Lake Life

Summertime is my favorite season. And what’s not to love? It’s all about relaxation, sunshine, excitement, and late nights.

By Paden Hughes

While I grew up anticipating new experiences of travel and adventure during summers, my husband has always associated the season with life at Lake Nacimiento. Growing up in Salinas, one of five boys, his family spent thirteen summers on the lake boating and enjoying water sports. So, it was inevitable that we would be spending our summers on the lake.

San Luis Obispo is such an amazing mecca of local outdoor adventure that it’s easy to forget we have some great lakes just 45 minutes away. North County is home to our favorite, Nacimiento, a beautiful body of water shaped like a dragon when full. If ever there were a year for lake days, it’s this summer. Nacimiento is unusually full.

A lake day at the Hughes Household is a serious event. We wake up early and drive north to get the pristine glassy water from 7am to 9am. From there we pick up more friends on the dock and embark on social time on the boat with food and drink, tubing, water sports, and floating in the “narrows” (thin waterways with waterfalls that look like fingers off the main lake). It’s a day of extremes: hot temperatures, cool water, lounging on the boat, exerting energy on the wakeboard, quiet moments to take in the scenery, and time to laugh with your friends.

Don’t be deterred if you do not own a boat. The marina has boat rentals and no license is required to drive one for the day. However, if you are not interested in driving a boat or paying the pricey rental rates, you may want to check out the San Luis Obipso based start-up company called Adventure Aide which provides access to local outdoor excursions. Many friends of ours use the Adventure Aide app to book with local boat owners. They can join a pre-arranged outing or request an experience just for their friends or to get lessons in the water sport of their choice. It’s a great way to enjoy the lake without having to invest in a boat or rent one on your own. 

A fresh water experience is just around the corner, with hot summer nights, refreshing water, and an opportunity to relax with good friends. If you have the chance to get up to Lake Nacimiento this summer, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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