It is believed by some that when the Native Americans named this part of the county, they called it Awatos - "Where the Waters Meet." The name honors the spot where two creeks joined before traveling together to the bay. Today it's called Aptos. The city of Aptos is located on the "sunny side" of the Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz... Show all »
It is believed by some that when the Native Americans named this part of the county, they called it Awatos - "Where the Waters Meet." The name honors the spot where two creeks joined before traveling together to the bay. Today it's called Aptos. The city of Aptos is located on the "sunny side" of the Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County.
Aptos has a population of approximately 25,000 residents. There are three modern shopping centers, as well as quaint Aptos Village, which features upscale shopping. The largest state park around - 10,000 acre Nisene Marks, is also located in Aptos. Another attraction is one of the most famous concrete cement ships, the S.S. Palo Alto, also known as "The Cement Boat." The ship is anchored at Seacliff State Beach.
A landmark today, as well as more than a century ago, the Hotel Bayview is Santa Cruz county's oldest operating hotel. It has has been a State Historic Monument since 1974 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1993. Hotel Bayview has three-stories and covers 11,000 square feet. The Victorian architecture blends well with the rest of the village. It was built by Aptos' first postmaster, Jose Arnao.
Arano built a grocery store at Wharf Road and Soquel Drive. Wharf Road was the original main street, connecting the lumber mills to the shipping wharf. In 1851, Arnao became the first postmaster of Aptos, with the office at his store. In 1878, he constructed a handsome 28-room hotel at Aptos Depot, where he moved his store and post office and added an elegant Victorian saloon. The stately French mansarded hotel and formal gardens gave an air of dignity to the town. His New Orleans-bred taste for French culture led to installation of marble fireplaces from France and massive furniture from his native Spain. It's original name was the "Anchor House," but it was soon changed to Bayview Hotel.
Today, the hotel has been restored to the original grandeur Jose Arano. The 11 guest rooms each have their own private bath and modern amenities, including TVs, phones and modem hook-ups, offset by Victorian antiques, fluffy beds and fine linens. Extended continental breakfast is served on the veranda.
Students are served by schools of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, headquartered in Watsonville. Aptos high school students attend Aptos High School, one of three comprehensive high schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Advanced education opportunities are available at Cabrillo College. Cabrillo College is one of the most highly regarded community colleges in the state for its success in the area of transfer and career education and currently serves over 13,000 students.
Cabrillo College transfers many of its students to three nearby universities--the University of California at Santa Cruz, San Jose State University in the heart of Silicon Valley, and California State University at Monterey Bay.
The area of Aptos has magnificent mountains covered by towering redwood forests, some of the world's most fertile farmland, long sandy beaches, and ocean cliffs. Aptos is also a gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. You'll find people living in everything from rustic mountain cabins in the redwoods to sprawling contemporary homes on the golf course.