Destination guide

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.

Things to do

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.

Activities

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.

Weather

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.

Natural features

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.

How to get there

Traveling to and around Aptos

The nearest airport is in Watsonville, CA (WVI-Watsonville Municipal), located 7.2 mi (11.6 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that's convenient for your trip, you might consider flying into San Jose, CA (RHV-Reid Hillview), which is 23.1 mi (37.1 km) away.

Where to stay around Aptos?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 739 vacation rentals near Aptos. From 441 Houses to 159 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Aptos for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Aptos?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Aptos:

  • Eastside Santa Cruz: 233 vacation rentals
  • Seabright: 172 vacation rentals
  • Westside: 194 vacation rentals
  • Edenvale: 22 vacation rentals
  • Opal Cliffs: 320 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Aptos?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Aptos. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Seacliff State Beach: 559 vacation rentals
  • Cabrillo College: 886 vacation rentals
  • Aptos History Museum: 883 vacation rentals
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: 504 vacation rentals
  • Capitola Beach: 863 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Aptos listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Aptos?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 441 Houses in Aptos. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Aptos include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 159 rentals available
  • Villas: 15 rentals available
  • Cottages: 58 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Cabins and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Aptos?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 56 vacation rentals with pool available in Aptos. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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