Welcome to Watsonville
This famous farming community enjoys near-perfect year-round temps
Watsonville, which includes the areas of La Selva Beach and Larkin Valley, is located in Santa Cruz County and is home to more than 50,000 residents. Situated along the central coast of California, the economy here is built around the farming industry, and the area is well known for producing some of the area’s best strawberries, apples, and lettuce.
The climate here is pleasant, as temps hover at around 60 to 70 degrees throughout the year. This makes Watsonville attractive to the residents of other neighboring inland communities, which deal with extremely hot summers. Directly south of Santa Cruz, this beach town draws many visitors from San Jose and from the Central Valley areas. Restaurateurs from throughout the area travel here regularly to purchase a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
What to Love
• Well known for producing some of the area’s best strawberries, apples, and lettuce
• Extremely pleasant climate
• Picturesque beaches and great weather
Because Watsonville is a community well known for its agriculture, the population here is working-class, consisting of families of farmers who live and work in the town.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
There’s a variety of dining options in Watsonville. Local favorites include Cilantros, a relaxed spot for unique Mexican eats, draft beer, and mariachi music; Wooden Nickel Bar & Grill, a storied, old-fashioned joint with folksy decor and hefty American meals; Beer Mule Bottle Shop & Pour House, a craft beer bar with a carefully curated list of rotating taps and a bottle shop; and Ella’s At The Airport, offering pizza, pasta, and American mains, plus live jazz, a full bar, and tables overlooking the Watsonville Municipal Airport runway.
Things to Do
Sunset State Beach, located west of Watsonville, is a popular state park with a campground, picnic facilities, and a wide sandy beach. Residents of this town also gather at Gizdich Ranch, which offers apples, berries, baked goods, and juices, as well as a gift and antique shop.
Live Earth Farm, a 150-acre patchwork of working organic farms, is also a popular destination and home to the Farm Discovery at Live Earth program, a nonprofit organization that works in Santa Cruz County to empower youth and families to build and sustain healthy food, farming, social, and natural systems.
The area also houses the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, a venue that hosts the Santa Cruz County Fair annually, plus many other trade shows and concerts throughout the year.
The Pajaro Valley Unified School District has an attendance of about 18,000 students ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. There are several private, religious-based schools in Watsonville such as Notre Dame School, Monte Vista Christian, Salesian Sisters, and St. Francis. There are also several charter schools and the non-religious independent Pre-K through 12th grade Mount Madonna School. These schools provide a wide range of educational options for local families.