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What You Need to Know

Is Car Camping Legal in Morro Bay?

Unfortunately camping in your car, van, or RV is illegal on the streets of Morro Bay and carries with it a $250 fine. Like most popular towns and cities, on the California coast, Morro Bay sees quite a few travelers coming through each year. As a nomadic lifestyle becomes more and more common Morro Bay and other coastal towns have had to put laws in place to make sure their beachfront and streets don’t become parking lots for vans and RV’s. It’s the line, of welcoming tourism while keeping residents happy, that each town has to straddle.

Fortunately, even though parking in your vehicle is illegal, you still have some very good options to “camp” for free near Morro Bay. In addition to your free camping options you can also pay to camp right on the beachfront. Morro Bay has embraced van lifers and nomads by creating designated spaces or “campsites” that we can access for a fee.

With that said you aren’t here for pay sites so let’s get into your best options for a few free nights of camping in Morro Bay.

Our Favorite Hiking Shoes

 

Other Community Picks

These are sites you’ll find on the iOverlander’s of the world and have the least sketchiness to them. For us they were a little too far away, not needed or just didn’t give the same access as the Old Creek Road Pullout.

1. Highway 41 Pullouts

Highway 41 Pullouts seem to be a popular spot for overnight parking near Morro Bay. The vicinity of the “campsites” take you out of the Morro Bay fine, $250, range. The spacing seems similar to the Old Creek Road Pullouts and the access to town is actually a little closer. We drove by one night in the evening after dark and there were 2-3 vehicles already settled in for the night. As with all “campsites” in Morro Bay or elsewhere make sure you do your due diligence before the night sets in.

Coordinates: 35°23’08.0″N 120°50’50.2″W

Cell Service: Yes. 2-3 bars of LTE from Verizon.

Bathrooms: No

Picnic Tables: No

Fire Pits: No

Water: No

Vehicle Access: From the reviews there is space for all types of vehicles here including RV’s

2. Street Parking

There are a number of success stories with scattered street parking in Morro Bay. You can take your chances and likely have success for a night or two. Keep in mind though the effect you’ll be having on others in the community. The more vehicles that the Morro Bay police have to knock on the more likely that they will become extremely strict in the future. This could result in a situation similar to San Diego where we have almost completely worn out our welcome.

Don't Miss a Workout While Camping or on the Road

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Head over to Free Campsites page for an entire list of sites including a map of all the locations we've stayed at.

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