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Last summer season three-day weekend expected to be packed with travelers on the Central Coast

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -  The busiest part of this summer's season may still be coming. 

Travel industry analysts say the  three-day Labor Day weekend coming up will be as big or it will exceed 4th of July, and anything in the months of June, or August.

On the Central Coast, large scale events such as Old Spanish Days and the Mid-State Fair brought maximum crowds on certain days, but for the three-day window, and in some cases, even four days, this weekend will be a solid summer finale.

53% of the potential adult travelers who have been surveyed say they will be going somewhere this weekend.

Driving by car is less painful now than in June with gas prices about a dollar-a-gallon below the high they hit about eight weeks ago.

A safety check is urged for drivers, which means an inspection of fluids, tire tread and your car battery.

Debbie Myers from Northern San Diego County said, while strolling Stearns Wharf, when it comes to the cost of gas, "we decided  there is no sense to wait until it gets cheaper,  we might as well just do it.  Just budget for it ." She was in a group that had been out for about two weeks. They went all the way up to Northern California and recently stayed the night in Pismo Beach.

After the COVID slow down, this summer for many people, it  was time to take off.

Rebecca Wilkenson from the United Kingdom said from home she said,  "it's time to go,  let's go!"

The Santa Barbara Airport has had an increasing passenger count in part with additional service from Southwest Airlines and a United Airlines non-stop now to Chicago. Officials at Los Angeles International airport expect passenger counts to be up 40% this weekend, above 2021.

Visitor David Vidal from Minnesota was strolling with his wife Nahid and son Mogey.  He said,  "we came here for the cool for the beach and the cool and lots of opportunities to explore."

The Covid precautions for some travelers are still a priority but not anything to hinder their trips.   Nahid Vidal said, "we still mask when we fly.  Yea it was pretty easy for us."

Wilkenson said, "it was very easy.   We went to France last year.   That was a bit harder because we had to do testing but no restrictions at all this time."

Along the Santa Barbara waterfront she said, "the summer is great in Minnesota. The  winters are not. We have been traveling a lot since January."

The Pacific Surfliner has had a solid summer and even added a convenience for travelers with small dogs up to 20 pounds.

For those who were on their own timeline, "we went as far as North Dakota and saw  like eight different national parks during that time," said Myers. "With our motor home we are self contained we can do whatever we need to do."

The Central Coast will be an attractive stop for visitors with temperatures forecasted in the First Alert weather center to be in the 80's on the coast and in the upper 90's in some of the inland valleys, with Paso Robles exceeding 100.

Article Topic Follows: Travel
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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