Watsonville is a city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States. The population was 51,199 according to the 2010 census. Watsonville is a small farming community on the central coast of California. The city is home to people of varied ethnic backgrounds.
There is a large Hispanic population, small group of Croats, and a Filipino, Caucasian, and Japanese population of people that live and work in Watsonville. The economy centers predominantly around the farming industry. The city is known for growing strawberries, apples, lettuce and a host of other vegetables.The Pajaro Valley has a climate that is usually pleasant – around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit – year round.
This climate makes Watsonville an attractive coastal environment for the neighboring inland communities with very hot summers. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District has an attendance of about 18,000 students kindergarten through 12th grades. There are several private religious-based schools in Watsonville such as Notre Dame School, Monte Vista Christian, Salesian Sisters and St. Francis. There are also several charter schools and the non-religious independent Pre-K through 12th grade Mount Madonna School. These schools provide a wide range of educational options for local families. Watsonville is generally conservative on the political spectrum and average in relationship to the neighboring communities of Salinas, Castroville, and Prunedale.
The larger coastal town directly north of Watsonville is the city of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a draw for many young college students who attend Cabrillo College or UC Santa Cruz. Because Watsonville and Santa Cruz are beach towns, they draw many visitors from San Jose and from the inland Valley areas. Like neighboring Salinas in Monterey County, Watsonville produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, primarily apples, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and table mushrooms.