Andy Ausonio Library
Welcome to Castroville, that's what you'll hear and feel as you visit a unique corner of Monterey County!!! Nestled in North Monterey County, Castroville is the gateway and the hub to all points! We are very proud of the fact that our number one product is something that we grow right here in Castroville. You've probably heard of it, yes we're the "Artichoke Center of the World" and that's only one of the many things that puts Castroville on the map.
Agriculture is the main business in North Monterey County with artichokes, strawberries and lettuce being our primary crops, but we also have a 150 acre industrial park that includes many different kinds of processing and distribution facilities.
Castroville has something for everyone. So, let's take a look at what you'll find. For the visitor, we have dining from hearty breakfasts to fine dining (remember we're ag land out here so no wimpy meals for us!). Lunch, there are burgers to tacos, pizza to sushi and BBQ to fish. You'll never be tired of the same thing for lunch. You can have something different everyday before you'll ever have to repeat yourself! Ok, now what about dinner? Wow you're in luck! We have one of the finest Japanese restaurants in the entire County!! And if you're a hard-core BBQ lover, roll up your sleeves and get ready to get messy!!!! Yum, yum! When it comes to dining, we're saving a table for you.
You are probably wondering by now, if I come to Castroville are there any landmarks to see and visit? I'm glad you asked. Of course we do. Let's start with the Giant Artichoke. It's the restaurant right off of highway 156, and it has the World's largest artichoke in front of it! A great place for a photo opportunity! Then we have the historic Japanese schoolhouse, which has been remodeled to its original beauty and we're all very proud. Castroville's history comprises many different nationalities and religions. Merritt Street is our historic main street that goes right through the heart of our community. There you'll see the Giant Artichoke, our historic school, La Scuola that now houses the North Monterey County Chamber of Commerce and Artichoke Festival offices. Don't forget Norma Jean's! Yes, it's our best-kept secret. Did you know Norma Jean Baker, or as you may know her, Marilyn Monroe, was our first Artichoke Queen in 1948?
Castroville is one of those small towns that you read about and say, some day I would love to go there. Our little community was founded in 1863 by Juan Bautista Castro and because of where the railway went, it's quite possible we would be the size of Salinas and Salinas would be the size of Castroville! You know, I think we got the better end of that deal. Here you'll still find small town friendships, values and a pride that only a small town can maintain.
Castroville is in an unincorporated part of North Monterey County, and we receive most of our services from the County. The County of Monterey, along with the Board of Supervisors and the Redevelopment Department spearheaded a complete revitalization of the Castroville area. The residents of Castroville are also heavily involved to make Castroville an even greater place to live and visit.
Community involvement is the corner stone of Castroville. From our many charitable groups to our churches, the Girl Scout Headquarters, Native Sons, our beautiful and active Andy Ausonio Library & Plaza, Castroville Community Services District and many more. We even have a Rotary Club here, and it's a blast! This club, on a constant basis, receives many awards for the highest per capita giving of any other organization in the County. It may not be for the weak at heart, because we poke fun at everyone! It's sort of like the Dean Martin roast for Monterey County. Come check it out, it is known as the "fun club."
Now we have talked about dining, food, places to see and visit. What else could there be? Well, I have saved the best for last. What could bring Castroville, a small town of about 7 thousand to a population of about 30 thousand over night? It is our world famous Artichoke Festival of course! Yes, one weekend in the middle of May, Castroville hosts a festival like no other featuring the artichoke and why not, we are the world capital of artichokes you know! It is a two day event that features artichokes prepared every which way you can imagine! There is non stop entertainment, artichoke eating contest and foods from around the world. There is also a wide variety of arts and crafts, a great car show, a fabulous parade on Sunday and so much more! The organization that has its hands on the pulse of Castroville and now all of North Monterey County is our North Monterey County Chamber of Commerce. Together we can make sure the economic vitality of North Monterey County will flourish now and in the future. Castroville's a small town with so much to offer, we look forward to you visiting us in the near future and you will see and feel our motto "WELCOME TO CASTROVILLE!"
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