Cool Off

San Lorenzo County Park is a gift to King City and an unexpected oasis of green fun for the rest of the county. Located 45 minutes south of Salinas and just north of King City, the park is a beloved spot for Sunday barbecues and attracts hundreds of locals on hot weekends. But the smell of sausages and the views of youth chasing one another is not the only attraction here. The park also offers a shaded campground with tent camping (over 90 campsites), RV hookups and pull-through sites. Amenities include laundry facilities, picnic areas, a gazebo, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, softball areas and a walking trail along the banks of the Salinas River. If that’s not enough, San Lorenzo is also a site of the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, where local students come for field trips to learn about the ways families lived, worked and dressed 100 years ago. A restored farmhouse, an old one-room school, a blacksmith shop and King City’s train depot allow visitors to take a step back in time, and exhibits in the barn trace the development of Monterey County’s agriculture industry from the Mission Days to the present. The place is peaceful and relaxing and educational, and the intense greenery is impressive on a smoldering August day. Plus, access to the park is free. [AP]

San Lorenzo County Park, 1160 Broadway St., King City. 385-5964.

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