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Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without losing the everyday creature comforts you’ve come to expect? Aptos may just be what you’ve been seeking.

Located in south Santa Cruz, Aptos – which is Ohlone for “the people”—is sometimes also known to Native Americans as “Awatos,” meaning “where the waters meet. Established in 1933 as a Mexican land grant, Aptos is bisected northwest to southeast by the State Route 1 freeway.

Home to a population of about 25,000, this “tentative city” is currently made up of five communities:

Attractions in Aptos, CA

There are many activities for locals as well as all types of vacationers – especially those who love the sea, nature enthusiasts, and foodies – to enjoy.

With its seemingly endless sprawling coastline, Seacliff State Beach is the perfect place to have a seaside picnic. There are shaded tables and conveniently placed barbecue grills along the sand, making it a favorite among RV campers.

It also boasts a 100-year-old landmark, the iconic SS Palo Alto, a concrete tanker that never saw wartime service. Repurposed in 1929 as an entertainment venue replete with a ballroom, casino, café, heated swimming pool, and a slew of carnival games and booths, it enjoyed two years of glory before it went belly up in the wake of the Great Depression. For a time, visitors could fish off the pier and the ship, but no longer. Today, what is left of the ship (a part of which was flipped on its side following a storm in 2017) serves as an artificial reef for marine life and a perch for flocks of seabirds, sea lions, and harbor seals.

Then there’s Seascape Park, a six-acre city park that sits high on a cliff above the ocean. It offers breathtaking views of Monterey Bay and access to a wide sandy paradise of a beach. The park is a favorite among families who enjoy its open grassy areas and playground for kids.

If you enjoy exploring the wilderness, the 10,000-acre Forest of Nisene Marks offers 30 miles of maintained trail options which meander through absolutely gorgeous natural scenery. If you’re lucky, you will get to see deer.

Hike down the 1.5-mile Old Growth Loop Trail past Twisted Grove, a distinctive cluster of small, gnarled redwoods. This trail once led to the now-fallen Advocate Tree, which used to wow everyone with its truly impressive 45-foot circumference until it fell in January 2017.

Visit Aptos Village, a vibrant commercial and residential area which boasts 75,000 square feet of retail and office space as well as a selection of extremely desirable semi-detached single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments and condos. It houses a lovely “village green,” and a small park as well. Even after having recently undergone redevelopment, the village is still home to the Bayview Hotel, built in 1878, and the famed second-oldest known magnolia tree in the world.

Food choices in Aptos, CA

When it comes to food, Aptos has got an amalgamation of treats for you! There’s a hometown bakery offering delicious sourdough croissants, buckwheat blueberry scones, brownies, and plenty of other treats. The “local loaf” is made with organic heritage wheat. Ice-cream comes in 105 flavors.

Visit the Aptos Farmers’ Market at Cabrillo College on any given Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Serving the Monterey Bay area for over 42 years, it’s been voted the Favorite Farmers Market in California and Santa Cruz County. Locals and visitors alike rave over an amazing variety of products fresh picked at sunrise. Not only are there lots of tasty free samples, the market as a whole is well run and organized, with innovative attractions, an entertaining Farmers Market band, and top-notch produce. Catch local chefs showcasing what can be done with the organic vegetables and fruit and the grass fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. You’re also sure to enjoy the informational sessions on nutrition and wellness.

To end your day, stop by the pub for beer or a glass or two of locally produced wines.

Homes for sale in Aptos, CA

For those who are toying with the idea of buying one of the homes for sale in Aptos CA, there is a suite of options available. Whether you’re looking for a primary dwelling, a secondary or a vacation home, Amber’s got the most impressive inventory of:

  • Beachfront houses
  • Condominiums
  • Single-family homes in gated communities
  • Ranches
  • Wine properties

To determine the best option for you, get in touch with me, Amber Melenudo. I am a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®). I am also a certified Luxury Home Marketing and Senior Real Estate Specialist. For the right combination of market expertise and tailored, hands-on support, contact me here. Or call 831.661.5591.

Allow me to help you explore the very best of Aptos CA real estate in popular areas like Rio del Mar’s Upper Cliffs, the Seascape Via’s on the greenbelt, Beach Drive, Vienna Woods, Seacliff and everything in between. Together, Amber will find you the home you’ve always desired.

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