Last Updated on: 29th May 2023, 06:36 pm

Are you relocating to the Monterey Bay area? Moving to Prunedale may be the perfect decision if you’re looking for rural, equestrian living yet want beaches and the amenities of the city within 10 minutes.

Established in the 1880s, Prunedale got its name from the plum trees planted by its early settlers. While the plum trees died from drought, Prunedale later prospered with apple orchards.

Today, Prunedale is known for its great quality of life, beautiful scenery, and great school district. Here’s what you’ll love about living in Prunedale, California.

Prunedale CA Population & Demographics

Prunedale is a census-designated place (CDP) about 8 miles north of Salinas, CA in Monterey County. The mostly rural Prunedale, CA has a population of 18,885, up from 17,560 at the 2010 census, with a density of just 381 people per square mile. It’s part of the Salinas metro area of Monterey County with a population of 439,000.

As a CDP, many areas of Prunedale have a Prunedale mailing address but some areas have a Salinas address and areas to the north have a Watsonville address. Highway 101 passes through Prunedale and the famous Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) is just seven miles away.

Prunedale demographics:

  • Median age: 38.9 years
  • Sex ratio: 50% female, 50% male over 18
  • Median household income: $94,179 (20% above California median)
  • Educational attainment: 23% bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Foreign-born population: 22%
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 57.4% white, 52.2% Hispanic, 35.1% non-Hispanic white, 4.7% Asian, 1.6% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.9% Black or African American, 0.7% American Indian or Alaska Native, 11.8% two or more races

Is Prunedale, CA safe? The Prunedale crime rate is 2,666 crimes per 100,000 people which is 14% above the national average but very close to the California average. Because it’s an unincorporated area, Prunedale is served by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. You can see the daily police log here.

Cost of Living in Prunedale

The Prunedale, CA cost of living is about 51% above the national average and very typical of California. Utilities are about 8% lower than average nationwide and groceries are somewhat more expensive. You’ll pay about 30% more for healthcare compared to the national average and well above the California average, but housing is the biggest factor that makes Prunedale, CA an expensive place to live.

Like most areas of California, Prunedale real estate comes at a high premium. Homes for sale in Prunedale CA have a median price of $952,500. However, this is based on only 14 home sales in a year. Homes spend a median of 41 days on market. Because the real estate market is tight with limited inventory, homes often receive more than one offer. You can see Prunedale, CA homes for sale here to get an idea of the current market.

Planning to rent after moving to Prunedale, California? Average rent is $2,331, about $400 per month lower than San Jose. However, rentals are hard to come by – Prunedale is overwhelmingly single-family housing. You’ll find condos and apartments for rent in nearby Salinas and Watsonville.

Prunedale Neighborhoods

Ready to explore neighborhoods ahead of moving to Prunedale, CA? It can be challenging to explore neighborhoods in Prunedale because it’s a CDP so some neighborhoods in the area have different mailing addresses like Salinas or Watsonville. There are also many private communities and streets; most Prunedale homes are custom, not subdivisions. You’ll find everything from large, luxury estates and modest ranch homes with lots of land and equestrian amenities to more affordable manufactured homes in private, wooded settings.

One of the most desirable areas is Royal Oaks. The Royal Oaks area in the southern part of the town with several gated communities and rancheros. Many communities have gorgeous views of Elkhorn Slough and the valley. The prestigious Royal Oaks Estates community offers large, custom homes and large lots with homes priced over $1 million.

In the central area between Highway 101, San Miguel Canyon Road, and Echo Valley Road you’ll find homes priced in the $900s to more than $1.7 million. Even the more modest ranch homes in this area usually have large lots. Private communities here may offer pastures, stalls, and tack sheds for animals and fruit trees!

Prunedale Climate – Typical Weather for Prunedale, CA

After moving to Prunedale, CA, you’ll fall in love with its perfect warm-summer Mediterranean climate. Summers are warm and dry but never get too hot with average summer highs in the mid-70s. Winters are wet and chilly but almost never colder than the mid-30s. The average temperature in Prunedale, CA is 44 °F to 69 °F. The area gets just 17” of rainfall per year but 259 sunny days!

