STINSON BEACH (KPIX) — Stinson Beach in Marin County is normally a popular destination for Memorial Day travelers. But with inland temperatures in the triple digits and people still suffering from COVID-19 cabin fever, the crowds on Monday were even larger than usual.

From the highway, Stinson Beach has one of the most scenic shorelines in the Bay Area. But for many visitors, the only view was of the car in front of them as they waited in a huge traffic jam trying to get into town.

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“We’re being patient,” said Terry Taylor as she waited on the gridlocked highway. “Yes, we are, yes. But we didn’t realize it would be THIS crowded.”

It’s pretty much single lane roads into the town, with people waiting in long lines just to find out there was no place to stop when they got there. Raman Sharma searched the city for a parking spot and then drove his family back up the hill to eat lunch on the side of the highway.

“We didn’t find any parking there,” he said with amazement. “There’s no parking at all!”

Once in town, it did seem pretty packed until you got a look at the beach itself. At the edge of the ocean was a sea of humanity.

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“Tons of people!” said Jacqari Heard from Vallejo. “Everybody in the Bay Area seems like they came to this beach.”

“We purposely came really early in the morning and were still totally shocked when we turned the corner and it was a complete zoo!” said Riley Hurd from San Rafael. “Ordinarily, a lot of people would be on out-of-state, out-of-town trips, and to have this here locally, at the end of a pandemic. That’s why we’re seeing the crowds that we’re seeing.”

And at a perfect 70 degrees, Stinson was irresistible to inlanders trying to avoid the heat.

Normally, such a crush of people might be a turn-off, but after the isolation of COVID-19, being around a large crowd can actually seem kind of fun. At least that’s how 9-year old Cameron Ivery from Corte Madera sees it.

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“Because you get to hear little kids screaming and, like, you just get to feel good,” he said, “because you’re not lonely.”