Watsonville

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Watsonville is a city in Santa Cruz County in California in the Monterey Bay Area.

Get around[edit]

Downtown is pedestrian friendly. There are some bicycle and pedestrian paths along the creeks, rivers, and sloughs around Watsonville as well and some limited bus service. Taxi's are available throughout the area by phone. Watsonville airport also provides small craft access.

See[edit]

  • Mountains
  • Pajaro River
  • Mount Madonna
  • Auto races at Ocean Speedway.\
  •    Sunset State Beach201 Sunset Beach Rd (The beach is 16 miles south of Santa Cruz. Take Highway 1, exit on San Andreas Road, and follow signs south.),  +1 831 763-7062, toll-free: +1 800-444-7275 (Reservations). Day use open daily 8AM to 1/2 hour after sunset. Campground open year-round (reservations recommended).. The beach features pine trees, mountainous sand dunes, and ocean side picnic spots. Bordered by large agricultural fields west of the city of Watsonville, the beach is a year-round destination for thousands of visitors. Amenities include: Picnic tables, Camping areas (including large group camping), Restrooms, and Showers (Camping showers are 25 cents; bring quarters.). Food, lodging and supplies are available nearby. The campground is open year-round. There are 91 camping sites, one bicycle site and one group site. Cost is $35 per night. Call 800-444-7275 for reservations. Campsites in the Dunes and Pine Hollow loops are first-come, first-serve during the winter (Nov. 1 to the end of February). Nature walks on the dunes and family programs are offered; call the park for more information. More information: More information: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/544/files/Sunset-ManresaWebBrochure2012.pdf
  •    Manresa State Beach1445 San Andreas Rd (From Highway 1, south of Aptos, take San Andreas Road southwest and continue for three miles to Manresa State Beach. It is the first beach access you will reach on the coast.),  831-724-3750. Open daily sunrise to sunset, year round.. Manresa State Beach features a beautiful expanse of sea and sand, with surf, fishing, surfing, and recreation. Amenities include: Restrooms, Outdoor shower, Food Dogs are allowed on the beach on leash. Fire rings are available for beach fires. More information: More information: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/544/files/Sunset-ManresaWebBrochure2012.pdf $10 day use parking fee..
  •    Manresa State Beach - Uplands Campground205 Manresa Uplands Rd (From Highway 1, south of Aptos, take San Andreas Road southwest and continue for four miles. Turn right on Sand Dollar Road. Veer left to Manresa Uplands Campground.),  831-761-1795, toll-free: 800-444-7275 (Reservations). Day use open daily 8AM - 1/2 hour after sunset. Campground open May 15 - Oct. 31.. Manresa Uplands Campground provides dramatic views of the ocean from the bluffs above the beach. This beautiful expanse of sea and sand offers surf fishing, surfing and other beach recreation. The walk-in, tent-only campground is open March through November. There are 64 sites. Cost is $35 per night. Equipment may be dropped off from 10-200 yards from campsite. Amenities include: 64 walk-in, tent-only campsites, Restrooms, and Showers (camping showers are 25 cents; bring quarters.). Food, lodging, and supplies are available nearby More information: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/544/files/Sunset-ManresaWebBrochure2012.pdf $35 per nigth for camping..
  •    Pinto Lake County Park757 Green Valley Rd (From Highway 1 south, exit onto Airport Boulevard, on Green Valley Road make a left. From Highway 1 north, take the Airport Boulevard exit, turn left onto Airport Blvd to Green Valley Road, go left. You will go past Pinto Lake City Park and will see Pinto Lake County Park. Make a left turn into the park.),  831-454-7956, e-mail: . Reservation hours are available daily from 10AM to 7PM during summer months. Reservation end time varies according to season. Drop in park use is open daily from dawn to dusk.. A 183 acre regional park, which features a scenic lake with a fishing pier and surrounding nature trails, playground, two family picnic areas, and wheelchair accessible restrooms. Turtle Dove, a public art project by artist Roberto Castro and youth from the JTPA program, can be found at the park; trail markers highlight the wildlife which can be viewed along the nature trail. Soccer fields and two pavilions with BBQs are available for rent. There is also a small baseball field. See the location where locals believe the Virgin Mary appeared. A disc golf course is the newest attraction to Pinto Lake Park. Reservable picnic areas: Reservable Picnic Areas Pavillions A and B are perfect outdoor locations for family and company picnics. Available by reservation only. They offer privacy for your group and a comfortable, scenic oasis for your enjoyment. Capacity is 100. 