Aptos is an unincorporated town of 24,121 residents, with 19,000 in the urban area which includes Seascape, Rio del Mar, Seacliff and the Cabrillo area. An additional 5,121 residents are located in the rural area known as Aptos Hills. Because Aptos has no city government, the Chamber of Commerce, Library, Fire Department, and Sheriff's Service Center act as community information centers. Aptos has about 640 businesses, not including a number of home based businesses and small farms. Retail shopping areas include Aptos Center, Seacliff, Rancho del Mar, Soquel Drive, Aptos Village Square, Historic Aptos Village, Redwood Village, Deer Park Marketplace, Rio del Mar Esplanade and Seascape Village.
There are over three dozen eating establishments including some of the best in the county. It is believed by some that when Native Americans named this part of the county, they called it Awatos - "Where the Waters Meet." The name honors the spot where to creeks joined before traveling together to the bay. Today it is called Aptos.
You'll find people living in everything from rustic mountain cabins in the redwoods to sprawling contemporary homes on the golf course. It folows that the sights of Apots are equally diverse. Within a few minutes, you can go from the nature trails of a redwood forest to the relaxed elegance of Seascape Resort. Most likely, you'll meet the same people in both places. This is a spot where nature and monern life get along just fine together. It's also a place of good humor.
Aptos Village itself is just a tiny dot on the local map, but it's well worth the visit. The old Bayview Hotel anchors this quaint shopping district, comprised mainly of friendly little shops and restaurants. A visit to the Cafe Sparrow is a must. This French inspired cafe is a local favorite for Sunday brunch or casual dinners. Just down the road in Redwood Village stock up on picnic supplies at the Piggie Market and Deli before heading into Niscene Marks State Park for an afternoon of exploring the forest.
Down on the shore at Seacliff State Beach, you'll certainly want to inspect the remains of Palo Alto, an experimental ship constructed of concrete. It made just one short voyage back in 1919 before dropping anchor here to become a restaurant and dance hall. Today, only the pelicans, seagulls and fishermen occupy its once grand hull. In this place, where the waters meet, you'll still find htose special qualities here.