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Fourth of July tourism spike on Central Coast and across Monterey County

MONTEREY, COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- Tens of millions of Americans are traveling this Fourth of July weekend. Many of them are heading right here to the Central Coast. 

Old Fisherman’s Wharf was bustling with people earlier Saturday. This influx of people is expected to boost business, like hostess Lauren Libera said from Crab Louie’s Bistro on Old Fisherman’s Wharf. 

“There's like you know, people to people, you know, they're shoulder to shoulder here,” Libera said. “So I think we're gonna have a good Fourth of July  again, like I saw a little teaser yesterday, and it's going to be picked today.” 

Libera told KION that last year, Old Fisherman’s Wharf also saw big crowds for the fourth. This year, hot weather across the country pushed people toward the coast. Naison Modjarrad, a tourist from Dublin, California said he wanted to escape the heat inland. 

“Coming from Dublin where it's supposed to be 100 today, so it's supposed to be a little bit cooler here,” Modjarrad said. “So we're looking to relax. Stay near the water and stay cool.” 

While heat is one reason tourists are flocking to the area, some say the end of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions is another reason people, like Wesley Caetano from the central valley, want to travel more. 

“Just to get different scenery,” Caetano said. “I mean after COVID last two and a half years everyone's gone out and do their thing camping, RVing was cool but now everyone's going to just take their vehicle and go as far as they can.” 

Carolyne Profeta has managed and owned the Forge on First in Carmel for years. She thinks people from the central coast want to enjoy the sun after months of winter storms. 

“This summer starting was very difficult because it's so cold and now it's beautiful weather,” Profeta said. “We expect better Business, awesome customers, and really good camaraderie.” 

One tourist, Neal Chauhan, all the way from League City in Texas told KION that he came here not just to escape the heat wave there, but also to honor the fourth. 

“The forecast called for clear skies and this is a very patriotic city,” Chauhan said. “Huge military presence here. So I thought I spent it with my family here and got a great deal on Airbnb.” 

Hot weather is here to stay for this holiday weekend. And for now, so are the crowds. According to AAA, this year’s projection surpassed the previous Fourth of July weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers.

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Lindsey Selzer


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