Quick Take:

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.

“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:

  • A boy plays in the lagoon where the San Lorenzo River meets the beach by the Boardwalk.
  • Main Beach was a popular spot Thursday as temperatures soared toward triple digits.
  • The Chardonnay II sails past Main Beach as visitors seeking to beat the heat cooled off.
  • Cameron Bell, 5, zeroes in on dad Rian as they cooled off at Main Beach in Santa Cruz.
  • Meanwhille, it was a sweltering Thursday for agricultural workers in the fields of Watsonville.
  • Shade was at a premium Thursday in downtown Santa Cruz as temperatures shot into the 90s.
  • Lyly Ho brought son Noel Moralez, 1, from San Jose to Main Beach in Santa Cruz.
  • Crowds flocked to Main Beach in Santa Cruz during a June 2021 heat wave
  • Keeping cool was all about making a splash at Main Beach in Santa Cruz on Thursday.
  • Miguel Ruiz, 11, from San Jose found himself a chill spot at Main Beach in Santa Cruz on Thursday.
  • Capitola Beach was the place to be Thursday for surfers of all ages.
  • READ THE STORY: Capitola Beach bummer: After popular spot gets unhealthy F, is it safe to swim there?
  • Lifeguard Ian Richardson at Capitola Beach
  • Daxton Marin, 6, of San Jose eats ice cream in Capitola Village.
  • Parrot Elvis was happy to have left his building Thursday, taking in the sights and sounds at cool Capitola Beach.
  • Jasper Zion rests in the shade in the San Lorenzo Park benchlands encampment.

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