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Watsonville & the Pajaro Valley

Watsonville & Pajaro Valley: Birding & Bucolic Landscapes

Strawberry fields and apple orchards provide a gorgeous backdrop that welcomes visitors. The Pajaro Valley – which can be seen from the summit of Mount Madonna – includes the communities of Corralitos, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Pajaro, Royal Oaks, Pajaro Dunes, and Watsonville. A variety of options awaits; from an early morning bird watching excursion to an afternoon at a u-pick farm or museum, sunset stroll on an expansive beach or attending a signature festival.

Must See

The Agricultural History Museum – Located at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, the museum features restored horse-drawn equipment, interpretive exhibits and other vintage items.

Admire the expansive acres of produce as you drive through the region and marvel at the very place where fertile soil and mild climate yield some of the nation's finest produce.   

Watsonville Plaza, which serves as a gathering place for celebrations and festivals, surrounded by Victorian buildings and 1880s storefronts. 

For culture lovers, the Henry J. Mello Center boasts the finest acoustics in the county.  Other attractions include the Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery featuring rotating exhibits, and the Pajaro Valley Historical Museum rich with the region’s past.

Annieglass – Renowned glass artist Ann Morhauser’s retail studio in Watsonville showcases the delicate art of tableware, vases, glassware and other items, all inspired by nature.

Watsonville & Pajaro Valley Top Five

  1. Take in a sunset at Manresa or Sunset State Beach.  Build a beach fire and enjoy s’mores as the sun sinks into the Monterey Bay.
  2. Try your hand at milking a “cow” at the Agricultural History Museum.
  3. Look for bird exhibits at the Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center at Ramsay Park and then see how many you can spot on a free guided tour.
  4. Take an Historical Walking Tour of Watsonville or explore the town and discover the Apple Crate Murals - exact mural replicas of box and crate labels used in the 1900s.  Maps are available online
  5. Add to your Life List by cruising Elkhorn Slough by kayak and marvel at the abundance of birds, as well as otters, seals and sea lions.

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