Tucked away in southern Santa Cruz County lies the charmingly rural town of Corralitos. What Corralitos lacks in size, it more than makes up for in character! The idyllic terrain here provides the perfect setting for a long drive through the countryside: meander by apple orchards, grape vines, and olive groves as you take the winding roads that lead to its forests and hillsides. Explore all that Corralitos has to offer: wine tastings, redwood forests, local markets, bamboo gardens, breweries, and more. These are the must-see spots on your drive through scenic Corralitos!
CORRALITOS WINE TRAIL
Cruising along the Corralitos Wine Trail, you’ll discover stunning landscapes where rolling hillsides are covered in picturesque vineyards. Stop in for a tasting at one of several wineries in the area, where you can luxuriate in the offered varietals while overlooking the very vines that produced the wine you’re enjoying. Part of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, the microclimate of Corralitos creates the ideal conditions for varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and more. The small production, family-owned, boutique-style wineries here have each taken unique steps to ensure that each element of their winemaking process leads to luscious, high-quality wines. Reservations for tastings are highly recommended; learn more and reserve your spot for the Corralitos Wine Trail here.
809 Browns Valley Rd, Corralitos, CA 95076
Journey to Byrne-Milliron Forest to discover one of Santa Cruz County’s best-kept secrets: this secluded spot encompasses several hiking trails under the majestic Coastal Redwoods, including the centuries-old, sun-bleached 250-foot tall “Great White” Redwood. Keep your eyes peeled for the sculptures and tchotchkes hidden along the trail, which give the place an otherworldly feeling, as if there might be a fairy or a gnome lurking around the next corner. If sweeping vistas are more your style, check out AJ’s Point of View for a panoramic perspective that overlooks Pajaro Valley and the Monterey Bay. This observation deck is a great spot to rest and grab a snack while taking in the views. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County has taken great care to keep Byrne-Milliron Forest a place where people can connect to the beauty of nature. They ask that all visitors to the Forest register before hiking and keep dogs on-leash. Be prepared to pack your trash and leave no trace, which helps us to keep our natural spaces beautiful for all to enjoy!
CORROLITOS MARKET & SAUSAGE CO.
569 Corralitos Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076
Stop in at a locals’ favorite: the Corralitos Market & Sausage Co. Here, you’ll find an abundance of high-quality, local products from all over Santa Cruz County. As if that wasn’t enough of a draw, the Corralitos Market also has an in-house butcher, offering up some of the freshest meat in the county. Stop in at the deli, which offers tri-trip sandwiches, spare ribs, hot dogs, and their prize jewel: the sausage sandwich. These drool-worthy hoagies are the talk of the town! Corralitos Market’s sausages are juicy, tender, and flavorful. Deck them out any way you like, as the deli has plenty of condiments to offer, and prepare to chow down on your creation at the nearby plaza. When it’s from Corralitos Market’s deli, we know that you’ll enjoy every finger-licking good bite!
BAMBOO GIANT NURSERY & GARDENS
5601 Freedom Blvd, Aptos, CA 95003
Take a moment to unwind at Bamboo Giant Nursery & Gardens, a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss! Although technically in Aptos, Bamboo Giant is a great first stop as you enter the Corralitos countryside. Upon entering the property, you can explore over 15 acres of bamboo and be transported to a tranquil place where you can seek refuge from the busyness of the outside world. Traverse pathways that are bordered with bamboo shoots that tower over visitors like giants, which is especially amazing when you find out that bamboo isn’t a type of tree – rather a grass – that can grow sky-high! Bring along a picnic, relax next to the waterfalls and ponds that are sheltered by the bamboo, and enjoy the secluded paradise that is Bamboo Giant Nursery & Gardens. The gardens and grounds are dog-friendly, so bring along your furry friends! Visiting is free, but donations are appreciated to help with the costs of keeping the grounds beautiful and available to the public – pop into their office if you feel like donating, grabbing a map, and learning all about the wonders of bamboo!
CORRALITOS BREWING CO.
2536 Freedom Blvd Watsonville, CA 95076
Top off your adventure with a pint or two at Corralitos Brewing Co., a craft brewery whose taproom is situated between Corralitos and Watsonville in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Freedom. Specializing in IPAs, seasonals, and sours, their rotating tap has something for everyone. Not sure where to begin? Try a beer flight, so you can sample a handful of handcrafted ales to decide which is your favorite. Grab a seat on the porch, overlooking the expansive fields where local produce grows, or head inside the taproom, where you can enjoy the vibrant art on display, all by local artists, while you savor some brews. The friendly service and casual atmosphere makes Corralitos Brewing Co. a must-try stop on your visit to Corralitos!
The quaint town of Corralitos is the perfect spot to head out on a countryside drive. With vines, wines, and brews, a delectable deli, and forests made of both redwoods and bamboo to discover, you won’t want to miss Corralitos when exploring all that Santa Cruz County has to offer.