NewsLocal News


Memorial Day: A look at the unofficial start to summer at our local beaches

Posted at 4:57 PM, May 23, 2020

Hitting the beaches this Memorial Day weekend may look a little different.

"Seems a little, a little quieter," said Bryant Lonson of Arroyo Grande. "Normally, I feel like beaches would be completely packed."

A common reaction from people visiting local beaches this holiday weekend.

"Right now, I'd have to say it's probably not nearly as packed as it normally would be especially on a holiday like this but there are quite a few people," said Dustin Sigler of Visalia. "There are more and more showing up every second."

"It wasn't easy to get a room because I think they're at 50% occupancy," added Robert Weiser of Ventura County.

Beside hotels taking in fewer guests amid COVID-19, fencing surrounds tables and seating areas that are typically jammed packed with visitors as renovations continue near the foot of the Pismo Pier. Part of the board walk is also blocked off to foot traffic.

On top of that, the day started out a bit gloomy.

In Avila Beach, there was a lot of open space on the sand.

"Social distancing is being enforced through voluntary compliance. We're trying to educate," explained Jake Vierra, Port San Luis Harbor Patrol Supervisor.

The Harbor Patrol has ramped up staffing and extended lifeguard duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While San Luis Obispo County recently began a paid advertising campaign to discourage visitors from coming to the Central Coast...

"It's an interesting concept," Sigler said. "I think that everybody has kind of their own view of what's going on but we were kind of adventurous about it and decided that you know, we got our masks and things like that prepared."

"We're from the valley and we kind of wanted to beat the heat because there's a heat wave coming in," said Sean Silva of Fresno.

"It was great to get out versus being stir crazy at home," added another out-of-towner.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick off of Summer, that's traditionally known as one of the busiest beach weekends of the year and while that may not be the case this time around, the sentiment behind the day remains the same.

"Remember the fallen soldiers that defended our freedom," Silva said.

While ID's are not being checked at our local beaches, county officials want to remind you that travel should be for essential purposes only.

Extra trash bins are also out on the sand at local beaches.

The Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce is hosting a beach cleanup on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The public is invited.