Rio del Mar real estate

A census-designated place in Santa Cruz County right on the ocean, Rio del Mar, California, is a small, beachside community located about 10 miles east of Santa Cruz on Highway 1 and just south of Aptos. In July 2007, the community was measured to be home to a population of just over 9,000. Rio del Mar makes up an area of around 4.6 square miles.

The town's name of "Rio Del Mar" was chosen during the 1920s because it was considered "catchy" at a time when locals were eager to promote local real estate. The area is known locally as the Rio Del Mar Flats and the areas surrounding it are home to tourist destinations and resorts, summer rentals and up-scale homes. Many are beachcomber-like two-story townhouses. The nearest hospital is only seven miles away in Santa Cruz.

The community lies just south of the large Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and it is just east of New Brighton State Beach. It is home to its own Seacliff State Beach and the Seascape Golf Course. Residents of Rio del Mar are slightly older than average, with the median age here 44.2 versus the state average of 33.3. Residents, too, tend to be quite wealthy. In 2008, estimated median household income was measured at more than $94,000. At the same time Rio del Mar real estate was quite expensive, even among local averages, with Rio del Mar homes and condos having a median value in 2008 of nearly $836,000. Professional services and education are the most popular industries for residents to be employed in.

Rio del Mar is within walking distance from the docked and inactive cement Naval ship, the S.S. Palo Alto. The ship was launched on May 29, 1919. It was one of three cement ships built in Oakland during World War I, and was brought to the shores of Rio del Mar in 1929. It now serves as a home to a variety of marine life, including barnacles, sea stars, sea anemones, mussels and rock crabs, all of which cling to the ship's sides. Near the ship's deck are many harbor seals, a popular attraction for those who come to the dock. A Cement Ship Festival is celebrated each year to commemorate the ship. The community also has its own beach, Rio Del Mar Beach, and the Seascape Village Shopping Center.