Christmas Day means beach day when the temperature is 80 – FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Bay Area beaches packed Christmas Day

Photojournalist Lucas Bogg reports

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - Many people chose to spend their Christmas at one of the country's top-rated beaches. Clearwater Beach was crowded, and many visitors were from out of town.

"It is definitely better than being in negative weather," says Jonny Isenberg, who is visiting from Canada. "Where we come from it is freezing cold right now, so it's a plus being in the sun right now."

After a brief cold and wet stretch of weather leading up to Christmas Day, Mother Nature redeemed herself in a big way Wednesday, bringing sunny skies and the fifth-warmest Christmas Day temperatureto Clearwater Beach.

"Clearwater is a sunny place and beautiful beach," says Michael Krach.

He and his wife, Mickey are in town from Madison, Wisconsin and they have a message for their friends back north: "It's not terribly cold in Wisconsin right now, but we're telling them, 'Eat their hearts out. Merry Christmas!'"

Those visiting Clearwater Beach did have to pack their patience. The Clearwater Memorial Causeway had stop-and-go traffic most of the day, and most of the city parking lots were full. Most beachgoers tell FOX 13 News that it was completely worth it.

"Being here on Christmas is better than a physical present," says Jason Frank, who came with his family from London, England. "This weather is awesome. The kids are having fun, so I'm just loving it."

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Christmas Day means beach day when the temperature is 80 - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

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