At Southern California beaches, heat, holiday and eased rules put more people on the sand

in People

Heat, the holiday and less restrictive rules drove more people to the Southern California area beaches on Memorial Day, unofficially kicking off summer.

Many showed up on the sand ready to walk or jog. Some hit the waves to surf or take a cool dip. Others, however, brought towels to lay out, prompting lifeguards to remind them that sunbathing remains prohibited.

“People are down here, they seem to be behaving themselves,” said Newport Beach Marine Safety Chief Mike Halphide.

Monday was slower than the rest of the weekend, when Newport Beach saw an estimated 60,000 people each day.

“For a holiday weekend, that would be what we would expect,” Halphide said. “There’s a little more pent-up desire to go to the beach and get out and recreate. Even in my own neighborhoods, all the parks are full. The weather is beautiful, so they want to get out.”

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