13 Best Things To Do In Watsonville, California - Updated 2022

things to do in watsonville california

Located in the Pajaro Valley, Watsonville has a pleasant climate the whole year round, which makes this place an ideal summer escape for many. Diverse groups are making Watsonville their home; you will find a large group of Hispanic people, groups of Croatians, Portuguese, Filipino, Caucasian, Sikhs, and even Japanese. The nearby Monterey Bay also offers a number of Airbnb vacation rentals, including pet-friendly vacation rentals, for travelers to stay in. As Watsonville’s economy builds around the farming industry, the best thing to do is to visit farms growing strawberries, apples, lettuce, and other vegetables. Other than that, Watsonville is also home to numerous great attractions that are sure to appeal to a wide variety of travelers. If you’re curious about what you can do here, we compiled a list of the best things to do in Watsonville, California

1. Skydive Surfcity Santa Cruz

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you’re at an impasse on what to do in Watsonville and are willing to go on a thrilling adventure, check out Skydive Surfcity Santa Cruz. The name speaks for itself. This Watsonville attraction is a tandem skydiving operation that offers customers not only a thrilling dive down to the Earth but also an amazing scenic flight before their jump and magnificent views of the ocean.

With the attraction’s well-trained and experienced instructors, customer safety is assured which leaves you just enjoying the view.

Skydive Surfcity Santa Cruz

Address: 160 Aviation Way, Watsonville, CA 95076, United States

Website: Skydive Surfcity Santa Cruz

Opening hours: Thu - Mon: 10am - 6pm (closed on Tue & Wed)

2. Pinto Lake City Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Pinto Lake City Park is a 78-acre (31.5-hectare) park that offers a plethora of fun outdoor activities that are guaranteed to be fun for the whole family. Thanks to it being a lakeside park, there are numerous opportunities for visitors to go fishing, kayaking, rafting, and boating in the water. To make this better, visitors can bring their own kayaks, boats, and rafts.

There is also a baseball diamond, a picnic area, a volleyball court, and an RV park available for visitors to play some outdoor sports or simply relax with a nice meal.

Pinto Lake City Park

Address: 451 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076, United States

Website: Pinto Lake City Park

3. Pajaro Valley Arts

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Guess who’s back! More crows have arrived at PVA There are only 7 crows available Come and buy one before they’re...

Posted by Pajaro Valley Arts Council on Wednesday, February 23, 2022

If you are in the mood to look at some beautiful works of art, then Pajaro Valley Arts is one of the places to visit in Watsonville, CA. With a mission to bring the community together through the arts, Pajaro Valley Arts has been presenting various exhibits throughout the years, with each exhibit showcasing a particular artist’s best works.

In line with this, the gallery gives all artists an opportunity to have their masterpieces exhibited and regularly holds a “call for artists” event.

Pajaro Valley Arts

Address: 37 Sudden St, Watsonville, CA 95076, United States

Website: Pajaro Valley Arts

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

4. Gizdich Ranch

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This is a family ranch suitable for the entire family to spend a day. You will have plenty of fruit picking opportunities from the trees and vines, and enjoy the fruits under the shade of the apple trees or on the hills. Try the fresh berry jams, their award-winning apple juice, and the best fruity pie and remember to bring home some!

Gizdich Ranch

Address: 55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076-9748

Website: Gizdich Ranch

5. Sunset State Beach

California Route 1 Highway - Sunset Beach and Park near Watsonville - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user David Broad used under CC BY 3.0

Sunset State Beach is an all-time favorite for visitors. This campground is set under pines with beaches along the coastline and a spectacular view of Monterey Bay. The best time to visit this State Park is during the summer when many events and activities are organized including Junior Rangers programs, nature hikes and campfire programs. Other times, you may enjoy camping, fishing, picnicking and you can play your remote-control glider port.

Sunset State Beach

Address: 1416 9th Street Sacramento, CA 95814

Website: Sunset State Beach

6. Palm Beach State Park

Solar powered shower facility at Sunset Beach State Park near Watsonville, CA. (21563315905)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Robert Ashworth used under CC BY 2.0

Enter the Palm Beach State Park from a different entrance of Sunset State Park. There is free parking options near the beach and it is easily accessible via the Riverside Drive exit off Highway 1. This state park leads to a wide sandy beach on Monterey Bay. Vacation rentals and Pajaro Dunes Resort are fronted by the beaches. The beach stretches for miles, providing ample space for beach lovers.

