NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The unofficial start to summer is just around the corner.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, it’s been a long, tough winter and what better way to anticipate summer than flipping burgers in the park or heading to the beach?

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Following months of cabin fever, hibernation is over and Tri-State area residents are dusting off their barbecues, counting down the days until Memorial Day.

At Jones Beach, the holiday will be ushered in with the air show and a celebration of a massive post-Sandy restoration.

“It is 100 percent ready after Sandy. And now looking fabulous after all the upgrades that we did,” said George Gorman, with Jones Beach State Park.

For the first time vendors with specialty foods will be in tents just off the boardwalk, alongside ping-pong, bocce, and horseshoes courts, McLogan reported.

There will also be emotional military tributes.

“We’re about veterans, seniors. We are about people. Everything that makes this country so great,” said East Meadow volunteer Chuck DeLuise.

A record number of Americans also plan to celebrate this Memorial Day away from home.

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“26 million traveling. That’s up about 1.5 percent since last year, and the highest since the recession hit,” said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair.

Despite higher gasoline prices compared with this time last year on Long Island and in New York City, eight in 10 vacationers are expected to travel by car.

“We’re going to have a blast, get a suntan, jump into the water,” said Bronx resident Chanelle Fagan.

“It happens to be my wedding anniversary weekend, we plan t go to Jersey,” said Staten Island resident Ramon Guzman.

Traveling families may want to wait until they hit New Jersey to fill up, where a gallon is up to 50 cents cheaper.

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