Aptos is an awesome city in California worthy of a visit. There are some nice attractions in this city to make your stay memorable.
One of the nicest locations to live in California is Aptos, which is in Santa Cruz County. Residents in Aptos enjoy a modest suburban vibe, and the majority own their houses.
Mountain bikers and hikers will enjoy Nisene Marks. The 1989 M6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake’s epicenter is inside the San Andreas Fault Zone, which runs close.
There are several parks and coffee cafes in Aptos. In Aptos, where many young professionals reside, most people have moderate political views.
This post explores some of the best fun things to do in Aptos, CA.
Things to Do in Aptos, CA
1. Pleasant Valley Vineyards
At their winery, Cathy and Craig Handley have benefited from the microclimate Monterey Bay produced since 1990.
They have worked together to create a delectable product from their grapes, grown on a pronounced bowl-shaped inclination that they like to refer to as an amphitheater.
The Estate Dylan David Pinot Noir is one of Pleasant Valley Vineyards’ distinctive and popular wine varieties. This grape variety is ideally suited to the region and shines in the Pleasant Valley vintage.
Customers have various options for where to buy their wines in the neighborhood. They can also register online to become members and get their wine delivered to their homes.
Location: 600 Pleasant Valley Rd, Aptos, CA 95003
2. Cafe Sparrow
The structure that houses Cafe Sparrow was once the Aptos Post Office and General Store, where locals could mail packages and purchase candies and essentials.
Cafe Sparrow has made excellent use of the area’s distinctive rooms and rustic wooden flooring. The French restaurant has bright yellow walls, lace tablecloths, and fresh flowers, which create the perfect ambiance for an amazing lunch.
Cafe Sparrow is open seven days a week and offers brunch on Sundays in addition to lunch and supper.
The Bardot, a grilled chicken dish with brie, pears, a nutmeg crouton, and classic French sweets like profiteroles and crème caramel, will be enjoyed by guests.
Location: 8042 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
3. Aptos Street BBQ
The best cuisine in Aptos may be found at this family-run barbeque restaurant.
Everything at Aptos Street BBQ, including the chicken and a rack of ribs, is cooked to perfection after being freshly and in-house daily smoked with seasoned oak wood.
Customers who cannot make up their minds may even buy a plate with five different types of meat and a variety of mouthwatering sides, like traditional baked beans, garlic toast, and potato salad.
The good times don’t end there; in addition to serving a large selection of domestic and local beers, Aptos Street BBQ also has live blues music every evening.
Location: 8059 Aptos St, Aptos, CA 95003
4. Manuel Mexican Restaurant
The Aptos community has been enjoying great Mexican cuisine since 1965, and Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant is still a staple in the community.
Customers may have flavorful enchiladas, crisp tostada salads, succulent carne asada tacos, and their famous flan or Mexican ice cream for dessert at Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant.
The cuisine, ambiance, and restaurant history all contribute to the patrons’ feeling at Manuel’s that they are part of the family.
Without stopping at Manuel’s for Taco Tuesday, when they serve their famous fresh fish tacos or a delectable margarita before leaving for the beach, a vacation to Aptos would not be complete.
Location: 261 Center Ave, Aptos, CA 95003
5. Severino’s Bar And Grill
A soothing koi pond filled with colorful fish, a stunning cascading waterfall feature, and of course, the amazing cuisine are just a few of Severino’s Bar and Grill’s many impressive features.
The award-winning clam chowder at Severino’s is not to be missed, and their full bar also has some delectable drinks.
Severino’s Bar and Grill is a California institution with a comprehensive breakfast, lunch, and supper menu.
To whet the appetite, meals like tempura prawn tacos, a Paleo-friendly Harvest Salad, and a Calamari Steak are offered, as well as an extensive wine list with many delectable local vineyards.
A pleasant and fulfilling evening can be had at Severino’s Bar and Grill, with everything from the aperitif to the dessert being great.
