Miles of Monterey Bay Coastline
Aptos is an unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County, California nestled between Santa Cruz and Monterey. Aptos has mountains, redwoods and ocean cliffs that inspire a sense of wonder.
Aptos is a Native American name referring to the meeting of two creeks and was first settled by Europeans in the 1800’s. The town of Aptos was developed by cattle ranchers prior to and during the early days of California statehood. The alluring combination of California coastline and redwoods attracted sugar magnate Claus Spreckle who began buying land in the 1870’s. He built a hotel near the beach and a summer mansion and ranch with a racetrack for his horses. A large area was fenced and stocked with deer for hunting, and became known as “the Deer Park,” home of today’s Deer Park Center.
With the coming of the railroad, the town moved to the other side of Aptos Creek. From 1880 to 1920 redwood timber harvesting became the major industry, and Aptos became a boom town. The Loma Prieta Lumber Company logged all of what is now The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Within 40 years the hills were bare, and apples became the next industry.
After Spreckels’ death, Seacliff Park and Rio Del Mar Country Club were developed in the late 1920s. Rio Del Mar Country Club included a clubhouse, a grand hotel on the bluffs, a beach club, a polo field, and a golf course. The S.S. Palo Alto cement ship was moored and converted into an amusement pier with restaurants, swimming pool, and a dance pavilion. Both Rio Del Mar and Seacliff were popular during Prohibition as drinking and gambling were discreetly available. These amusements were interrupted by the Great Depression and World War II.
In the early 1960s Aptos began a period of rapid development, including Cabrillo College which is located on the former Sesnon Estate, Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center, the Seascape Resort development, and many residential developments.
Aptos is where you will find Nicene Marks State Park, one of the county’s largest parks with its 30 miles of hiking, biking and jogging trails.
Seacliff State Beach is great for swimming, surfing, fishing and bird watching. You’ll also find many vineyards and wineries in the area, which is part of the Santa Cruz Wine Region. Two popular annual events in Aptos are the Forth of July’s “World’s Shortest Parade” and the Aptos Blues Festival. The year round Farmers Market is popular with residents and visitors alike.
Whether you prefer the mountains, the golf course, the beach or the quiet charm, you’ll agree that there’s lot’s to love about Aptos. Contact us today for more information on the Aptos area or browse available listings in Aptos, Rio Del Mar and Seacliff.
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