After two years of pandemic restrictions, the crowds at Pismo Beach say the Memorial Day weekend gave them a chance to enjoy the outdoors and shop locally.
"This is our favorite place to be," said Amanda Burke. "The wind is a little crazy this year but it is so fun and everyone is super friendly. It is our favorite place to walk our dog."
Burke says she moved to the Central Coast just last year and that they use weekends like these to explore their new home.
Meantime, Bill Bookout, owner of Pismo Beach Bike and Surf Rentals, says the increase in foot traffic this weekend has brought relief to his business.
"We've seen at least a 25% increase this weekend over last year," Bookout told KSBY.
He says his shop has been a staple of the community for decades and even as COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, he is glad his business gives people the chance to get outside.
"We have a small inside shop here, but we operate outdoors. Our bikers ride outdoors, our surfers are out enjoying the ocean... we survive on the outdoors," Bookout added.
Other beachgoers we spoke with say they are still being cautious as local and national COVID-19 case counts keep going up, while businesses say they still have high hopes the increased crowds will continue.