Community Information * Local Guides
Directory of Shops & Services
in the County of Santa Cruz, California
Click here to see photographs taken in Aptos.
- By the Numbers
- Area Description
- Area Attractions
- Places to Stay
- Places of Worship
- Area Map
By the Numbers (back to top)
Year Incorporated: not incorporated
Median Home Price: $606,250 (2001)
Zip Codes: 95003, 95001 (Post Office Boxes only)
- 47: Seacliff
- 48: Seascape/Rio del Mar
- 49: Aptos
Area Description (back to top)
Aptos is a largely rural area, however there are several "urban centers": Seascape Village, Aptos Village, Seacliff Village.
Aptos is a fairly large area in terms of size, stretching from the beach to the mountain ridges; from Capitola to La Selva Beach & Corralitos. Three of the well-known and residential areas of Aptos are:
- Rio del Mar
Aptos is home every 4th of July to the "World's Shortest Parade." It makes its way along Soquel Drive, past the Rancho del Mar shopping center, under the railroad trestle, across the Aptos Creek Bridge, and into Aptos Village. Aptos Village is the oldest part of Aptos. The hotel there dates back to 1882! Bordering Aptos Village is the Aptos Village Park. Aptos Village Park is famous as the site for the yearly Santa Cruz Blues Festival and KPIG Radio Fat Fry, which draw nationally recognized musicians every year.
Aptos Village is also the gateway to the Aptos Hills, via Cathedral Drive, Trout Gulch Road, and Valencia Creek Road. There are many beautiful properties tucked away in the Aptos Hills, many with spectacular views from high up of Monterey Bay.
Aptos is bordered by New Brighton beach, merges with Potbelly beach, then into Seacliff State Beach, which in turn merges with Rio del Mar farther south. Rio del Mar goes from the beach up along the Seascape golf course and into the hills above. The Seascape area is bordered by the Seascape resort (and condominiums) along the bay, by the Seascape golf course on the north west, and by San Andreas Road on the east.
Area Attractions (back to top)
Nisene Marks State Park: East of Aptos Village Park is the amazing Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. This park comprises some 11,000 acres of forested hills, much of which is California's signature Redwood. Nisene Marks is very popular with hikers, joggers, and mountain bikers. It's large size means that, despite its popularity, it's still easy to find yourself utterly alone for hours, exploring the natural splendor.
Seacliff State Beach: Seacliff Beach is famous for the sea cliff, yes - but it is also famous for the "cement boat" - the S.S. Palo Alto, which was sunken off shore in 1917 and turned into an entertainment center. After decades of storms, it has broken into several pieces and people are no longer allowed on its decks. The pier leading up to it continues to be a popular fishing spot in Santa Cruz county. Seacliff Beach is the location for the popular Monte Foundation Festival and Fireworks every October.
Seascape Golf Course: if you like golf, you'll love Aptos' golf course at the Seascape Resort.
Aptos Twin Movie Theater: Aptos has a movie theater, with two screens showing the latest Hollywood releases. Located in the Rancho del Mar Shopping Center.
Restaurants (back to top)
These are some of the restaurants I like in the Aptos area. I haven't been to every place in town, but these are the places I like to eat in the area.
Café Sparrow: one of my favorite breakfast places for years!
The Britannia Arms: a British-style pub in Aptos Village! Full bar and menu, pool tables and dart boards.
Sushi on the Run: great place for sushi-to-go, with a few tables there for eating in. On Soquel Drive, across from the Rancho del Mar shopping center.
Red Apple Cafe: located in the Deer Park Shopping Center, another great place for breakfast.
Bittersweet Bistro: some say that the finest dining in Aptos is found at Bitterwsweet Bistro, located near the Deer Park Shopping Center.
Cafe Rio: located on Rio del Mar beach, in the Aptos beach flats. Great place for oyster shooters, cocktails, and dinner.
Palapas: ocean views are found from the deck of Palapa's. Enjoy cocktails with the sunset, great Mexican food.
Manuel's: in Seacliff, next to the Mediterannean bar. Great Mexican food, cozy and intimate.
Snow White Drive In: get your chocolate-dipped soft serve ice cream cones here! And burgers, fries, and donuts in the morning.
The Bleu Spoon: not a typo! The Bleu Spoon, in Seacliff (adjacent to the Union 76 gas station on State Park Drive) is a great place for fusion cuisine!
Nightlife (back to top)
Mediterannean bar ("The Med"): dive bar by day, live music venue by night! The bar has a cool copper top.
The Aptos Club: across Soquel Drive from the Safeway iin the Rancho Del Mar shopping center. Live music or DJ several nights a week.
Severino's: In the Seacliff Best Western hotel, on Old Dominion Court, off Highway 1 at State Park Drive.
The Windjammer: in the Rancho Del Mar shopping center, a few doors down from Safeway, tucked away in the back near State Park Drive. Live music and Karaoke.
Places to Stay (back to top)
New Brighton Beach Campground: One of California's most popular campgrounds is located at New Brighton Beach, off the Park Avenue exit on Highway 1.
Seacliff Beach RV Campground:
Seacliff Best Western:
Shopping (back to top)
- Rancho del Mar: located at State Park Drive and Soquel Drive.
- Deer Park: take the Rido del Mar exit off Highway 1, head West, just past the gas station.
- Seascape Village: Follow San Andreas Road off Highway 1, then go right on Seascape Drive, follow it to the end.
- On Soquel:
Aptos Natural Foods: great selection of organic foods!
Seacliff Plaza Store: everything you'll need for a fun weekend in Seacliff can be bought here.
Schools (back to top)
Cabrillo College: Cabrillo College was established on Soquel Drive in 1964. It is one of California's premier community colleges. The Cabrillo Arts and Music department puts on renowned theater every year, drawing actors from around the country. The student body numbers in the thousands, and it seems hard to meet someone in Santa Cruz who hasn't taken a class at Cabrillo. The large number of students at Cabrillo ensures that there is a steady demand for housing in the Aptos area.
Aptos High School
School District: Pajaro Valley
Places of Worship (back to top)
Area Map (back to top)
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