Things to Do

Video Credit: Visit Santa Cruz County

A variety of options await in Watsonville; from an early morning bird watching excursion to an afternoon at a u-pick farm or museum, sunset stroll on an expansive beach or attending a signature festival.

Watsonville also offers award winning trails and a Nature Center where you can learn more about the extensive wild life that call Watsonville home. Watsonville has something for everyone in the family.


The Wetlands of Watsonville Nature Center displays a diversity of wildlife habitats, including the Pajaro River, the Watsonville Sloughs and Pinto Lake. Over 200 species of waterfowl, raptors and songbirds live in and migrate through the wetlands, making it and ideal place to watch for feathered creatures, or enjoy one of the many trails winding through the area.

Nearby, the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve is one of California's last undisturbed coastal wetlands. The annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival each September is a captivating way to take in the sights.


The streets of downtown Watsonville are lined with Victorian buildings, 1880s storefronts, and the town's centerpiece, the Watsonville Plaza, which serves as a gathering place for celebrations and festivals. A few blocks away, the Henry J. Mello Center boasts the finest acoustics in the county. The Pajaro Valley Arts Galley features rotating exhibits, while the Pajaro Valley Historical Museum retraces the region's past.


In southern Santa Cruz County, Manresa and Sunset State Beaches are often uninhabited, and are perfect for sunset walks along the water's edge. Watsonville's unique landscape is rich with options for fun and exploration.