Summer in Southern California used to be a time where locals could take a beach day and enjoy the sun and cool ocean. But San Diego county now is a hotbed for tourism that ruins summer for the locals.
As an Oceanside local that was born and raised on trips to the beach for surfing and I have always had fond memories of the summer months here in Southern California. But now that developers have built high rise hotels in downtown Oceanside, and the “Visit Oceanside” advertisements have filled YouTube I dread the summer.
Tourists from all over the country and the world fill up the hotels and the parking garages, and of course the beaches. And with all the out of towners, comes all of the traffic that comes with them. Even now with how many people have immigrated to San Diego county from up Orange and LA County, rush hour starts at 3 p.m. But during the summer months, traffic inflates to obscene proportions that make driving anywhere on major roads and highways a pain.
The foot traffic in downtown Oceanside and Carlsbad Village also reaches a ridiculous point. While not as infuriating as the traffic on the roads, it still makes traversing the cities a task and a half. But with the increased foot traffic, comes with the inflation of wait times at restaurants and bars. So good luck trying to get a table at restaurants that don’t take reservations.
But the most upsetting thing about the influx of tourists into San Diego County, is the overcrowded and packed beaches up and down the coast. On weekends during the months of June, July, and August you’d be hard pressed to find a beach that isn’t packed. Oceanside Harbor, my home spot for surfing, gets filled with tourist over the summer to the point where you can’t walk more than ten feet without running into a group of people.
Since the tourists that fill up the beaches aren’t familiar with the unspoken rules that us locals have established. The amount of times I’ve had to prematurely bail out of a wave to avoid hitting an unaware swimmer is stupendous. I’ve also had to help swimmers not drown after getting dragged out by the current because they don’t understand how the ocean works. And these things happen every single time I go surfing in the summer, to the point where I dread the summer months.
And now that we’re approaching San Diego County’s tourism I’m sad to say that I’m not excited for the summer. Spending 40 minutes driving six miles to the beach, dodging bobbing swimmers in the surf, waiting an hour for a table at a restaurant, I’m already over the thought of it. So to the tourists who see the “Visit Oceanside” ads, do us locals a favor and “Don’t Visit Oceanside.”
- SoCalSummerDread.jpg: Alex Ortega/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved