Aptos, CA, USA

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Aptos, CA, USA

Aptos vacation rentals

Add Aptos to your list of perfect beach towns

Tucked into a corner of Monterey Bay, just east of Santa Cruz, Aptos is a small town bordered by a big ocean and a forest of towering redwoods. Once inhabited by the Ohlone Awaswas people, the area's past reads like a history of California's most adventurous opportunists. It was home to missionaries, then cattle ranchers, then loggers, then partiers looking for a discreet drink during Prohibition. Now, it's a family friendly community with a weekly farmers' market, protected parklands, and 2 beautiful beaches that welcome sunbathers, campers, and nature lovers all year long.

Seaside picnics and camping in the shade of a ship

Snag an Aptos vacation rental on the beachfront and you'll feel especially lucky. Seacliff State Beach is where visitors and locals enjoy seaside picnics, sunbathing, and the sight of the SS Palo Alto, a concrete ship that reaches dramatically out of the shallows at the end of the pier. There are barbecue grills open to the public and shaded tables that make cooking, camping, and stargazing easy. Hikers and bikers spend time a little further inland, at the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, covering 10,000 acres and crisscrossed with trails.

Unbelievable sights and believable history

Visitors might expect the ocean views and nature hikes available in this coastal California town, but Aptos is also a source of unexpected intrigue. Take a short drive from your Aptos vacation rental into the redwood forests, and you'll find the Mystery Spot, an attraction based on gravity and visual illusions. You'll experience gravity-defying demonstrations _ balls rolling uphill and people leaning at crazy angles without falling over _ and leave amazed. Vacationers with kids in tow will love the Aptos History Museum, with quaint, lovingly curated exhibits on the history of the area.

Aptos has a climate as comfortable as they come

Vacationers rave about the weather in Aptos, but so do year-round residents. It's that good. Winter is quieter, as temps dip into the 50s and beach activities grow less popular, but sunny, hike-worthy days are still frequent. In summer, the weather is warm without ever growing oppressively hot. Highs stay near the 70-degree mark. September is the warmest month, and January is the wettest. If you're hoping to avoid the damp but still stick to your budget, try booking an Aptos vacation rental in the fall.

Redwoods and cougars and slugs, oh my!

In the cool quiet of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, visitors can enjoy more than just exercise. Tall trees shade creeks and canyons, and most of the land is covered in redwood forest, with trees hitting the ripe old age of 120 years and reaching 125 feet tall. The diverse plant life and water sources support many species you'll want to look out for, including cougar, deer, yellow-legged frogs, and the popular and almost neon-yellow banana slug. Birdwatchers can train their binoculars on American dippers, winter wrens, and owls.