Endless Summer Has a Beginning and End

Southern Californians (especially) like to fancy themselves as Endless Summer creatures, living in the land of warm beaches, sunshine and sunbathing all year long. It's a great image-not a bad thought to hang onto as the cold winds blow and temps dip below 50 degrees at night.

One study that quantified the reality of beach attendance at California's warmest, most popular beaches yielded results that didn't prove that image out, however. It turns out that approx. 75% of beach attendance occurs in a window of less than half a year's time, while the beaches can be virtually barren on many days during the winter months.

When the study was performed around 5-6 years ago, the head counts on beach visits to Southern California beaches showed just under 52 million people visited Los Angeles County beaches, 39 million visited San Diego County beaches, and 36 million visited Orange County beaches in an average year. The most visitors came on Saturdays and Sundays, more than the rest of the days of the week combined. Of those visitors, less than 50% actually entered or touched the water (45% approx.) The majority went to the beach but didn't go in the ocean.

Having worked in tourism in the City of Huntington Beach, tourists often said they didn't realize just how chilling the water is in the Pacific, even during the summer months. A comparison t0 warmer oceans on the East Coast might help in discovering if people don't go in the Pacific because it is so cold (maximum temps in summer can reach 72-76 degrees in Southern California) and winter temperatures are about 10-15 degrees less.

Many long for that endless summer where the air is always warm, the beaches toasty, and you can count on the crowds each weekend. The good news is that that photo above shows a typical weekend during the summer months. And, if you truly like crowds, beaches, and sunshine on your shoulders, the season is fast approaching. Get ready for summer!

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