Aptos is a comparatively large unincorporated town that claims a total of 24,000 residents. It is believed that the Native Americans originally named this area "Awatos," which means "Where the waters meet." The name is a good reflection of the area's unique setting in a place where two creeks join before entering the bay. Today, the town's primary centers of residential development include Seascape, Rio del Mar, Seacliff, and the Cabrillo area. A smaller portion of residents also live in the more rural area known as Aptos Hills. The residents of Aptos enjoy an average household income that is among the highest in the nation. This is, in part, due to the large number of residents who commute to jobs in Santa Clara. With no municipal or city government, the local library, the fire department, chamber of commerce, and sheriff's service center act as community information centers. Boasting a pleasing combination of redwood forest and majestic coastline, Aptos offers a diversity of lifestyles. Housing options range from rustic mountain cabins to gracious modern homes bordering golf courses. All homesites enjoy the region's beautiful wildlife and fauna. This varied terrain and geography offers residents an equally wide range of recreational activities. Newcomers to Aptos will be pleased to find clean, sandy beaches, award-winning golf courses, nearby state parks, and shopping centers-as well as the selection of amenities found in nearby Santa Cruz.