EMERYVILLE (KCBS) – Californians are expected to head out of town in droves for the 4th of July holiday, even as it comes mid-week this year.

AAA is projecting huge numbers, as almost 5 million Californians are expected to hit the road. And Cynthia Harris with AAA said that more than half of those surveyed said they plan to start their trip on Friday, June 29.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“This is very good news for the travel industry because this is the first time since 2003 that we have seen such high numbers,” said Harris.

She said that the average road trip will cover over 680 miles for California travelers, although many are just staying in the Bay Area and Northern California. According to the AAA survey, the primary leisure activities for residents on the West Coast will be visiting family and friends, dining, going to beach/waterfront areas and sightseeing.

More than 3.8 million Californians are expected to drive to their holiday destinations this year, which Harris said is a four percent increase compared to travel figures from 2011.

The higher numbers come as gas prices have dropped 50 cents within the past four weeks in the state, although many road travelers said that’s still not enough for them.

Nationwide, AAA forecasts just over 42 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the Independence Day holiday weekend.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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