That includes 4.4 million who planned to travel by motor vehicle, a 4.6% decrease from last year, and more than 500,000 who planned to fly, a 4.9% decrease, the survey found.
On the other hand, the survey found a 1.8% increase in those planning to travel by other means, such as boats or trains.
"Californians set aside thoughts of fiscal uncertainty to gather and feast with people who matter most in their lives," said AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris in a statement.
"While travel projections are lower than last Thanksgiving, this year's travel forecast is still well above the 2008-2009 levels when the recession caused a drop in travel of more than 25%," Harris said.
AAA found a smaller 1.5% decrease in the number of people planning to travel for the holiday nationally.
The average West Coast family of four is expected to spend $681 over the holiday weekend, and those traveling by car will drive an average of 795 miles.
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