Things to Do in Prunedale, CA

Prunedale is a mostly rural area with limited attractions – but you’ll find great parks and hiking in the area, convenient shopping, nearby amenities in Salinas, and beautiful beaches less than ten minutes away! Enjoy the quiet Marina State Beach on Monterey Bay just 15 minutes away in Marina or Sunset State Beach in neighboring Watsonville for bay and mountain views.

There’s convenient shopping at the Prunedale Shopping Center and the Prune Tree Center along with Safeway, Starbucks, and smaller shops. You’ll find a wide variety of major retailers in Watsonville and Castroville nearby.

Here are just some of the top Prunedale attractions to explore.

Manzanita County Park

The crown jewel of Prunedale is the Manzanita County Park, operated by the North County Youth Recreation Association. The park is home to a large sports complex with softball, soccer, batting cages, and BMX tracks with races.

Manzanita County Park, 17100 Castroville Blvd, Prunedale, CA 93907 (831) 755-4899

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Shared by Watsonville and Prunedale, the estuarine research reserve is one of only 30 in the country. This gorgeous nature reserve is home to California sea otters, sea lions, and harbor seals. You can explore the tidal salt marsh with boardwalks and scenic views.

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076 (831) 728-2822

Other attractions in Prunedale:

Best Prunedale Restaurants

While living in Prunedale, CA, you’ll enjoy excellent cuisine at several highly rated eateries, most of which are local or family-owned restaurants.

Jobs in Prunedale, CA

With limited commercial zones outside two smaller shopping centers, independent shops, and restaurants, most people living in Prunedale work outside the area in nearby Monterey County cities. You’ll enjoy an easy 21-mile commute from Prunedale to Monterey. You’ll find other employment opportunities in Salinas (7 miles), Marina (13 miles), and Watsonville (14 miles).

Your commute can be even easier as the community is served by Monterey-Salinas Transit buses between Watsonville and Salinas and connects to Amtrak at the San Jose Diridon station. There is also a park and ride Caltrans station.

According to Payscale, the average salary is about $70,000 or $20/hour in the Salinas metro area. The largest industries in the region include education, healthcare, and agriculture. Major employers near Prunesdale include:

  • US Defense Manpower Data Center
  • Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (careers)
  • California State University, Monterey Bay (careers)
  • Monterey County (careers)
  • Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula
  • Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
  • Natividad Medical Center
  • Tanimura & Antle (agriculture)
  • Taylor Farms
  • Mann Packing (vegetable supplier and shipper)
  • Newstar Fresh Foods

Prunedale, CA Schools

While living in Prunedale, you will be served by the North Monterey County Unified School District. Most students attend Prunedale Elementary School then North County Middle and North County High School. With more than 1,200 enrolled students and an AP participation rate of 47%, Prunedale has one of the top rated high schools in the Salinas metro area.

If you’re considering higher education after moving to Prunedale, you’ll find several options within 15 minutes! Hartnell College, a public community college, and Central Coast College, a private career college, are located in nearby Salinas. Seaside, CA is home to California State University, Monterey Bay.

Prunedale Statistics & Information

  • County: Monterey
  • Area: 46 square miles
  • Prunedale zip code: 93907
  • Area code: 831
  • Elevation: 92 feet
  • Time zone: UTC-8 (PST)
  • Closest airports: 21 miles to Monterey Regional (MRY), 57 miles to San Jose airport (SJC) is 57 miles away, and 97 miles to San Francisco International (SFO)

Prunedale CA Map

Explore restaurants, shopping, and attractions with this map of Prunedale, California.

Pros & Cons of Living in Prunedale

  • Pro: Great quality of life and equestrian lifestyle
  • Pro: Beautiful scenery and close to beaches
  • Con: High home prices and very limited rental market
  • Con: Rural setting with most amenities and employment outside town

Does Prunedale, CA sound like the perfect home for you? If you’re planning to relocate to the area, give us a call at Southbay Moving Systems to discuss your move and request a free, personalized estimate from our 5-star Prunedale movers!