Located on Monterey Bay, the town of Aptos holds something for every taste, combining the natural majesty of coastal California with the town's historic village. A wide variety of beautiful scenery abounds, including towering redwood forests, long sandy beaches and ocean cliffs. The redwoods stand tall in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, where residents hike, bike and run through its miles of scenic trails. At New Brighton State Beach, tourists and locals can stroll along picturesque beaches before returning to the village to browse antique shops or relax in a cozy restaurant. The town even hosts its own annual Blues Festival and features the World's Shortest Parade on the 4th of July, aptly named for only running a quarter of a mile. From the town's historic village to its gorgeous beaches, Aptos has something for everyone.
Spanish for "sea's river," Rio Del Mar is a coastal community in Santa Cruz County. Its name was chosen as a catchy phrase to promote real estate in the 1920's, and the town is now home to some of the county's most beautiful homes. The section of town called "The Flats" is filled mostly with beachcomber, two-story townhouses with carports, while its inner landscape is mostly up-scale residences. A popular summer tourist destination with its lush beaches and Mediterranean climate, it is just moments away from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to the north and the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the south. Down the beach in neighboring Aptos is the famous cement ship beached after WWII. Although used for a while as an entertainment vessel, it now sits quietly as a reminder of our country's history. Upscale, yet down to earth, Rio Del Mar is the quintessential California coastal community.