Founded in 1863, Castroville is the second oldest town in Monterey County. The town’s farming heritage began with hay, grain, and dairy farms, but it was the artichoke that made the area famous. Today, Castroville is best known as the “ Artichoke Capital of the World.”
Ranchers first began growing artichokes in Castroville as long ago as 1924. Today, March through May is peak artichoke season, ending with the colorful extravaganza of the annual Artichoke Festival each spring. Residents of Castroville enjoy the legendary artichokes as well as other fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Scattered across the region, roadside stands offer everything from artichokes and lettuce to fresh, juicy strawberries.
Castroville is also known regionally as the home of the unique Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge. Here, hikers can access a tranquil isolated beach as well as the mouth of the Salinas River, which is just south of the Salinas River State Beach. This refuge is acclaimed as a paradise for bird watchers. In fact, in the course of the year over 230 bird species seek out the tranquility and safety of the refuge.
Biking enthusiasts appreciate the Castroville-Marina Bike Trail. This modern trail takes bikers on a scenic journey from the shore to the heart of North Monterey County.