Real Estate In Aptos


Aptos is an unincorporated area of Santa Cruz county, consisting of several small communities. The combined population of the CDPs generally considered as parts of Aptos is around 25,000:

  • Aptos Village, the main business and commerce center on the northwest side of Hwy 1, between State Park Drive and Rio Del Mar Blvd.
  • Seacliff, northwest of Hwy 1, west of Spreckels drive
  • Rio Del Mar, south of Hwy 1, east of Spreckels, down to near Seascape Blvd.
  • Seascape, south west of Hwy 1
  • La Selva Beach, farthest southeast, also west of Hwy 1.
  • Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley, Day Valley north/east of Hwy 1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.4 square miles (17 km2), all of it land. Aptos lies near the San Andreas Fault, and it was close to the epicenter of 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.


The name Aptos is Ohlone, meaning “the meeting of two creeks”. Aptos is pronounced “app-toss” by residents. The name is often mispronounced “app-tose” by tourists. In 1833 the government of Mexico granted Rafael Castro the 6,656-acre (26.94 km2) Rancho Aptos. Initially Castro raised cattle for their hides, but after California became a state in 1850, Castro leased his land to Americans who built a wharf, general store, and lumber mill. The original town was located where Aptos Village Square is now. In 1853 a leather tannery was built, and the main building is now the Apple Lane Bed & Breakfast Inn.

By 1872, Claus Spreckels, the sugar millionaire, began buying the land from Castro. He built a hotel near the beach and a summer mansion and ranch with a racetrack for his horses. A large area was fenced and stocked with deer for hunting, and became known as “the Deer Park,” home of today’s Deer Park Center. With the coming of the railroad, the town moved to the other side of Aptos Creek.

From 1880 to 1920 redwood timber harvesting became the major industry, and Aptos became a boom town. The Loma Prieta Lumber Company logged all of what is now The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The Valencia Mill logged everything to the east. Within 40 years the hills were bare, and apples became the next industry. Village Fair Antiques is now located in the old apple packing plant.

After Spreckels’ death, Seacliff Park and Rio Del Mar Country Club (today’s Seacliff State Beach) were developed in the late 1920s. Rio Del Mar Country Club included a clubhouse, a grand hotel on the bluffs, a beach club, a polo field, and a golf course. The estuary was filled in, and the S.S. Palo Alto cement ship was moored and converted into an amusement pier with restaurants, swimming pool, and a dance pavilion. Both Rio Del Mar and Seacliff were popular during prohibition as drinking and gambling were discreetly available. These amusements were interrupted by the great depression and World War II.

In the early 1960s Aptos began a period of rapid development, including Cabrillo College, Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center, the Seascape Resort development, and many residential developments.

Aptos Demographics

Aptos California U.S.
Median Household Income $75,419 $61,283 $51,660
Median Home Price $585,490 $342,040 $183,450
Cost Of Living- % of Nat Avg 178% 135% 100%
Unemployment 11% 12% 10%
Violent Crime Index- 1=lowest 4 6 4
DPY With Sun 258
DPY With Precipitation 65
Population 8,946
Aptos Zillow Home Value Index


Recent Aptos Real Estate For Sale:

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