Aptos is also an unincorporated town in Santa Cruz County. The town includes several small communities with a combined population of 24,402. 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 home to both the The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and Seacliff State Beach California state parks. Nisene Marks is popular with hikers and mountain bikers, and also contains the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (magnitude 6.9).
Many Aptos beaches are popular spots for surfing and bodyboarding. Aptos is also a popular spot for Freeride biking and street skateboarding. Efforts have gone towards attempting to build a skate park in Aptos, however it appears likely at this point. The beaches of Aptos are frequented by a small but dedicated group of surfers. Due to exclusively sand-bottom beaches, wave shape in Aptos is typically not as high quality as in neighboring Capitola and Santa Cruz.[ However, during the Autumn and Winter, local spots “Platforms” and “Beer Can” are frequently surfed. Aptos is also home to the annual Fourth of July “World’s Shortest Parade,” so called because the parade route is about .6 miles long. Aptos Park is the site of the annual Aptos Blues Festival.