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

Get in[edit]

Seven miles south of Santa Cruz and seven miles north of Watsonville on Highway 1 (US-1). Exit State Park Drive, Rio del Mar Blvd. or Freedom Blvd.

Santa Cruz Metro buses offer service from Santa Cruz.

Get around[edit]

Map of Aptos



  • 1 The Forest of Nisene Marks, Aptos Creek Road and Soquel Dr (4 mi. N of Aptos on Aptos Creek Road.), +1 831 763-7062. This state park is a beautiful, mossy area that used to be a logging site. It's great for hiking and mountain biking. Although most people don't know this, it is the site of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake epicenter. $6 parking fee. The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park (Q7734791) on Wikidata The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park on Wikipedia
  • 2 Seacliff State Beach, State Park Dr (Exit at State Park Drive from Hwy 1 in Aptos.), +1 831 685-6442. This beach can get crowded in the summer, but has some nice walks, a little visitors' center, and a striking centerpiece: the Palo Alto, a concrete ship with a strange history. It rots away in the water but is fascinating in a melancholy way. Read about it in the center if it's open when you're there (call ahead due to state budget cuts). Parking fee, unless you are creative and careful regarding street parking. Seacliff State Beach (Q7440263) on Wikidata Seacliff State Beach on Wikipedia


Watercolor postcards of the Palo Alto at the Seacliff visitors' center.


  • Café Sparrow, 8042 Soquel Drive in Aptos Village, +1 831 688-6238. A charming little French-inspired restaurant open for lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on weekends
  • Au Midi, 7960 Soquel Dr, +1 831 685-2600. W-Sa 11:30AM-2PM, 5:30-9PM; Su 5:30-9PM. Outstanding French cafe emphasizing the flavors of Provence.
  • Pizza 1, 253 Center Ave (Downtown), +1 831 684-1110. Excellent, inventive, California-style pizzas with local ingredients. Although not inexpensive, the quality makes up for the cost. Check their website for an email coupon. Casual atmosphere. ~$25.
  • 1 Burger Aptos, 7941 Soquel Drive, +1 831-662-2811, . Open daily, 11AM to late. Features blues bands from California and national acts.
  • 2 Sanderlings Restaurant at Seascape, One Seascape Resort Dr, +1 831-662-7120. Breakfast: M - F 6AM - 11AM, Sa Su 7AM - 11AM; brunch: Sa Su 11AM - 2:30PM; lunch: M - F 11:30AM - 2:30PM; dinner: daily 5:30 - 10PM; all-day menu: daily 11AM - midnight. Casual dining with a spectacular ocean view from sunrise to sunset. Outdoor dining, children's menu, beer/wine, full bar, ocean view, banquet facilities, free wifi. Reservations recommended.
  • 3 Severino's Bar & Grill at the Best Western Seacliff Inn, 7500 Old Dominion Ct, +1 831-685-3603. Breakfast M-F 6:30AM-11AM, Sa Su 7AM-11AM; lunch M-F 11AM-2PM; brunch Sa Su 11AM- 2:30PM; dinner Su-Th holidays 5PM-9PM. Outdoor dining, children's menu, beer/wine, full bar, sports TV, banquet facilities. Reservations welcome.
  • 4 Cafe Rio on the Beach, 131 Esplanade, +1 831-688-8917, . Su-Th 3-9PM; F Sa 3-9:30PM. Popular local restaurant on the beach in Rio Del Mar, featuring sustainable seafood, nightly specials and innovative cocktails with a heated dog-friendly patio overlooking the beach. Dinner, outdoor dining, children's menu, beer/wine, full bar, sports TV, ocean view, free wifi. Reservations recommended.
  • 5 The Hideout, 9051 Soquel Dr, +1 831-688-5566, . Daily 11:30AM - 9PM; Tuesdays 5 - 9PM.
  • 6 Manuel's Mexican Restaurant, 261 Center Ave, +1 831-688-4848.
  • 7 Ambrosia India Bistro, 207 Sea Ridge Rd, +1 831-685-0610, .


Go next[edit]

Neighboring destinations

Routes through Aptos
Santa CruzCapitola  N California 1.svg S  WatsonvilleMonterey

This city travel guide to Aptos is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.