WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s the unofficial start of summer and with beautiful weather, it means more time outdoors for many.

With a number of COVID restrictions loosened, some people took to the water Sunday to relax over Memorial Day weekend at Falls Lake.

This Memorial Day things might look a lot different compared to last year. Whether you are traveling on the road, flying, or just getting the family together for a cookout.

“It’s Memorial Day weekend you know. We’re just trying to do something different. We usually have cookouts but this time we’re getting on a boat,“ Travis Baity said.

Baity and his family were also celebrating a birthday on the holiday weekend.

“It’s good for family to get together and kinda catch up on things and appreciate each other for being here,” Baity said.

This is the first time since the pandemic that many families are able to celebrate the holiday together without any restrictions.

Lake goers like Ashley Hinson and Christy Simpson said they just want to have fun and pay tribute to those who died while serving our country.

“I’m super stoked! I mean it’s perfect weather out here you know holiday weekend,” Hinson said. “So far, so good. Perfect weather, couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day.”

“Definitely have fun, enjoy some good food. We, like, tend to lean towards the healthy side, play some good music and dance you know. I wanna get her to Zumba a little bit,” Simpson said while laughing.

A lot of other lake goers said celebrating is nice and fun when you do it with friends and family — but experts want them to remember to stay safe.

CBS 17 spoke with Cally Edwards, who is a spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

“Red Cross encourages people to be water confident and have everyone know how to swim. If you are with a group and you are near water make sure you know who can swim in your group and who can’t,” Edwards said.

Red Cross also provides swimming lessons for those wanting to learn.

She also said families should look after one another when in crowded areas.

Lake goers like Teya Richards said it’s important to remember the true meaning behind Memorial Day.

“It’s to honor those who served our country, so this is a good way to start it. And this is always the best way to kick off the summer,” Richards said.

CBS17 also spoke with a ranger at Falls Lake who said they expect to see thousands of families Sunday and Monday on the lake and nearby areas.

As a reminder– there are no alcoholic beverages allowed on state grounds and if caught, disciplinary actions could be taken.

For more information on guidelines to follow when visiting a public lake click here.