Location: 7500 Old Dominion Ct, Aptos, CA 95003
6. Santa Cruz Bike Tours
One of the undeniably greatest pleasures of visiting a new location is sightseeing, but walking about alone will only take you so far.
To fill this need, Santa Cruz Bike Excursions offers guided tours in the Aptos region tailored to various interests.
Visitors may join a guided bike trip to the nearby breweries and vineyards for a great day of drinking and exploring local businesses, or they can explore the Forest of Nisene Marks by bicycle for some stunning natural scenery.
While many ranges in difficulty, they are perfectly acceptable for most skill levels. There are excursions appropriate for families, business groups, and more.
Location: Aptos, CA 95001
7. Nicholson Vineyards
Nicholson Vineyards grows grapes and olives and utilizes them to make amazing goods in the bright, serene Pleasant Valley area in the Corralitos foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The unique peacock that serves as their symbol was inspired by the wild peacocks that freely wander the estate. The peacock picture is widely used in their wines and olive oil vintages.
Nicholson Vineyards is most renowned for its estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are quite delicious.
However, they also sell many other excellent wines, like their Viognier and Old Vine Zinfandel, made from grapes in the area.
Location: 2800 Pleasant Valley Rd, Aptos, CA 95003
8. Twin Lakes Church
Every week, Twin Lakes Church spreads the idea that it is more than just a place of worship; it is a community.
Twin Lakes Church welcomes everyone through its doors, whether dropping by for a quick visit, a brief moment of solitude, or a weekend service.
The church has a sizable congregation and often offers activities for everyone’s enjoyment.
There are kid-free events with games and entertainment for parents to spend an evening alone. There are also gatherings for young people, men, women, and elders where everyone can socialize, talk about their religion, and participate in various activities.
Location: 2701 Cabrillo College Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
9. Seascape Golf Club
The picturesque Seascape Golf Course is less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean’s crashing surf.
Huge eucalyptus trees and beautiful Monterey pines now border the groomed fairways of the golf course, which was first designed in 1926.
Fairways that are wavy lead to tiny, difficult greens. For golfers of all skill levels, the course offers a fun game.
The 15-station driving range is available for practice, and the chipping and putting greens are great for honing your short game.
A well-liked restaurant and bar with a sizable outdoor terrace overlooking the course are located in the clubhouse.
Location: Seascape Golf Course, 610 Clubhouse Drive, Aptos, CA 95003
10. Forest Of Nisene Marks State Park
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park provides a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life with its steep, towering coastal mountains and tall, beautiful redwood trees.
Over 30 miles of hiking, running, and bicycling paths, ranging from gently flowing sea-level pathways to severe inclines on mountain slopes, are available for visitors to this serene location.
Nisene Marks’ family gave over 10,000 acres of property to the state of California with the condition that it never be built and that the park bears her name.
This government-upheld commitment is seen in the area’s unspoiled beauty, where redwoods and other trees recover after decades of destruction and where the red earth and green ferns on the ground create lovely landscapes.
Location: Aptos Creek Rd, Aptos, CA 95003
11. Seacliff State Beach
Seacliff State Beach has been a mainstay of Monterey Bay since it was first built in 1931.
Seacliff State Beach is a fantastic location for swimming, picnics, and fishing and is easily reachable by foot from Aptos or by vehicle from Santa Cruz.
At certain times of the day, a long fishing pier that juts out into the ocean from the beach is fairly busy.
The expansive, sandy beach along the coast offers unmatched ocean views and is surrounded by hills that provide some wind protection.
The SS Palo Alto, a massive concrete freighter ship constructed towards the conclusion of World War I but now inaccessible to the general public, is another notable and spectacular structure.
Location: State Park Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
12. Rio Del Mar State Beach
Rio Del Mar State Beach, another expansive expanse of sand that is wonderful for visitors to enjoy, is located right adjacent to Seacliff State Beach.
Rio Del Mar State Beach is highly well-liked by families due to its free parking and accessibility. There are bathrooms next to the parking lot, various fire pits, and picnic spaces on the beach.
