Monday, June 6, 2016

Staying Cool at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo

Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo Is a Great Place to Beat the Heat

Last Friday I decided to do my errands in San Luis Obispo to stay cool on a Smart Day. I never really thought of Laguna Lake as a cool place until then. I can't think of any outdoor public place in Paso Robles, including  the Lake at Barney Schwartz Park that would have been as cool that day . San Luis Obispo itself was 10-14 degrees cooler than Paso Robles was. Laguna Lake is also a much larger body of water than the small pond-like lake at Barney Schwartz Park.

Staying Cool at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo
View of Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo, © B. Radisavljevic

What's so Cool about Laguna Lake?

Laguna Lake has many shade trees scattered around the lake. I saw many people relaxing under them, napping or reading or just hanging out. The day I was there I did not see any boats in the lake or anyone fishing, but both forms of recreation are allowed. There is a barbecue area with picnic tables, but the one I saw by the lake was in the sun, not the shade.

Staying Cool at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo
Peolple Keeping Cool at Laguna Lake Park, San Luis Obispo, © B. Radisavljevic

I had just stopped at the lake to take pictures, fully expecting the lake to be almost dry after this heat wave. I was wrong. I've never seen it so full. Last year at this time it was little more than a puddle. Now the water is  actually lapping at the shoreline. I had not planned nor did I have time to stay for long on Friday. I was just suddenly aware that had I wanted to, I could have spent several hours there outside and remained relatively cool.

 Quik Shade MAX Shade Chair, Navy
If I had planned to stay for a longer period, I would have needed a cooler and a comfortable folding chair. It's important to have plenty to drink in hot weather, and those drinks are better cold. Now I can even get a rolling cooler that I can pull rather than carry. I would need the same for the beaches.

The cheap chairs I've bought locally haven't lasted very well. I'm going to need new ones.  At my age a blanket just doesn't cut it anymore. I'm amazed at how folding chairs have improved since I last bought one. I think it's time to invest in one or two of these items.

Directions to Laguna Lake from the North County

The public entrance to Laguna Lake is at the intersection of Dalidio Street and Madonna Road. From the North County, take 101 to Madonna Road. When you exit,  stay to the left. Turn left at the signal on Madonna. Get into the right lane. Diladio is the last signal before the commercial area on the left turns residential. The Post Office is on the left side of the street. You will turn right  at that signal beside the park entrance. You can take a virtual view of the park as of December, 2008 here. You will notice how much greener it is in December than in the summer when the rain stops falling.

Once you are in the park, you will follow Diladio to the first paved road and turn left . You will find a parking area, some of which is shaded by trees. This is close to the playground. There is also another large barbecue picnic area there. (See it in the virtual  tour linked to above.) If you go to the end of the road and turn right, you will get to a shady parking lot near the boat ramp, pictured below.

Staying Cool at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo
Shady Parking Lot Near Boat Ramp at Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo, © B. Radisavljevic

Accessing the Lake

This is the boat ramp. You can see how high the water level is on it.  You can compare it to July, 2015, and April 2016 in my previous post on Laguna Lake.

Staying Cool at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo
 Boat Ramp at Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo, © B. Radisavljevic

There is a smaller ramp for docking here.

Cool Off at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo

Alas, my time at Laguna Lake on this trip was too short. So we will have just one last look. If it gets too hot in Paso Robles and you don't want to fight the traffic to get to the beach, remember that Laguna Lake is also a good place to beat the heat.

Staying Cool at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo
Last Look at Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo, © B. Radisavljevic

Where is your favorite place to cool off when the weather gets hot? If you're not in my area, please use the comments to tell us  where you're from and where you like to go when it's hot. 
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