A small beach town on the coast of California, Aptos is located on along the Route 1 freeway, under an hour’s drive from San Jose. The town was colonized by Europeans during the Spanish Portola expedition in 1769, and is known for its serene setting on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, making it an ideal vacation spot. From the forest retreat of Nisene Marks to the seaside charm at Seacliff State Beach, all vacationers will find something to love in Aptos.
Aptos is a popular skateboarding and surfing town. It’s also home to the world’s shortest-ever 4th of July parade, which runs a mere 0.6 miles!
Visit the Rancho Del Mar shopping center in Aptos for groceries, apparel, jewelry or dining, as well as a spa, nail salon and massage parlor. Stop by Café Sparrow for American cuisine, or visit other popular eateries Marianne’s Ice Cream and Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant.
For an outdoor adventure, many Aptos visitors enjoy visiting the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, where those looking to get away from the city can relax among the redwoods. Elevation ranges from sea level to mountains, and picnics are popular in the park.
Known for its fishing pier, which is currently closed for repair, Seacliff State Park offers different scenery from Nisene Marks on the coast of the ocean. The long stretch of beach is a popular spot for surfing and fishing. Picnic tables, fire pits and RV facilities make Seacliff a popular spot for campers, as well.
Out-of-state visitors may be inclined to go wine-tasting during an Aptos vacation. Nicholson Vineyards, located along the Corralitos Wine Trail in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, offers several varieties of red and white wines as well as olive oil.
For a taste of the lively coastal community’s entertainment, visit the Santa Cruz American Music Festival (which, contrary to its name, takes place in Aptos Village Park). Past performers include Buddy Guy, Josh Turner, Bonnie Raitt and other big blues names.
Visit the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, an hour’s drive northwest from Aptos. The huge campus features sculptures, an art center, a shopping mall and dozens of dining options. California residents call it a “must-see.”
One day might be a squeeze for a to visit San Francisco, but perhaps you’ll get enough of an idea of the city to come again for a longer visit. The epicenter of San Francisco’s shopping district, Union Square, offers enough boutiques and department stores for those looking for a shopping excursion. Take a cable car to the bay, or visit Alcatraz by ferry.
Only a 15-minute drive away, you’ll find Santa Cruz, another quiet town with surfing opportunities and a gorgeous boardwalk. While the wharf on Aptos is closed, you can check out the wharf at Santa Cruz – which happens to be the west coast’s longest pier! Lots of dining options (including excellent seafood) is available for the long walk.
If you’re up for a longer drive, trek a little over three hours to Yosemite National Park, filled with some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. If you’d like to see it all in a day (or you’re not game for a long hike), try taking a shuttle through the park.
There are nearly 1,000 rentals to choose from in Aptos with Tripping.com. Pick a spot along Aptos Creek for quick access to a canoeing adventure, or find a spot along the coast for gorgeous sunset views. Many rentals are located in the city center, close to the shore.
Tripping.com provides flexibility for travellers who might not be accommodated at a hotel. Browse nearly 200 pet-friendly spaces so you can bring your pup or cat along on your California seaside vacation.
You can reach Aptos by car via the Route 1 freeway. The nearest airport is located in Watsonville, a 12-minute drive from Aptos. For a major airport, you’ll need to drive 45 minutes to San José’s Mineta International Airport. The Monterey Regional Airport is another option, located 35 miles south of Aptos.
Many bike trails run through Aptos, so bring bikes for a shoreline cycling adventure. You can also rent bicycles at several local shops. Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains run through Santa Cruz.
Find the best Aptos vacation rentals with Tripping.com. Choose from 97 rentals, from studio apartments to luxurious condos to entire cabin homes. Book in advance or book instantly with properties marked as “Instabook,” with prices from $80 a night.
Our Tripping.com vacation rentals will save you hundreds, offering more amenities than the average hotel room. Going on a business trip? 92 of homes in Aptos offer high-speed wifi internet so you won’t miss a beat. Travelling with kids? Have them splash around in any of the 9 rentals with pool or jacuzzi, or relax with the family in one of the 87 homes with cable TV.
For all those dog lovers and cat lovers, Aptos offers 21 pet-friendly vacation rentals at an affordable price. Book the perfect vacation home that best matches your budget and accommodation style. For the ultimate stay, check out our listings now to grab the latest deals.Search properties from 6 rental sites in Aptos where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. There are 78 HomeAway rentals, 10 TripAdvisor short term rentals and 5 Booking.com vacation rentals.