The name Aptos (locals pronounce it “app-toss”) comes from a Native American word that meant “meeting of the waters.” During the village’s lumber era, Aptos had a wharf, a lumber mill, and a general store.
Today’s village lies on the east side of Hwy. 1, between the Rio del Mar and State Beach Dr. exits. Browse the village shops and antique mall, and visit the Bayview Hotel, built in 1870, to see the world’s second-oldest magnolia tree. At nearby Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, you can hike and bike on 30 miles of trails amid gorgeous redwood groves. On Saturday mornings from 8 to noon, fill up on fresh regional foods at the popular farmer’s market at Cabrillo College.
On the west side lie exclusive neighborhoods and fabulous beaches: Seacliff Beach State Park and Rio del Mar. For a great beach walk or run, start at Seacliff pier and its famous cement ship, and walk about 1.5 miles to the end of New Brighton Beach in Capitola.
Stop by the Aptos Chamber of Commerce & Tourist Information Center to get the latest local info.