Capitola Travel Guide

  • Capitola
    by jumpingwithnorman
  • Shop near Portola and 41st Avenue
    Shop near Portola and 41st Avenue
    by trvlrtom
  • restaurant & bar at Capitola Beach
    restaurant & bar at Capitola Beach
    by trvlrtom

Capitola Things to Do

  • Capitola Beach and Wharf

    Aside from the Village, the other main draws to Capitola are its beach and wharf. Since they overlap, I include the two of these in here as the same.There's been a wharf here in Capitola since the 1850s, and it was the main draw for the first immigrants to the town as they busied themselves with the fishing industry. The beach later became the main...

  • take a stroll through a lovely seaside...

    Capitola is wonderful because you can walk from the beach to the village, and oh what a lovely village it is. Great restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, and shops. All with a nice, California laidback vibe which tends to the tourists and locals alike. Since this is right off the beach, there are several surf shops as well, all lending to a true...

  • That beautiful laidback beach

    After all this is mainly a beachtown, and what a wonderful, unspoiled beach this is. The sand seems much softer than it's counter part in Santa Cruz. Much more of a laidback vibe with friendly locals here for the summer knowing the true meaning of relaxation. I found this to be more of a family destination than party beach.

  • Lazeabout Beach

    Capitola City Beach is one of the most convenient beaches around. There are shops to the right of it, restrooms and outdoor shower to the left, lots of benches to beach gaze right near the sea wall and available parking throughout the city. It's perfect when you just want to be at the beach but close to everything. The parking meters take ALL coins...

  • Capitola Beach

    Capitola Beach is one of the most popular destinations in the greater Santa Cruz area. Because of its location, the area is often warmer and calmer that other parts of the coast. The beach, therefore, is popular with families as well as locals and tourists. People flock here in the summer also because of the fun and interesting shops just off the...

  • Beach time is the right time

    As you can see, Capitola is very kid-friendly and fun. It's like any typical beach scene, but it is more enjoyable due to a favorable location that has less wind and fog than elsewhere along the coast.

  • A day at the beach

    Capitola's beach Boardwalk is a fun little bay area getaway with decent restaurants, a healthy/active lifestyle, an ok beach (cold water) and a very picturesque scene. A walk out onto the pier is de rigeur.I recently spent a day there, which is just about a perfect amount of time. You can combine a Capitola trip with a visit to the Aquarium in...

  • Fishing and boating

    A great way to spend the day out on the water! built in 1857 and newly refurbished,the pier is open daily, sunrise to sunsetppier fishinfg, boat rentals, seasonal moorings.

  • Simply... the beach

    Located in the Village of Capitola. California's oldest seaside resort is a charming, eclectic coastal town. The beach is enclosed between two bluffs, and reminds one of a Mediterranean resort. Capitola Beach is bordered by the Esplanade, lined with shops, galleries & dozens of restaurants.


Capitola Hotels

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Capitola Restaurants

  • Best pizza in town

    Pleasure Pizza is named for its location near Pleasure Point, one of the best surfing locations in northern California. I love their pizza, and have been coming here for years. They sell whole pizzas, as well as slices. This place is very informal. There is seating inside and outside, but no table service. It is a favorite place for local surfers,...

  • The view is as good as the food

    Say what you will about Jimmy Buffet ( I love his music), but Margaritaville is always a great place to eat regardless that it is now a very large chain.The spot in Capitola is no exception. The view is magnificent as you look out over the beach to the very colorful beach hotel, then beyond to the pier.The staff was very friendly and efficient....

  • Coffee

    Mr. Toots is a local haunt located in the Village. The coffees here are good, plus its balcony has great views of Capitola Beach. Mr. Toots is a hit with students, especially from nearby Cabrillo College, as well as local music bands.Mr. Toots is located up the stairway entrance that's accessed from the sidewalk.. It recently went thought a long...

  • kinda overpriced, yet good

    To be completely honest I felt the ambiance of the Shadowbrook Capitola and the trolley ride down to the restaurant were better than the food itself. I'm a little old-school, and by that I mean that I'd rather do the cooking myself on my bbq grill. Nobody tops MY bbq cooking. The food at Shadowbrook Capitola is a little above average, and a little...

  • New Thai Restaurant In Capitola Santa...

    I was very pleased with the prices and quality of the food. Great view of Capitola and the surfers if you get the right table ! My favorite dish was the Pad Thai with Chicken and Shrimp - classic thin Thai noodles for only $5.50.

  • NY Style Pizza Right on the Beach

    This is the little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint that started it all for this wildly popular pizza. Can you imagine being all sandy & gritty & hungry at the beach and having access to the best pizza in town right near the beach???? Genius. Small & unpretentious, there's some counter space for eating but you are encouraged to take your slices or...

  • Local Hangout

    After several hours on the beach, you'll find that there's a restaurant that locals go to and where you can grab a bite to eat just before you hop onto Hwy 1. They have parking in the front (about 15-20 cars) some parking in the back (8 cars) and lots of street parking along Main Street. Once inside the restaurant, you need to line up in front of...

  • Popular local restaurant

    Almost everyone who lives in the area knows The Shadowbrook; it is one of the area's oldest and most famous restaurant. On any night you will likely find here locals who have been coming here for more than a generation, visitors from San Jose, and the occasional tourist looking for a place with atmosphere and quality food. What makes Shadowbrook...