1 Large Barbecue and picnic tables are included. Pavillion A is the first covered picnic area upon entering the park. It is closest to the playground and near public restrooms. Pavillion B is the second covered picnic area located at the far end of the park. Public restrooms are nearby. It offers privacy for your group. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. Walk-in reservations can be made at the Simpkins Family Swim Center at 979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9AM- 4PM. Please allow one month before event date for phone reservations, and 3 days for walk-in. Cash, check or Visa/Mastercard accepted. For more information, call (831)454-7956.
  •    Pinto Lake Park451 Green Valley Rd (Traveling North on HWY 1 from Monterey: Take Green Valley Road exit and follow for 3 Miles. Traveling South on HWY 1 from Santa Cruz: Take HWY 152 Watsonville/Gilroy exit, Then IMMEDIATELY left onto Green Valley Rd. and travel 2.6 Miles inland.),  831 722-8129, e-mail: . Pinto Lake City Park is owned by the City of Watsonville and offers RV camping. Amenities: Back-in Sites 50' x 15' On grass Electricity (30 amp) City water Sewer Wi-fi (Strong, reliable signal) Locked gate at night (You get a key.) Fire rings allowed in picnic area adjacent to campground Showers, laundry Rates: Two adults in one RV or trailer: $35.00 One tow vehicle: Free Children 16 and under: Free Extra adults: $2.00 each Dogs: $2.00 each Extra vehicles: $2.00 each
  • Wetlands of Watsonville30 Harkins Slough Rd 831 768-1622. The City of Watsonville’s nature trails provide easy public access to this 800 acre freshwater wetland. More than six miles of paved trails and 29 trail entrances in Watsonville neighborhoods offer new opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of our special wetlands for recreation and relaxation. The Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center offers trail maps and other information about the animals and habitats of the area. City wetland trails are free to use and open every day in every season. Joggers, hikers, cyclists and birders are welcome to access any of the trails. Several trails are wheelchair accessible; please see trail maps for appropriate entrances. Recommended Trail Walks & Entrances Watsonville Slough Trail Trail Head: Park at the Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center – 30 Harkins Slough Road, Watsonville, CA.(831)768-1622. Trail map available outside Nature Center. Trail entrance behind center. Approximate walk: 1.5 miles Ohlone Loop Trail Trail Head: Park in the back of the West Marine parking lot by trail head – 500 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA. Approximate walk: 1.5 miles Upper Struve Slough Trail Trail Head: Park in Body Zone parking lot by trail head – 1810 Main Street, Watsonville, CA. Approximate walk: 1.5 miles Nearby Areas: Food and shopping center on Main Street.
  •    Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds & Event Center2601 E. Lake Ave (From Highway 1, take Airport Blvd to East Lake Blvd; turn left on East Lake and the Fairgrounds will be on your left-hand side.),  831-724-5671. Home of the Santa Cruz County Fair held each September and the races at the Ocean Speedway, Agricultural History Project and Museum and the historic Rogers House.
  •    Henry J. Mello Center for Performing Arts250 East Beach St (From Highway 1, take the CA-152 E/Main Street exit toward Watsonville/Gilroy; turn left on East Beach Street.),  831-763-4047, e-mail: . See website for details and information.. This premier concert performance hall located in central Watsonville, California boasts the best acoustics in the county.

