Aptos is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The name Aptos is Ohlone, meaning "the people". Aptos was traditionally inhabited by the Ohlone Awaswas people. The name is one of only three native words that have survived (in Hispanicized form) as place names in Santa Cruz County (the others are Soquel and Zayante).
Aptos is also an unincorporated town defined by ZIP codes 95001 and 95003. The town includes several small communities with a combined population of 24,402:
• Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley, a rural area north of State Route 1,
• Seacliff, south of State Route 1, west of Aptos Creek,
• Rio Del Mar, south of State Route 1, from Aptos Creek southeast to Seascape, and
• Seascape, south of State Route 1, centered on Seascape Beach Resort.
Aptos was named by the American Indians who lived here for thousands of years before Mission Santa Cruz was completed by the Spanish in 1794. In 1833 the government of Mexico granted Aptos Rancho to Rafael Castro. The Rancho would eventually total almost 6,686 acres. Initially Castro raised cattle for their hides, but after California became a state in 1850, Castro leased his land to Yankees for industrial developments. A wharf, general store, and lumber mill were built. 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. 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.
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