SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area beaches provided a welcomed refuge to escape the heat this holiday weekend and thousands of people headed to the coast to cool off. Meanwhile, first responders were busy with a cliff rescue.
Jose Medina and his kids traded the extreme heat of Santa Rosa for a cool spot on the sand at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
"We bring the kids here to have a good time. You can feel how cool it is here," Medina said.
The Etemadi family from Fremont had the same idea: beat the heat.
"Fremont is going to be better than other places, but it's still hot and it's a good day to come out with family and enjoy this beautiful ocean," said Hassan Etemadi.
By 11 a.m. most of the parking at Ocean Beach was gone. By Sunday afternoon, the number of beachgoers doubled in size. Crews from the San Francisco Fire Department's Surf Rescue unit were watching the waves.
"Our fear is we'll have people from neighboring communities coming here to cool off. We want them to know before they go," said SFFD Lieutenant Jonathan Baxter.
To know about dangerous rip tides and cold ocean water, that is. Sunday morning, first responders safely rescued a man and his dog who had fallen down a cliff at Fort Funston.
"It's just a reminder to stay on coastal trails. Don't venture off of it," Baxter said.
In Half Moon Bay, Venice State Beach was getting crowded. By midday, state park rangers started turning visitors and cars away because lots were full.
The National Park Service tweeted that the Parking lot at Stinson Beach was full and would likely remain that way until sunset.
On the North Coast, there was still elbow room and a cool breeze at Salmon Creek Beach in Bodega Bay.
Back at Ocean Beach, there were popsicles all around for one group of friends.
"This is a good place to be, there is a breeze off the water we feel lucky we got here early," said Michelle Neitz from San Francisco.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- What's a Flex Alert?
- Live: Track Bay Area weather conditions
- Heat stroke vs heat exhaustion: What's the difference and what are the symptoms?
- What everybody should know to help prevent hot car deaths
- Dry and secondary drowning: Hidden threats for swimmers
- Can you start a fire if you leave bottled water in your car?
- Can you bake cookies in a hot car?
- Facts and myths about sunscreen
- ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma shares scary heat exhaustion experience
- Lotion in the refrigerator and more hacks to keep cool without AC
- How hot summer weather affects your car
- Natural remedies for sunburn
- Heat hypothesis: The link between summer weather and aggressive behavior
- Tips to stay safe during the hot summer months
- Why it's harder to cool off in humidity
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live