Aptos: Redwoods and the Sea in One Idyllic Setting
The picturesque town of Aptos is in an unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County that includes the Rio Del Mar, Seacliff and Seascape areas. It is also home to historic Aptos Village, and the gateway to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.
“The Cement Ship.” A local landmark, the S.S. Palo Alto, is docked at the end of the fishing pier. An experimental concrete ship built as a tanker at the end of World War I, “The Cement Ship” now serves as an artificial reef for marine life.
Seacliff State Beach. The perfect spot for a seaside picnic, complete with barbecue grills and shaded tables along the sand. The long stretch of sand here is a favorite spot for RV campers.
Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Hikers, runners and bike riders enjoy the 30 miles of trails where remnants of mill sites and trestles still exist. The park, covering 10,000 acres and once clear-cut by loggers, is a testament to forest regeneration where second-growth redwoods coexist with new foliage.
Rio Del Mar Beach. On the south side of the pier, Rio Del Mar Beach is THE spot for dog lovers and beach fires.
- Check out the locally-grown produce waits on Saturday mornings at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmer’s Market on the Cabrillo College Campus.
- Stop by the visitor center at Seacliff State Beach, and learn about the Pacific wildlife migration pattern.
- Look for The Advocate on the Old Growth Loop Trail in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. It is the largest redwood tree in the park, with a circumference of 45 feet.
- Find the magnolia tree on the grounds of the Bayview Hotel Bed and Breakfast in Aptos Village. It is the second-oldest known magnolia tree in the world and the Victorian garden features a rose tree over 130 years old.
- Learn about the treasures of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the Interpretive Exhibit at Seacliff State Beach.