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Big beach crowds in San Diego for the Fourth of July

San Diego lifeguards said the crowds this weekend are the largest we have had all year long, and with more people, they are doing more rescues.

SAN DIEGO — At Pacific Beach, many set up tents and secured a good spot on the sand. Celebrating the holiday is simple for one family from Phoenix.

“Spending time with my family and hanging out for the Fourth of July,” said Madi Luevano.

The merriment includes building sandcastles and laying out trying to get a tan.

"I got to get some good color, and I have to feel the sand between my toes, and then enjoy the family time tomorrow, we’re all vaccinated,” said Alex Luevano from Phoenix.

It's all about family time for the Santestebans from Clovis, California.

"We are just out here in San Diego getting out of the heat from the San Joaquin Valley, and I'm just going to enjoy this beautiful beach,” said David Santesteban, the Reedley College Athletic Director.

The Santestebans' Independence Day plan is to surf and relax,

"Get a lot of sunblock and be safe, and get here early,” said Eliana Santesteban.

The coastline showed moderate crowds in PB to large crowds at La Jolla Shores.

"It has been busy with rescues, the water is warm and the rip current activity is up, and lifeguards are actively making rescues along our city beaches,” said Lifeguard Lt. Lonnie Stephens of San Diego Fire-Rescue since 1987.

With more people packing the sand, it can be easy to get lost. Stephens advises that you make sure you have a group plan.

"When you are with your family and your little ones, set a location where everyone knows where you are, like a lifeguard tower and have anyone meet and have anyone meet who is lost in that group,” Stephens said.

With cloudy weather, many make the mistake of skipping the sunscreen. But Stephens says be sure to bring some sort of shade structure because even with the overcast skies, you can get sunburned.

Beyond the beach, the grill is on as many feasted on their favorite festive foods for a good time.

But finding a parking spot took some time especially after a road trip.

"We had to be ready at 4 a.m. to get here at 9 a.m. and find parking," said Selenia Aragon from Mexico but living in Phoenix.

Aragon said she was elated to be out of the desert heat, where it is about 118 degrees. She and so many others are soaking in America's Finest City for America's Birthday.

WATCH RELATED: Law enforcement out in full force Fourth of July weekend (July 2021)