Just before the Pajaro
River broke through to join the Monterey Bay, it left behind an
alluvial plain blessed with rich soil. Today that fertile land
brings forth a bounty of fruits and vegetables destined for the
American dinner table. Watsonville and its surrounding villages
are home to the farmers and the workers who till the fields and
coax life from the earth.
It's from these fields
that a great quantity of strawberries, olallieberries, apples,
lettuce, brussels sprouts, and colorful flowers are shipped around
the world. Each year, the "best of the bunch" are
showcased at the Santa Cruz County Fair in September, where locals
compete in categories as diverse as wine making, pig breeding,
pickling, and quilt making. Many go on to win statewide medals.
But Watsonville is more
than farming. Its broad Main Street is a true community center,
lined with lively dance clubs, family restaurants, intimate shops,
and department stores, all catering to a multi-ethnic clientele.
Visitors who like their accommodations to have a beach view often
choose the private condominiums at Pajaro Dunes, a collection of
comfortable homes with a clubhouse and restaurant.
William Weeks, the
internationally-acclaimed architect, liked this city so much that
he created outstanding Victorian homes for several of the
residents. An easy walking tour will take you past his enduring
The Henry Mello Center for
the Performing Arts is a benefit of the 1989 earthquake. This
acoustically-fine auditorium was built to replace the one lost to
the trembler. The Center is open for public performances,
including the Santa Cruz County Symphony and the Watsonville Taiko
Private aircraft are
welcome in Watsonville, site of the County's only airport. This
general aviation terminal comes alive each :Memorial Day weekend
when dozens of vintage planes converge for the Antique Aircraft
Fly-In. The barrel rolls and loop-the-loops executed in
open-cockpit planes recall a day when flying required true nerve!
For additional visitor