This Fourth of July weekend, slightly more Southern Californians than last year are expected to set off for somewhere else to spend their holidays.
The Automobile Club of Southern California predicts that about 2.88 million Southern California residents will travel this weekend, about 1.5 percent more than last year. And of those travelers, 2.29 million are expected to drive, a 2 percent increase.
According to a survey of local AAA agents, Southern Californians’ top destination this weekend is San Diego, the Automobile Club said.
Following that, travelers from the area are most likely to take off for Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and California’s central coast, from Santa Barbara to Monterey.
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More people are expected to fly out of Southern California as well.
Los Angeles International Airport said in a statement it is expecting almost 824,000 travelers from Thursday to Sunday, about 6 percent more than last year’s passenger total.
The airport said passengers should expect terminals to be busy and most domestic flights to be at least 95 percent full.
The news comes as gas prices are rising but that likely won’t deter most drivers, said Marie Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Gas will be about 10 to 15 cents higher per gallon than 2013’s holiday weekend, and prices are above $4.15 a gallon in almost all Southern California areas.
These are the highest Southern California Fourth of July weekend gas prices since 2008, when they reached $4.60 a gallon.
Montgomery said the recent local rise could be caused by issues with refineries in the area.
"Four dollars a gallon on average is definitely going to be the norm for the foreseeable next two weeks," Montgomery said. "It would be better if it was declining but it is by no means spiking at the moment."