A boy plays in the lagoon where the San Lorenzo River meets the beach by the Boardwalk.
Seven-year-old Noah Moralez came from San Jose to cool off in the lagoon at Main Beach in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Coast Life

Time to chill: Sights from a beat-the-heat Thursday in Santa Cruz County

With temperatures in triple digits inland and seemingly headed that way even in more temperate parts of Santa Cruz County, thousands flocked to the beach Thursday in search of natural air conditioning.

With Santa Cruz County under a heat advisory and some areas farther inland under excessive heat warnings, Thursday was a day for locals and visitors alike to head to the shore to cool off.

Rian Bell came from Santa Cruz’s Westside to join the crowds at Main Beach, he told Lookout’s Kevin Painchaud, taking Thursday and Friday off to get some natural air conditioning.

The National Weather Service Bay Area is classifying the risk as “moderate,” and is advising residents to take...

“We found a spot finally where we can actually swim, and we can actually watch the waves, and then also go to the Boardwalk. And it’s beautiful and we have hot dogs and we just ordered some KFC to be delivered here, so it doesn’t get any better than this,” he told Painchaud. “Going to the beach instead of feeling the heat is pretty awesome — that’s the only option.”

San Jose’s Lyly Ho was among those escaping from temperatures forecast to break 100 over the hill, bringing her kids and meeting friends for some time in the sand and the water.

“Away from the heat, just taking the kids to the beach and enjoying ourselves,” she said of the day’s goals.

Here’s what Painchaud saw around the county Thursday: