Tourists flock to Santa Cruz for warm day

- When you go outside, you have to remind yourself, it's February 15th. It feels far more like the end of summer, than the middle of winter - and it sure showed in beach towns like Santa Cruz.

Of course, this weather coming on a holiday weekend meant a big boost for local businesses and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Anyone who thought this might be a good day for surfing wasn’t alone. The beaches of Santa Cruz were packed.

"We did this yesterday. We're here today, with the rest of the neighborhood," says Katie Stevens of Santa Cruz.

It wasn't just the locals taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. Highway 17 was packed with out-of-towners too.

"We were in traffic with the line probably for like an hour and a half," says Janet Salinas of Fresno County.

At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the lines were long and parking lots full. Managers brought in extra staff.

"I think the best way to characterize a day like this is it feels like it's a Saturday in June or July," says manager Kris Reyes of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Even for a holiday weekend, it was a huge turnout, with families riding rides, playing games, and buying ice cream.

"Look at these people. It is packed down here. Look at the beach down there. It is awesome," says Tony Mayfield of Point Richmond.

For many, the summer-like weather meant breaking out all the summer gear too.

"I have my chair with the cover, sunscreen, hat. I've got water and my book," says Karen Notaro of Santa Clara.

And for others, it meant putting away the winter jackets. Katherine Davidson and her daughter are from Rochester New York.

"When we left our house, there was over a foot of snow on the ground. And the current temperature, I think, when I checked this morning was 14 below," says Davidson.

This is their first time in California. They say, no doubt, they'll be back.

"The weather here is absolutely gorgeous. And it's a nice break from what we've been having currently at our house. So we're enjoying this," she says.
 

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