ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — As we get ready to slide into another holiday weekend, it seems whether you just want to relax or get ready for Tokyo, Alabama’s beaches are the place to be.

“It’s a good time to be down here relaxing,” says Eli Anderson, who is vacationing with his family from Illinois. “Not too busy right before the kids go back to school.”

Occupancy rates for beach rental properties are close to 100 percent for the Fourth of July weekend, according to tourism officials.

For retailers like Lynn Smith at Tallulah’s, that’s a good thing. “Traffic is heavy. Our foot traffic in the store is great, can’t ask for more than that.”

Although it might be the beaches that draw people here, “We swim in the waves and build our sandcastle,” says 6-year-old Aviana Anderson. There are other things that keep them coming back. “The food,” says Carolyn Whisenhunt from Birmingham. “We love the restaurants and we’ve got a lot of friends here so we just like this area.”

The Fourth of July weekend is one of the biggest of the season for Alabama’s coastal communities, and this year could be one for the record books.

“Stay safe, have fun, bring your umbrella and shop,” Smith said.