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1414 Soquel Ave., Ste100
Santa Cruz, CA, 95062




The name might sound like something out of an old rerun of Petticoat Junction or Green Acres; however Watsonville is a young and diverse city. Half of Watsonville's households have children, about 70 percent of its population is of Hispanic descent, and high tech companies are taking up residence adjacent to fruit and vegetable processing plants. Watsonville is also home to Henry J. Mello Center, a premier 790-seat concert performance hall with some of the best acoustics on the Central Coast of California.


Location & Flavor

Situated off the Pacific Coast Highway midway around Monterey Bay in the green Pajaro Valley, downtown Watsonville is back dropped by the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains. Watsonville is rich in history and takes great pride in its historical district where many of the 19th buildings have been restored to their original glory.

Along with the restoration of historical building, the city has also been busy restoring other buildings hit hard by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and creating new buildings, such as the civic center.

The city produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, mostly strawberries and apples with more than $100 million worth of produce being processed and packed there. Martinelli's (the sparkling cider company) is headquartered in Watsonville. The high tech industry is taking off here also. 


Activities & Attractions

Outdoor recreation is plentiful right here in Watsonville and just a few miles away on the Monterey Bay with the nearest beaches being only a five-mile drive from Watsonville.   



The protected waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary provide abundant marine life viewing opportunities. Gray and humpback whales pass by here and sea otters and seals hang out in the off shore waters.

Kayaking, boating, scuba diving and whale watching can all be enjoyed at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with its miles of pristine beaches. Sunset State Beach, Manresa State Beach, sand dunes, and fishing opportunities are also short drives from Watsonville.

Located in Watsonville, is the Santa Cruz County Park of Pinto Lake, a lovely 183 acre park that features a beautiful lake dotted with sail boats and offering a fishing pier, nature trails (with trail markers highlighting the abundant wildlife), playground, pavilions, picnic areas, soccer fields and a baseball diamond.
(The park is also well known among locals as having a special spot where many Virgin Mary appearances have been cited.)

Also of interest to young and old, Watsonville's very active Parks and Recreation Department offers education and fun for children and adults.

The main event for the city is the Memorial Day Antique Fly-In when antique and experimental airplanes are flown in for demonstrations.


Historical Tidbits

The Watsonville area was first inhabited by the Costanoans, a hunter and gatherer Indian tribe, and several artifacts have been discovered on the Pajaro Dunes and along many streambeds. The Gold Rush brought many settlers to this area, and the City of Watsonville was incorporated in 1868.