Located in North Monterey County at the intersections of 183, 156 and U.S. Highway 1, and five miles west of Highway 101. San Francisco is 102 miles to the north and the Monterey Peninsula is 15 miles to the South. Castroville is an unincorporated town with a population of approximately 5,300. The Average temperature of 63 degrees. Average rainfall is 14.38".
Founded by Juan Bautista Castro in 1863, Castroville "The Artichoke Center of the World" is Monterey County's second oldest town. A number of historical sites remain including the original school home of a fine Italian Restaurant, La Scuola. The Giant artichoke, where it has been said that nearly a million people pose for their picture. Castroville has a number of other restaurants as well as full service family health clinic in addition to other health professionals. Castroville has its own library which is part of the Monterey County Free Library system, four churches, a community center with youth activities, a baseball park and nearby recreation facilities. the town has a two motels in addition to a variety of shopping opportunities.
Castroville is in the North Monterey County School District. Two Community Colleges and two universities, CSU-Monterey Bay and Golden Gate University are within 10 miles. Local Organizations include Girl & Boy Scouts, 4-H, Little League, Rotary and other civic organizations.
Industries range from agriculture, a main source of revenue, to trucking, construction & manufacturing. Strawberries. lettuce and artichokes are the main agricultural crops of the area with artichokes providing approximately 75% of the U. S. Supply. With its highly desirable central location, Castroville also has a number of processing and distribution facilities, mostly located in a fully serviced 150-acre park.
Nearby Points of interest include the Elkhorn Slough National Estuary, Moss Landing Harbor and antique shops, miles of beaches including the Salinas River State Beach and Zmundowski State Beach, along with two county parks: Manzanita and Royal Oaks. Boating and fishing facilities are available 5 miles north of Castroville and to the south in marina is sky diving and hang gliding. The Coastal Bike Trail currently extends from the Monterey Peninsula to Castroville.
Castroville host the annual Artichoke Festival (May21st & 22nd, 2011) during the third weekend in May when the community celebrates the world famous thistle with artichoke specialties, souvenirs, cooking and demonstrations, a 10K Run and a variety of art & crafts. A very young Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe) was crowned as Castroville's first Artichoke Queen in February 1948.
Nestled in the rolling hills of North Monterey County lies the unincorporated community of Prunedale. Prunedale's exact boundaries are somewhat confusing. Except for Prunedale's bounds with Elkhorn, an easy definition of Prunedale is: if a drop of water lands and it tend to run toward Langley Creek which flows along Highway 101, then that is Prunedale.
Originally, Highway 101 ran from Salinas directly to San Juan Bautista. The road is now San Juan Grade Road. In 1931-1932, Highway 101 was constructed to run though Prunedale. It was a two-lane road comprising the current two northbound lanes. In 1946 the highway was widened to add two more lanes.
One of the earliest settlers of Prunedale was Watsonville Banker Charles Langley, who at one operated the Prunedale Post Office. He was likely to have been the influential in establishing Watsonville post office rural mail service in Prunedale as far as Highway 101.
The name Prunedale is not officially explained in any document but it is thought to have originated years ago with an attempt to establish prune tree orchards in North Monterey County. The crop was not successful but the name Prunedale remained and has come to represent a rural lifestyle envied by many.
Today Prunedale boasts a population of 10,871. The area remains country friendly and convenient. Scattered thought-out Prunedale are a wide variety of Business and service industries. And with two major shopping centers, Prune Tree Center and Prunedale Shopping Center, it is never necessary to leave the community to fulfill shopping, service or medical needs. Whether pampering yourself at one of the local nail salons or enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend Prunedale has it all.
With a Mediterranean climate, our location near the coast provides natural air conditioning in the summer and moderate temperatures year round. This climate is perfect for visiting our parks and recreation areas most any time of the year. Royal Oaks Park, a short drive off San Miguel Canyon Road, orders picnic and recreational facilities in a beautiful oak woodlands setting. Manzanita Park is home to the North Monterey County youth Recreation Association. This community built facility is pride of our Little League and American Soccer Organization programs.
Prunedale just might possibly be the best kept secret in all of Monterey County. Why not drop by for a visit. You'll be glad you did.