For the festivals!
The Fly-In and Air Show highlights the Labor Day weekend; a Strawberry Festival fills a downtown park during the first weekend in August; the County Fair entertains the community in mid-September and a new Birding Festival brings tourists and locals out to the beaches and sloughs in fall.
Add ethnic celebrations like Cinco de Mayo and Dia de Familia; special days like the Fourth of July Parade and Christmas Lighting ceremony and the picturesque City of Watsonville and surrounding area offers a variety of visual and gastronomical delights.
For the museums and other historical attractions!
In addition to the historical sites listed below, in the City of Watsonville you can explore a fire museum in a local fire station, a growing police museum and a farm worker museum in the new city plaza.
For other attractions for the whole family!
Unique area attractions are listed below, and you can also discover more wonders of nature at the City of Watsonville’s Wetlands Nature Center. Free, bilingual activities are available for all ages, with animal, plant and cultural history exhibits. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Roses of Yesterday and Today Rose Garden, located Northeast of Watsonville, is open every day, 9 to 4. The display garden is about 1 acre with 240 varieties of old, rare, unusual and selected modern roses. Picnic tables and potted roses are available year-round. There are no fees to enter or park.
During summer, there’s a Farmers’ Market in downtown Watsonville, right off Main Street, adjacent to the historic Plaza.
SPECIAL VENUES FOR GROUPS AND INDIVIDUAL/FAMILY VISITORS
310 Harvest Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 761-2041
Visitors to this factory and outlet store will see how Annieglass - handcrafted sculptural glass dinnerware, serving pieces, drink-ware and accessories - is made. They will watch as a sheet of industrial glass is cut, beveled, rim-painted – typically with gold or platinum – and then placed in a fiery kiln. There precious metal and color fuse permanently to glass, making the work tarnish and chip-resistant, as well as dishwasher-safe.
The slumping technique results in an appearance distinct from blown glass: the product is simultaneously translucent and textured with a unique surface that subtly retains the imprint of the hands that shaped the mold. Imaginative, unexpected shapes inspired by the artist's ocean-side locale -flowers, rocks, leaves, fish, boats, rippling water, rounded triangles, stars, and shells -are available in clear or frosted glass and in a palette of lush, tropical colors.
A variety of pieces are available in the retail outlet on premise. Every piece of Annieglass carries an engraved signature and the date it was made, guaranteeing authenticity.
CALIFORNIA PAJAROSA (Groups only, by appointment - $3 per person)
133 Hughes Road, Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 722-6374
Roses were first planted on the property in 1979. In1992, California Pajarosa became the first rose growers in Northern California to institute hydroponic growing methods. Computerized greenhouses and fertilization systems make it possible to control consistent production in 760,000 square feet of greenhouses where the company claims to grow more varieties than any other rose grower in the world. The tour also includes a visit to their sorting and shipping area, where robots cut and wrap the rose varieties for shipping.
PAJARO VALLEY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (Groups only, by appointment - $5 per person)
332 E. Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 722-0305
See exhibits and archives pertaining to Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley, the historic Bockius-Orr House, the Snyder Archive, and the William H. Volck Museum in the Carriage House. There are many newspaper articles from the past as well as photos and historical objects regarding Watsonville’s history.
The Pajaro Valley Historical Association has a large collection of local historical photographs, family, business and organization history, oral histories, small artifacts and costumes from the immediate region. It is located on an approximately one-acre property that represents what remains of the former 100-acre Bockius Farm established in 1852. Featured is a 135-year old farmhouse furnished with period pieces, a carriage house with a display of local historical artifacts, a tank house, and a modular classroom that serves as the association archive. A rotating exhibit of items from an extensive clothing collection may be seen in the Bockius House.
GIZDICH RANCH (Groups by appointment; individuals and families also welcomed - price varies: $4 tour and juice sample; add a morning puff pastry for $3.25; or add a deli sandwich and chips for $6.95. Deluxe lunch, incl. tour, deli sandwich chips, drink and pie ala mode is $14.95; $9.95 gets you tour, drink and pie ala mode.)
55 Peckham Road, Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 722-1056
As American as mom and apple pie, this fourth generation family owned and operated ag business features apple juice, pik-yor-sef berries and pies made from all. Ten apple varieties are grown on the property, and the tour features visits to the Pie Shop, Antique and Gift Shops, Sales Barn, juice room, apple shed, farm park picnic area and the orchard and berry patches. Strawberries, olallie berries, boysenberries or raspberries can be picked from May through July or purchased already picked when in season or fresh-frozen.
AGRICULTURAL HISTORY PROJECT Groups by appointment; also open to individuals and families Thursday through Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. - $3 per person)
2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076. (831) 724-5898.
Step back into 150 years of farming on California’s Central Coast … from apples to artichokes, beets to berries. See exhibits and artifacts that celebrate the unique history of agriculture in this micro climate as well as a large collection of fruit jars and milk bottles. Antique tractors, plows and implements are featured. Located at the entrance to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds adjacent to the Rodgers House, the Project’s Codiga Museum is home to exhibits, a research center, archives and gift shop, the “Country Corner.”
RODGERS HOUSE (groups by appointment - $3 per person)
Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds 2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville CA 95076 (831) 724-5671
The Rodgers House, built in the 1870’s by James Rodgers, John Steinbeck’s brother-in-law, beautifies the front entrance to the Santa Cruz County Fair. It contains archives chronicling the house’s history, including stories of the Rodgers family and the history of the Pajaro Valley. Several notable family photographs show Steinbeck, including one carving the family Thanksgiving turkey.
SIERRA AZUL NURSERY AND GARDENS (FREE) Sculpture Garden Open April through September
2660 East Lake Avenue (Highway 152) Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 763-0969
Sierra Azul Nursery and Gardens specializes in plants and gardens for California's Mediterranean climate. In addition, this venue partners with the Pajaro Valley Arts Council to host a major exhibition of sculpture in their beautiful demonstration gardens, which feature rustic Mediterranean plantings on two acres. Sierra Azul Nursery and Gardens holds a vision of the garden as a place to link with the natural world and its many wonderful contrasting elements.
WANT HELP ARRANGING A TRIP FOR YOUR GROUP?
MAKE YOURS A CHAMBER ASSISTED TOUR …
One call does it all. We’ll book your stops, arrange meals, help work out any special needs and confirm it all! One fee ($1.50 per passenger; minimum $60) covers everything!
For more information or to book your tour contact Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture
(831) 724-3900 or firstname.lastname@example.org