Do[edit]

  • Hiking, camping, archery, and equestrian trails are offered at nearby Mount Madonna County Park.
  • Enjoy the Watsonville Wetlands by foot or bicycle [1].
  • Explore by foot or kayak the unique estuary environment of Elkhorn Slough (pronounced "slew"), 1700 Elkhorn Rd, Watsonville (near Moss Landing, south of Watsonville itself), [2].
  •    Annieglass310 Harvest Dr (From San Francisco: Option One: US-101 South all the way to Watsonville Take the HWY-129 exit (Riverside Drive) Go through Watsonville On the right hand side Corner of Riverside Drive and Harvest Drive 310 Harvest Drive Option Two: US-280 South HWY-85 (towards Santa Cruz) HWY-17 towards Santa Cruz HWY-1 South (towards Watsonville) Take the HWY-129 exit (Riverside Drive) Left at stop sign Go over freeway 1 mile on the left hand side Corner of Riverside Dr. and Harvest Dr. From San Jose: HWY-17 towards Santa Cruz HWY-1 South (towards Monterey/Watsonville) Take the HWY-129 exit (Riverside Drive) Left at stop sign Go over freeway 1 mile on the left hand side Corner of Riverside Drive and Harvest Drive 310 Harvest Drive From Monterey: HWY-1 North (towards San Francisco/Santa Cruz) Take the HWY-129 exit (Riverside Drive) Merge onto Riverside Drive 1 mile on the left hand side Corner of Riverside Drive and Harvest Drive 310 Harvest Drive From Santa Cruz: HWY-1 South (towards Monterey/Watsonville) Take the HWY-129 exit (Riverside Drive) Left at stop sign Go over freeway 1 mile on the left hand side Corner of Riverside Drive and Harvest Drive),  831-761-2041, e-mail: . Mon-Sun 11AM - 5PM. Glass artist Annie Morhauser developed her own "slumping" process in the 1980s that marked the beginning of Annieglass. A graduate of the California College of the Arts, she trained in a range of glass techniques, but Annieglass's original tour de force was a piece called "Roman Antique," a plate of thick glass with a widely painted rim of pure gold. She took it to a trade show in 1983 and astounded the country's leading retailers with this entirely new look in dinnerware—today, "Roman Antique" is an oft-imitated industry icon that is sold at luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales; has been used at leading hotels and restaurants such as the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton, and the Waldorf Astoria; and has been featured in the private collections of contemporary luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Christina Aguilera and John Grisham. In 2006 the Smithsonian American Art Museum honored Annieglass by selecting two sculptural pieces ("Tiburon" and "Coquina" from the Shell series) as part of its permanent collection. Free tours available at this retail location.
  •    Watsonville Winemakers' Studios18 Hangar Way, Ste C 831-227-4916, e-mail: . Saturdays & Sundays 12PM - 5PM. The Watsonville Winemaker Studios are a cooperative of boutique wineries operating as multiple wineries in one location with a shared tasting room, event space and award winning wines. Includes Myka Cellars, Roudon Smith and Wargin Wines. Special tastings and events offered; call for more information. $5 tasting fee.
  •    Agricultural History Project2601 East Lake Ave (From Highway 1, take the Aiport Blvd exit to East Lake Blvd; Turn left on East Lake and the museum will be on your left at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds),  831-724-5898, e-mail: . Open 2nd Saturday of each month, 11AM - 3PM, or call to visit by appt. only.. Located at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, this museum showcases exhibits, and equipment representing history of agriculture on the Central Coast. One the 2nd Saturday the Farm features a different and fun activity for children. See website for details or call to visit by appointment. Free admission; $2 donation suggested..
  •    Gizdich Ranch55 Peckham Rd 831 722-1056. 9AM - 5PM, Seven Days a Week. You-pick farm features on-site bakery, gift shop and antiques. "Pik-Yor-Self" Strawberries, Olallieberries, Boysenberries, and Apples are available seasonally. Berry and apple pie by the slice or whole, fresh juices, jams and honey are all available in this country-setting. Admission-free; fee for picking fruit..
  •    Pajaro Valley Arts Council37 Sudden St (From Highway 1 South, take the 152 E/Main St toward Watsonville/Gilroy. Turn left on Freedom Blvd; turn right on Sudden Street.),  831-722-3062. Wednesday - Sunday 11AM - 4PM. A non-profit fine art gallery located in a 114-year-old historic Victorian. PVAC presents rotating contemporary visual art exhibitions showcasing the diversity and talent of regional artists. Free admission; donation appreciated..
  • Watsonville Fly-In & Airshow100 Aviation Way 831-763-5600, e-mail: . The largest airshow in Northern California, the Watsonville Fly-In takes place in September of each year at the Watsonville Airport. See website for more information.
  • Annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival at Monterey BayTakes place in historic Downtown Watsonville +1 831-768-3240. 10AM - 7PM. This multi-faceted celebration will serve up a menu of strawberry delights, non-stop entertainment, gooey contests & more. Free admission.
  • Monterey Bay Birding Festival275 Main St 888-909-7829. 6AM - 9PM - various days, times and locations. The annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival takes place in one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife venues in North America. Few places can match the diversity of species as the Monterey Bay region. This event is held each September, Thursday - Sunday at various locations and times. See website for more details. See website for more information..

Buy[edit]

  • Target1415 Main St.
  • Gilroy Outlets, Nearby town of Gilroy, multiple addresses.
  • J & S Surplus & Outdoor Store, Nearby town of Moss Landing, 1956 Hwy 1.

Eat[edit]

  • Miyuki Sushi452 E Lake Ave.
  • Red Apple Cafe589 Auto Center Dr.
  • Cafe Ella734 E Lake Ave.
  • Roger's Diner11 Green Valley Rd.
  • Cassidy's Pizza1400 Freedom Blvd.
  • Cilantros Mexican1934 Main St.
  • Real Colima1101 E Lake Ave.
  • La Esperanza Mexican Seafood400 E Lake Ave.
  • Norma's Family Restaurant707 Freedom Blvd.
  • El Patio Grocery Deli312 Playa Blvd.
  • Applebees1105 Green Valley Rd.
  • Wingstop1998 Freedom Blvd.
  •    California Grill of the Pajaro Valley1970 Freedom Blvd 831-722-8052. Mon - Thu: 7AM - 8:30PM, Fri - Sat: 7AM - 9PM, Sun: 7AM - 8PM.

Drink[edit]

  • The Villager1032 E Lake Ave.
  • The Wooden Nickel1819 Freedom Blvd.

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Watsonville
Santa CruzAptos  N California 1.svg S  MarinaMonterey
END  W California 152.svg E  GilroyLos Banos


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