal California.
With historic roots in the fishing industry, Morro Bay is famous for fresh sea-to-table fare. The harbor is still an active fishing harbor and the abundant fresh seafood haul can be seen daily.
Travelers not craving seafood are still sure to be satisfied. Morro Bay’s wide variety of restaurants meet everyone’s definition of fine dining, whether that’s a perfectly grilled steak, a juicy burger or a decadent dessert. And of course, a good meal needs to be washed down with the perfect beverage. When it comes to a chilled glass of craft beer, a locally sourced California wine or a steaming cup of tea or coffee, Morro Bay can’t be beat.
Cycling by the Sea
"Morro Bay has amazing coastal-range mountain biking and is a start-point for the 'Lighthouse Century' among other fantastic road-bike rides," said Morro Bay City Manager David Buckingham. "The city is a port for excellent sport-fishing and sailing, fresh local seafood, and world-class Central Coast wines -- all nestled around a nationally-listed Estuary full of otters, sea lions and protected birds."
Its strategic location on California's Pacific Coast Bike Route, an international bicycle-touring destination, makes Morro Bay an ideal home base for exploring iconic Highway 1 that winds northward along the wild and scenic Big Sur coastline. Year after year, this has been one of the Amgen racers' favorite stages.
Morro Bay is one of 325 American cities that have earned designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community, certified by the League of American Bicyclists. The city was recognized for this award as it welcomes bicyclists with trails, bike lanes, Share The Road campaigns, organized rides, a comprehensive and connected bicycling network, an up-to-date bike map, an active Citizens Bike Committee, Cops on Bikes and even a bike coordinator on City staff.
"Having the Amgen Tour of California come to the city of Morro Bay as a host city is very exciting for our residents and businesses," said Mayor Jamie Irons, himself a bicycling enthusiast. "The city of Morro Bay is the gateway to the North Coast, known for its beautiful bay, small town culture, and the iconic presence of Morro Rock. We are pleased to be a host for the international world of bicycling."Download Adobe Reader