Quality of Life

3rd happiest healthiest city

Voted 3rd Healthiest, Happiest City

Santa Cruz-Watsonville was voted the 3rd Healthiest, Happiest City in America according to the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being 2016 Community Rankings.The report measures how residents of 189 U.S. cities feel about their physical health, social ties, financial security, community and sense of purpose. We're excited and agree that we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area, surrounded by an amazing community.


The south Santa Cruz County region of Watsonville and Pajaro Valley boast pristine beaches and a Mediterranean climate. Explore the miles of trails around the Wetlands of Watsonville, perfect for birders. Adjacent to Watsonville, the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve is one of California's last undisturbed coastal wetlands and provides more opportunities for spectacular year-round bird watching.

Heading away from the coast, the backdrop features the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, making this town a little "hideout" from Silicon Valley. Watsonville is a great place to live.

Attractions & Celebrations

Watsonville's annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival is a wonderful way to celebrate the hundreds of species of waterfowl, raptors and songbirds which call the area home. Other celebrations include the Wings Over Watsonville and the Watsonville Strawberry Festival at Monterey Bay.


The Pajaro Valley has a climate that is usually pleasant year round, about 60 to 70 degrees throughout the year which makes Watsonville an attractive coastal environment for the neighboring inland communities which host very hot summers.