The Seacliffe Promenade Trail, which offers a beautiful walk through the area’s beaches, is very close to Rio Del Mar State Beach.
The beach is also a great place to spot wildlife, as anything from otters to sea lions can frequently be seen there, as well as the gray whales that are frequently seen in the bay during their migratory seasons.
Location: 201 State Park Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
13. Manresa State Beach
Manresa State Beach, a gorgeous sandy location that is properly maintained, may be found by traveling farther south along the Monterey Bay coast.
Manresa Beach, accessible every day from 8 a.m. to sunset and charges a parking fee, offers tourists breathtaking views of the ocean, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Monterey Peninsula. At the same time, they bask in the sun, construct sandcastles, and splash in the sea.
Manresa State Beach is well-known for many things, but maybe most importantly for being a place to go surfing, surf fishing, and see spectacular sunsets every evening.
Location: 1445 San Andreas Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076
14. Ss Palo Alto Concrete Ship
The majestic and storied tanker, known as the SS Palo Alto Concrete Ship, may be seen near Seacliff State Beach, where a lengthy fishing pier connects.
The SS Palo Alto, which had a brief history as a navy vessel in the 1920s, was parked at Aptos, where it was converted into an entertainment ship with a swimming pool, cafe, and dance floor.
However, during the Great Depression, it was utilized as an extension of the fishing pier and reduced to a monstrous bulk in the Aptos seas.
The SS Palo Alto was repeatedly ruled hazardous during the following decades: closing for repairs, opening to the public, and closing again.
Although the SS Palo Alto is now off-limits to the public, it is an interesting piece of Aptos’ history and acts as an artificial reef, home to wildlife and perch for marine birds.
Location: 201 State Park Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
15. Aptos History Museum
Although Aptos is a small town, it is incredibly rich in culture and history. Visitors can examine local relics, images, and other displays at the Aptos History Museum to learn about Aptos’s prehistoric past.
The museum’s exhibits encompass events up to the present day and date as far back as 7000 BC, when Native Americans resided in Santa Cruz county.
All of the family-friendly displays make for an enjoyable and thrilling visit, and guests can pick up books, postcards, and other souvenirs from the museum’s gift store that include images of some of Aptos’ most famous historical moments.
Location: 7605 Old Dominion Ct # B, Aptos, CA 95003
16. Cabrillo College Theatre
Since its inception as a Cabrillo College summer program in the 1970s, the Cabrillo Stage has hosted various high-caliber shows.
The theater has a reputation for staging challenging and ambitious plays for such a tiny theater. This legacy was established in 1981 when the theater staged the then-new musical Chicago.
Since then, Cabrillo Stage has significantly expanded its catalog of plays, presenting seasons of everything from Sweeney Todd to The Sound of Music to keep audiences entertained.
The Cabrillo Stage website lists performance times and ticket prices.
Location: 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
17. Marianne’s Ice Cream
In a coastal town like Aptos, nothing goes together better than ice cream and a day of sun and sand.
Customers at Marianne’s Ice Cream may pick from a broad range of flavors, whether they want their ice cream in a waffle cone or a cup with hot fudge.
Since Marianne’s originally began in 1947, they have always made all of their ice creams.
With its retro furnishings and red and white checkered floor tiles, the area gives off an old-fashioned vibe, and the handcrafted ice cream keeps up with that.
Location: 218 State Park Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
18. Santa Cruz Massage Harbor
Santa Cruz Massage Harbor, a health facility set against the stunning background of the beach and sea, is situated just adjacent to Rio Del Mar State Beach.
Santa Cruz Massage Harbor provides top-notch spa services from qualified experts, with a luxurious yet casual atmosphere and exceptional service.
Couples, lone travelers, groups of friends, and residents all appreciate stopping by Santa Cruz Massage Harbor for a soothing massage that will leave them feeling refreshed.
The wellness facility provides a range of massages, including hot stone massages, therapeutic sports massages, and basic relaxation massages. It also provides services for couples, pregnancy-specific massages, and facial massages.
Location: 3233 Valencia Ave B6, Aptos, CA 95003