Nestled in the rolling hills of North Monterey County lies the unincorporated community of Prunedale. Prunedale’s exact boundaries are somewhat confusing. Except for Prunedale’s bounds with Elkhorn, an easy definition of Prunedale is: if a drop of water lands and it tend to run toward Langley Creek which flows along Highway 101, then that is Prunedale.
Originally, Highway 101 ran from Salinas directly to San Juan Bautista. The road is now San Juan Grade Road. In 1931-1932, Highway 101 was constructed to run though Prunedale. It was a two-lane road comprising the current two northbound lanes. In 1946 the highway was widened to add two more lanes.
One of the earliest settlers of Prunedale was Watsonville Banker Charles Langley, who at one operated the Prunedale Post Office. He was likely to have been the influential in establishing Watsonville post office rural mail service in Prunedale as far as Highway 101. The name Prunedale is not officially explained in any documentbut it is thought to have originated years ago with an attempt to establish prune tree orchards in North Monterey County. The crop was not successful but the name Prunedale remained and has come to represent a rural lifestyle envied by many.
Today Prunedale boasts a population of 10,871. The area remains country friendly and convenient. Scattered thought-out Prunedale are a wide variety of Business and service industries. And with two major shopping centers, Prune Tree Center and Prunedale Shopping Center, it is never necessary to leave the community to fulfill shopping, service or medical needs. Whether pampering yourself at one of the local nail salons or enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend Prunedale has it all.
With a Mediterranean climate, our location near the coast provides natural air conditioning in the summer and moderate temperatures year round. This climate is perfect for visiting our parks and recreation areas most any time of the year. Royal Oaks Park, a short drive off San Miguel Canyon Road, orders picnic and recreational facilities in a beautiful oak woodlands setting. Manzanita Park is home to the North Monterey County youth Recreation Association. This community built facility is pride of our Little League and American Soccer Organization programs.
Prunedale just might possibly be the best kept secret in all of Monterey County. Why not drop by for a visit. You’ll be glad you did.