  • Sushi at the surf scene

    Capitola is a very eclectic town, with its mix of surfers and professionals who commute to San Jose. A place like Pink Godzilla brings them together. Anyone who is looking for Japanese food and sushi is happy and welcome here. The restaurant is located in a somewhat funky part of town that hosts as many surf shops and second hand stores as...

  • Good local wines list...

    Casual dining with an extraordinary viewin cozy spot with its antique nautical motif,choose from sea food, steak, pasta anddelightful desserts.

  • Great place, fine food

    Located beside lush Soquel Creek in Capitola-by-the-Sea, Shadowbrook Restaurant is best reached by its own quaint cable car, or a meandering garden path. Since 1947 Shadowbrook has continued to provide world-class service, fine food, wines and liqueurs in an atmosphere of Old World charm and grace. Call us toll-free for the following:For...

  • My Favorite Restaurant in Capitola

    This lovely restaurant is perched on the hillside overlooking the city of Capitola. To descend to the dining area, you can either take the stairs which let you walk through a lushly landscaped area with waterfalls, ponds, fiddlehead ferns, and flowers, or you can ride down on the cable car which holds a handful of people as it slowly cruises back...


Capitola Transportation

  • Is an intimate beach village

    Capitola is an intimate beach village tucked in a river valley in Santa Cruz County on the Monterey Bay. Located an hour away from San Jose and an hour and a half from San Francisco, Capitola enjoys a lively population full of tradition and an interesting history.The City's wharf and riverside areas remind one of a village in France or perhaps a...

  • Santa Cruz Metro

    Capitola is served by the Santa Cruz Metro, the county's mass transit system. There's routes and frequents stops in and around Capitola. The Metro is affordable and very efficient to use if you're planning not to use a car when you're in the area.

  • Capitola Hotels

    9 Hotels in Capitola

Capitola Shopping

  • Dietle James - hot fashions

    Dietle James has fashions you can't find anywhere else in this area.They have the hottest fashions. The staff was really attentive andhelped my wife find just the right dress. She loves the store andnow shops at the web site. Jeans, dresses, shoes, swimwear

  • Surf gear and more.

    Paradise Surf Shop -This is a surf shop especially for women surfers. They have all kinds of surf gear and clothes, swimwear and their own logo gear, which is popular with locals. They also have lessons and rental equipment. Even though I am a man and don't shop here, many of my women friends like their logo wear: sweatshirts, T-shirts etc.

  • Yarn by the yard...

    The Yarn Place is a small house just at the corner of Bay and Capitola Ave heading to the beach.It has 4 rooms stacked full of different types, styles of yarn. If you knit, it is paradise. Pretty much every kind of yarn made is carried even in this tiny shop. Everything from the low priced every day "synthetic" to the $50/skane fancy silks and...


Capitola Local Customs

  • The first quarter

    The first quarter released in 2005 honors California, and is the 31st in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 1850, becoming our Nation’s 31st State. Nicknamed the "Golden State," California’s quarter depicts naturalist and conservationist John Muir admiring Yosemite Valley’s...

  • Gallerie tour...

    Capitola is overflowing with creative people.the sorrounding hills , the santa cruz mountains, and the monterey bay provide an ever charging panorama just begging for an artistic interpretation.capitola's galleries are filled with colorfulsea and landscapes. SALLY BOOKMAN, the gallerie109 capitola av. 831 464 3838 MANY HANDS GALLERIE510 bay av....

  • A little bit of History

    Capitola is built on the location of an Indian village that existed for more than a thousand years.Native inhabitants, known as the Soquel Indians, were removed to the Mission Santa Cruz when it was established in 1791. Nearly all traces of the Soquel "rancheria" and its culture vanished. In the Mexican Era that followed, the territory became part...


Capitola Warnings and Dangers

  • MDH's Profile Photo

    Safety in Capitola

    by MDH Updated May 25, 2003

    The town is policed by the small but very efficient Capitola Police Department. Crime here is very much a non-issue, and the town is very safe. However, please be advised of people who might try to break into cars parked in the town's various parking zones.

    If anything, you should most be aware of in Capitola are the amount of pedestrians and bicyclists around town, especially in the crampt Village area. Be aware whenever they're crossing the street! Know that parking can be a hassel in Capitola, especially during holiday weekends and the peak of the summer season.

    At the beach, also be aware of the tides that come in and out. The water of the Monterey Bay can be calm one moment and hard-hitting the next. Its constant low temperature of around 48 F doesn't help matters either, and can give someone hypothermia if they're in it long enough without a wetsuit. The waters off the beaches can get quite crowded with surfers, so if you're out there in the water, please know if there's any other boarders around you. You don't want one of them accidently knock you in the head then they're riding a wave!

    If anything should happen, contact the Capitola Police Department, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, or the California Highway Patrol. Always call 911.

    Capitola Beach, Wharf and Village in the fall.
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports

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Capitola Favorites

  • beautiful waterfront dining

    I did not put this in the restaurant section, because this is a tip on dining in general in Capitola. Particularly on Esplanade street, there is a great selection of dining options right on the waterfront. Spectacular views and great food. This area seems to have a more of a party vibe than anywhere else in the village. There are about five...

  • Pretty city by the bay

    Capitola is picturesque and appealing. From the pastel-colored beach bungalows to candle-lit dinners, it's a visual delight.

  • Soquel Indians

    Capitola is built on the location of an Indian village that existed for more than a thousand years.Native inhabitants, known as the Soquel Indians, were removed to the Mission Santa Cruz when it was established in 1791. Nearly all traces of the Soquel "rancheria" and its culture vanished. In the Mexican Era that followed, the territory became part...


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