We're starting to make reservations for next year and trying to decide between the parks. We are going in Feb and hook up sites are still available at Morro Bay, but see the county park is not too far away and cost $32 instead of $50 at the state campround. If you've been to both which one would you choose?
Morro Bay State Park is much nicer than El Chorro County Park. Worth the extra $ in my opinion. It's a beautiful setting right by the bay. Lot's to do within walking distance...hike, bike, kayak, eat, museum, golf, etc. If cost is an issue El Chorro would be the choice. It's located about halfway between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay on Hwy 1 across from Cuesta College. Not much to do within walking distance.
Morro Bay is flat, water and electric only (sites 2 through 18) with a dump station in the park, depending on the size and number of slides of your rig some sites can be a bit small. Small marina with a nice little restaurant across the street (2 lane 25 mph road, little traffic) and a golf course on the north and north west. Latest Trailer Life has a photo of the park (looks like the non hookup section that backs up to the hook up area). We actually pull the trailer a whole 3 miles and camp there once in a while.
El Chorro is not as flat, some sites are tight. Never stayed here but looked at it several times. Many sites are layed out so they seem more private (orientation of the site and the brush/trees). Everything is a drive. There is a golf course right next door (1/4 to 1/2 mile), San Luis Obispo is about 5 miles, Morro Bay a little further. Talked to several people who have attended Law Enforcement classes at CSTI across the highway at Camp San Luis and it was a great place for them.
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I've been to both, although not in the hookup area at the state park. El Chorro is right next to the freeway and there is some traffic noise. There are some walking trails nearby. El Chorro is smaller than the state park, so there isn't as much noise and activity from other campers as I have sometimes had to endure at the state park. The road through the El Chorro camp area loops has some tight quarters which might limit longer rigs; check with the park on size limits. Take an extension cord; one oddity I remember at this park is that the hookups were on the wrong side.
The hookup area of the state park is probably quieter than the rest of it. If I remember correctly, there are bushes between the campsites in that area.
The state park is a great place to feel connected to Morro Bay. It is across the road from a small marina (for just looking around or for renting kayaks) which has a small restaurant (I have not eaten there). There is a short walk to the museum/discovery center (I recommend this) and to the bird rookery (smelly, but interesting). A golf course is nearby. You can, of course, stay at El Chorro and still visit all of these places.
I hope this info helps. As to choosing, sometimes I stay at one and sometimes the other.
IMHO, the extra money for Morro Bay SP, is worth it.
the views of the estuary and Morro Rock, from the campground, is great. also, short distance to the wharf.
we walked a short distance, across the neighboring golf course, and set up our chairs, next to the water, to watch the sunset and have happy hour.
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We stay at El Chorro several time a year. (have two kids that live in SLO). We found that for the better rate, we don't mind driving a little more. Plus the last time we stayed at the State Park, bathrooms were not being cleaned, and some were locked up due to maintanace issues.
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If money is a big part of the decision just up the canyon from Pismo is Lake Lopez. Electric & water and a dumpstation onsite. Lots of wildlife up there also. It is also a bald eagle nesting area and they do tours from Jan. - Mar of the nesting areas.
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