Having a job or dependable source of income before you move to Prunedale is best. Job turnover is generally lower in this part of the county, although commercial investment and residential growth are picking up.
A little bit of city with a little bit of country
Prunedale is what many refer to as a semi-rural community. It has a great shopping area, but finding that second or third shoe store or niche market may require a bit of travel. In general, however, most shopping can be done either in Prunedale or Salinas.
Have patience, will travel
New construction is underway on U.S. 101 to alleviate bottleneck congestion during rush hour. Not surprisingly, fair weather is when most work is done. So sit back, enjoy the blue sky and remember: it'll make the driving experience that much smoother later.
If you are looking for luxury high-rise apartments or that gotta-have one-bedroom apartment, you may be disappointed. With the exception of private residences within homes, Prunedale does not offer apartment complexes. That isn't to say that places to rent aren't available. There are a number of comfortable, well-designed homes for rent in Prunedale, usually offered privately through rental agencies or representatives.
Prunedale, an unincorporated census-designated area, lies seven miles north of Salinas and 21 miles south of Gilroy, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 (South Valley Freeway) and Route 156 (Cabrillo Highway). The two highways join just south of the town center. Prunedale comprises residential neighborhoods with a principal commercial district fronting Highway 101/156 at the center of the community. Other businesses can also be found throughout the area.
North Prunedale: North Prunedale is made up of private homes with spacious acreage intermingled with the occasional light industrial and farming area. It is connected to the north by U.S. 101/156 and by some small backroads to the southwest.
West Prunedale: Farming areas skirt the west boundary of town, intersected by San Miguel Canyon Road, which converts to a crossroad for luxury high-end homes as it skirts past Royal Park. If you're looking to get out and away from the center of town, this could be it, although shopping will take a dedicated effort, and a car is largely necessary.
Central Prunedale: 'Going shopping' in Prunedale may seem pretty conservative if you're used to, say, New York City. But pretty much everything can be found at the center of town, just off of U.S. 101/156. Restaurants and older shopping malls front the east edge of Manzanita County Park - the principal, loosely manicured green space at the center of the town. The west side of the park is rimmed by older ranch homes and scenic winding roads that connect with outlying estates and cul-de-sacs or disappear into the park. A small mobile home park lies on the east side of U.S. 101/156, along with moderate-size homes on well-designed paved streets.
South Prunedale: Residential development includes a well-maintained mobile home park at the south-central tip of the community and attractive streets sporting smallish single detached homes. Getting to Salinas or nearby Castroville is a breeze from this area.
East Prunedale: Small winding streets with large comfortable homes are spread out across Southeast Prunedale, offering many places to look for your dream house to rent. Northeast Prunedale, however, is more mountainous, and while it offers great window scenery, has few, if any, roads.
The community has two county parks that serve as the primary community recreation areas. Manzanita County Park has trails and sports areas that are open during daylight hours. Royal Oaks County Park has open spaces and trails as well. Other green spaces such as Kirby Park, Moss Landing Wildlife Reserve (of which a small portion resides within Prunedale's boundaries) and Elkhorn Slough Preserve (outside of Prunedale) are within an easy drive of any portion of the town.
Contiguous roads rim the outskirts of the unincorporated area, changing names every few miles. It is possible to drive almost the entire circumference, with the exception of the area surrounding Kirby Park at the northwest corner.
Part of the fun of moving to Prunedale is experiencing Monterey County history. A few include Gilroy Garlic Festival during last weekend of July, wine tours in Salinas Valley, Monarch butterflies season in Pacific Grove (October) and the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.