Welcome to Aptos
Mountains, miles of beaches, and an unbeatable, upscale radiance are just a few of the defining facets of this luxury community surrounded by natural beauty
Home to the longest stretch of beach in Santa Cruz County, the city of Aptos is renowned for its large number of beachfront housing options and high-end, luxury vibes. To its western boundary lie the beach areas of Seacliff, Rio Del Mar, and Seascape, while Aptos Hills to the east rests on gentle mountain slopes and boasts unparalleled views.
Bisected by State Route 1, Apto residents have the easy convenience of commuting to Santa Cruz and other beach towns south along Monterey Bay. Officially a census-designated place rather than an incorporated town, Aptos still serves as one of the greatest vacation spots in the Santa Cruz area.
Up in the mountains and down on the coast, multimillion-dollar homes are plentiful and highly desirable, selling fast for their distinctive views. Show-stopping estates perfect for entertaining offer up panoramic vistas of city lights and Monterey Bay from their prime location along the beach, while nature-inspired homes perched in the hills grant views of the Pacific and the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
What to Love
- Approximately 30 minutes from Downtown Santa Cruz
- Separate from the hustle and bustle of city living
- Serves as the gateway to phenomenal hiking and scenery at Nisene Marks State Park
Aptos emanates an irresistible small-town warmth, from the dog-friendly beaches to the adorable 4th of July Parade marched by the residents themselves. Many of the parks and beaches here have extra amenities for hosting large group gatherings, and residents take great pride in the local shops and restaurants.
Dining, Entertainment, Shopping
A true beach town to its core, Aptos has a retail and commercial district that’s replete with high-end surf shops, boutiques, and galleries. Most of the action can be found in the charming Village area along Soquel Street, which boasts restaurants, as well. At the Jet Set Bohemian Boutique
, thrifting gets a designer twist with deals of high-fashion name brands and luxury clothing.
The dining opportunities in Aptos are extensive, ranging from international cuisine to warm, sophisticated pubs. The Parish Publick House
, for example, is a must-try for tavern lovers. Diners come for the rich, comforting American fare and a never-ending menu of craft brews and libations, but stay for the friendly company and wonderful service.
With a winemaking philosophy that emphasizes minimal intervention and a dedication to allowing nature to take its course with a wine’s exceptional flavors, the Santa Cruz-based Ser Winery and its Ser Winery Tasting Room
bring effortless sophistication to their custom blends.
Things to Do
Leisure is a breeze in Aptos, from the breathtaking views during casual strolls to the lively eateries and many history-laden sites all at your fingertips, ready to enjoy. One of the most exciting features of the town, the Cement Ship Landmark
lies tucked next to the Seacliff State Fishing Pier
. Formally known as the behemoth S.S. Palo Alto, the ship is a slice of history resting in sunken sand for the public to enjoy. Before its sinking, the ship was created for use during the first World War, and history buffs love the nostalgic atmosphere it evokes with every visit.
Rio Del Mar State Beach
is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike due to its long, sandy shores and plentiful open space. Here, activities including dog walking, fishing, surfing, bird watching, and even whale watching contribute to the area’s tranquil reputation.
Favored mostly by locals, the much smaller Beer Can Beach
lies below the scenic bluffs visible from the elevated estates. The aptly named Hidden Beach Park
lies off the beaten path, nestled near a creek ravine and outfitted with family-friendly facilities such as a playground and park benches.
Aptos is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Aptos High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school
- Mar Vista Elementary School, K-6, well-rated public elementary school
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