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.
The Forest of Nisene Marks, Aptos Creek Road and Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA (4 mi. N of Aptos on Aptos Creek Road.), ☎ 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's actually the site of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake epicenter.$6 parking fee.
Seacliff State Beach, State Park Drive, Aptos, CA (Exit at State Park Drive from Hwy 1 in Aptos.), ☎ (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.
Watercolor postcards of the Palo Alto at the Seacliff vistors' center.
Café Sparrow, 8042 Soquel Drive in Aptos Village, ☎ 831.688.6238. A charming little French-inspired restaurant open for lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on weekends
Au Midi, 7960 Soquel Drive, ☎ 831-685-2600, . 11:30-2,5:30-9 Wed-Sat; 5:30-9 Sunday. Outstanding French cafe emphasizing the flavors of Provence.
Pizza 1, 253 Center Avenue, Aptos, CA 95003 (Downtown), ☎ 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.
Britannia Arms Pub located near the entrance to Nisene Marks State Park.
Verve Lounge Aptos, 7941 Soquel Drive, ☎ 831.662.2247, . Features blues bands from California and and national acts.
Best Western Seacliff Inn, 7500 Old Dominion Ct, ☎ +1 831 688-7300 (toll free: +1 800 367-2003, fax: +1 831 685-3603), .
Seascape Beach Resort, One Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, CA 95003, ☎ 1-800-929-7727, . A visit to Seascape Beach Resort is like having your own beach home on Monterey Bay. Located just ten miles south of Santa Cruz, our well-equipped suites and villas have all the appeal of a private beach house, but with the added amenities of a four-diamond resort: room service, maid service and an award-winning restaurant on-site. This unique combination of luxury and comfort makes Seascape Beach Resort the ideal vacation spot for couples and families alike.