Palm Beach State Park

Address: West Beach Road, Watsonville, CA 95076

Website: Palm Beach State Park

7. Mount Madonna County Park

Being part of the Santa Cruz Mountain range, Mount Madonna County Park is characterized by the redwood forest overlooking the Santa Clara Valley and Monterey Bay. As you follow the slopes that descend towards the valley, you will see the changing landscape from redwood to oak woodland, dense and grassy meadows and perhaps take a ride on horseback for the fun of it.

Mount Madonna County Park

Address: 7850 Pole Line Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076-8905

Website: Mount Madonna County Park

8. Elkhorn Slough Brewing Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Clean jockey box, pour beer, repeat. Must be festival season! Ate3one tonight & Saturday My Mom's Mole on Friday with a very special wild release. Details tomorrow

Posted by The Slough Brewing Collective on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Distinctively local, Elkhorn Slough Brewing Company produces specialty beers using barrel aged wild ales made with locally harvested yeast and other locally ingredients. Try out the gold-medal winning recipes created by Brewmaster Michael Enos, a local veteran home brewer.

Elkhorn Slough Brewing Company

Address: 65 Hangar Way, Unit D, Watsonville, CA 95076-2476

Facebook: Elkhorn Slough Brewing Company

9. Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Santa Cruz County Fair on Sunday, September 17, 2017

This annual fun fair is one that blends old favorites, history and tradition with new ideas. Programs are organized to connect the youth with the livestock shows, horse shows, and more. On the grounds is the fun carnival accompanied by stage entertainment on the main Amphitheater Stage.

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

Address: 2601 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076-149

Website: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

10. Agricultural History Project Center and Museum

Located at the entrance to Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Agricultural History Project Center and Museum aims to educate the public on the latest agriculture research. Visitors will discover the agricultural history of Santa Cruz County, Paiaro Valley and Watsonville. School groups and families are most welcome!

Agricultural History Project Center and Museum

Address: 2601 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076-1419

Website: Agricultural History Project Center and Museum

11. Watsonville Farmers Market

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Watsonville Farmers' Market on Friday, June 26, 2015

This is a whole-year-round farmers’ market operating every Friday from 2-7pm; you will find fresh produce and prepared foods from the heart of Pajaro Valley. Over here is where the Hispanic community showcases their heritage cuisine, and the atmosphere is beefed up with a variety of Latin American treats such as pambasos, huarache and chicharrones. This is a one-of-its-kind farmers market.

Watsonville Farmers Market

Address: Main Street and Peck Street, Downtown Watsonville Plaza, Watsonville, CA 95076

Facebook: Watsonville Farmers Market

12. Farm Discovery at Live Earth

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Today is #GivingTuesday. Please consider supporting Live Earth Farm Discovery with your donation today. YOUR GIFT will...

Posted by Farm Discovery at Live Earth on Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Located in the Pajaro Valley of Santa Cruz County, this is a 150 acre (0.6 square kilometer) patchwork of working farm, riparian corridor, oak and redwood forest. It offers programs to empower youth and families to help build and sustain healthy food, farming, social and natural systems.

Farm Discovery at Live Earth

Address: 172 Litchfield Lane, Watsonville, CA 95076

Website: Farm Discovery at Live Earth

13. Strawberry Festival

Watsonville Strawberry Festival 2010 Rides
Source: Photo by user Phorenon used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Strawberry Festival is an annual event that provides a safe and family-friendly experience in downtown Watsonville. As strawberries are the largest and most valuable crop in the Pajaro Valley, this festival is a celebration and recognition of their contribution to the Watsonville community. Join the fun and help raise funds to bring further public awareness to the strawberry farming.

Strawberry Festival

Address: 350 Main St Watsonville, CA 95706

Website: Strawberry Festival

Watsonville's natural beauty

Watsonville California aerial view
Source: Photo by user Robert Campbell used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You will be naturally attracted to Watsonville for its natural beauty. Farms, beaches and various landscape works with the fine weather to make your stay in Watsonville pleasant and enjoyable! Seize the opportunity and bring home the local produce when you visit Watsonville.

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Watsonville, California

1. What are the best attractions to visit in Watsonville?

There are so many great attractions in Watsonville that are sure to provide many travelers with a great time. Some of these great attractions are Gizdich Ranch, Palm Beach State Park, Pinto Lake City Park, and the Agricultural History Project Center and Museum.

2. What are the best activities in Watsonville?

With so many great attractions located in Watsonville, it’s only natural that there are a plethora of great activities as well. Some of these activities are skydiving with Skydive Surfcity Santa Cruz, relaxing at Sunset State Beach, participating in the Strawberry Festival, and checking out Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I am a creative writer and a copywriter. Travel writing allows my creative juice to flow freely with words and pictures. I like travelling with a purpose, be it for work, missions, teaching or for...Read more

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