By Laura Haefeli

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – As California’s pandemic restrictions loosen, popular tourist spots like South Lake Tahoe are further returning back to normal.

Tourists in South Lake Tahoe on Friday were flipping out for the start of the warm weekend and the unofficial start of summer.

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“Memorial Day weekend! WOO!” Cristal Gomez said.

She was one of the many visitors packing beaches and restaurants for a post-pandemic summer celebration.

“A year and something months and finally be able to get this opportunity after a year that’s crazy,” said Gomez.

Gomez said she is spending Memorial Day weekend with her family.

“We couldn’t be together like a family, so this time being all together and being able to go out there and have fun, that’s the best,” she said.

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South Lake Tahoe Councilman Cody Bass was excited to welcome the crowds.

“Tourism and visitors is what Tahoe is all about,” he said. “It’s a really exciting time for us.”

Though, Bass said he’s concerned that South Lake borders Nevada.

“We have Nevada guidelines that say one thing and California guidelines currently saying another thing up until June 15,” he said.

After more than a year of empty patios, restaurants in the area were excited to have all this coming back.

“Everybody is back in full swing, the employees are back, everybody is having fun,” said RJ Vargas, manager at AleWorX.

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Bass said he is excited to have tourists back in the area but asks that they leave no trace. Keep it clean, but as always, have fun.