One of the challenges of being holed up with kids in a compact hotel room on vacation is that when there’s downtime between outings, it’s hard to “play”. At Seascape Resort in Aptos, the lodging is set on spacious grounds, with plenty of room to run around.
Seascape is a hybrid of a rental beach house and a resort with all the amenities that allow you to take a break from shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Do as much or as little of that as you like.
Here’s why I recommend this as a vacation with kids: It’s the perfect distance from the (510), yet it feels like a faraway escape without hefty airfares. Hop in the car and your vacation starts in 90 minutes!
Seascape Resort in Aptos, CA
The amenities at the Seascape Resort make the vacation experience with kids a lot easier.
- Dining options on and around the property
- Swimming pools for all ages
- Free parking onsite
- Walking trails
- Easy beach access — and golf carts available to take you to and from the beach (or from one end of the resort to the other) when you have too much to carry
Our two-bedroom suite (shared with my parents) also included a cozy fireplace, a kitchen and dining area, and a fold-out couch where the kids slept.
The grounds at Seascape Resort
The swimming pool closest to the registration area is an “adult-only” pool, but the other two pools, located on each end of the resort, are kid-friendly. Each pool deck includes a hot tub as well – perfect for the mostly overcast weather in Aptos.
If the pools aren’t enough to combat the kids’ adrenaline, there is an area onsite, referred to as the “island”, where our kids ran around machine-made ponds, while we (adults) sat around a fire pit designed for guests to enjoy.
Best of all, there is a park located at the far end of the resort. Though the playground area is small, the swings and slides were enough to excite my little ones. The park also features picnic benches and restrooms.
Of course, a visit to Aptos means a visit to the beach. This beach is certainly NorCal style, meaning we wore sweatshirts and jackets over our bathing suits.
What to Expect when Visiting Aptos Beach
We like that this beach is not overpopulated, making it feel more quaint and relaxing. We brought with us stomp rocket-type toys, hula-hoops, and kites, and spent loads of time on the grass field. The kites flew great on the beach! We also sand-castled for hours and found tons of sand crabs to examine.
The low tides made us feel safer taking our two-year-old near the water to get his feet wet and watch several porpoises swim by. Parachuters are also landing on the sand throughout the day, which is exciting to watch; they also welcome curious kids to approach them and ask questions about their experience of jumping out of a plane.
The Aptos beach also proves to be a great place to walk dogs, bike along, and even ride horses! Though we didn’t try this ourselves, many people recommend renting out a private fire pit in the evenings where kids (and adults) can enjoy time by the fire while eating s’mores. We certainly plan to do this next time we go.
The walk down to the beach is a long nature path, as much fun for little kids as being on the beach itself. The walk back up may not be as simple, so pregnant ladies, exhausted toddlers, or overpackers (like myself) should call the golf cart from the bottom of the path for a ride back to their room.
Tip: There is no restroom accessible from the beach, so you may need to bring a portable potty or diapers for the newly toilet-trained.
Dining at the Seascape Resort
Though the restaurants around the perimeter are a little pricey, it’s the ease of not having to rush or drive for food that we appreciated.
For beach day, we brought pizza and drinks from Village Host Pizza, located across the street from the hotel (and with the golf cart service, it made it easier to lug pizza boxes to the beach).
For dinner, we made reservations at the Sanderlings Restaurant, located right next to the registration area. With plenty of heat lamps, we enjoyed eating outdoors and taking in the beautiful views of the ocean.
A plaza across the street offers more restaurants, a grocery store, tennis courts, shops, and more. We ate at the Mexican spot Palapas for lunch before heading back.
Another option for food is to bring plenty from home. The fully equipped kitchen in our suite included a stove, oven, and dishwasher, plus all the bowls, cutlery, and spatulas you need to make your meals. My mom made cupcakes and frosting with my kids.
Venturing outside of Aptos
If you do find time to venture out beyond Aptos, families can head to the popular Capitola Village, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, the nearby UC Santa Cruz on-campus aquarium, or make the 45-minute trek to Monterey Aquarium. And of course, don’t forget about fruit picking in Watsonville!