Description - The total acreage of Monterey County Parks is 13,707 plus 5,700 water surface acres at Lake San Antonio. The Monterey County Parks Department is a regional parks system created in 1965 by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.
The mission of Monterey County Parks Department is to maintain stewardship over a system of nine county parks including two lakes. These outdoor recreation resources are managed to preserve, promote, and interpret the natural, historical, and cultural values of Monterey County. They are operated to provide opportunities for the public's enjoyment, inspiration, education, personal development, and cultural enrichment.
The Monterey County Parks Department has received acclaim over the years. Country Discoveries Magazine called San Lorenzo Park the "Friendliest RV Park." The Salinas Californian Readers Choice Awards named Lake San Antonio first in Place to Boat and Lake Nacimiento second. Toro Park was named first place for Parks & Hiking. Coast Weekly has named many of the parks in their Readers Poll over the years. The most recent was Jack's Peak as runner up for Best Hiking Trail.
- Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities from water sports, horseback riding and camping at Lake San Antonio to quiet meditation at Jacks Peak Park overlooking the spectacular Monterey Bay. Royals Oaks, located in North County is a wonderful place for kids; enjoy a youth area, tennis courts, and ball fields. Toro is a day use park between Monterey and Salinas, perfect for that afternoon picnic following a session of nature study at the Environmental Center. Laguna Seca not only welcomes overnight users and the typical day user, but also those with an interest in target practice and raceway sports. Along the Salinas River, in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, San Lorenzo Park is as picturesque as the scenic Salinas Valley, which surrounds it. After settling in your modern RV or tent camping site, you can visit the Historic Agricultural and Rural Life Museum. And lastly, there is Lake Nacimiento, built in the 1950s for flood control, the lake is a recreation Mecca with 163 miles of shoreline dotted with many private facilities that provide camping, day use and water sports access. Monterey County Parks are open all year for your enjoyment. Most of the park hold special events and are great for watching wildlife.
Recreation - Whether you enjoy horseback riding, bird watching, team sports, camping, or relaxing amid fabulous coastal scenery, a Monterey County Park is the perfect outdoor location to enjoy a bit of free time.
Climate - Climate in the Central Coast varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.
Monterey County is located on the Pacific Coast in California's upper Central Coast Region.