We’ve all heard of Santa Cruz but have you heard of Capitola? Located just South East from Santa Cruz is the charming town of Capitola. This small town is often overshadowed by their bigger neighbor but many who visit will fall in love with the colorful buildings and the small town feel with streets lined with shops and restaurants in Capitola Village. Capitola has a rich history with a location that can’t be beat with a beautiful beach, lagoon, iconic wharf and bridge, and so much more. We recently spent a weekend there and want to give a small glimpse of what Capitola has to offer.
We stayed at the Capitola Venetian Hotel which is an all suite hotel located just behind Capitola’s iconic colorful buildings. The hotel and neighboring private homes are considered the first coastal condominiums in the state dating back to 1925. The rich history of Capitola surrounds the hotel that has many rooms with ocean views and balconies. Each suite has a slightly different configuration with kitchens available in all units. The hotel is perfectly situated right on the beach and minutes walk from the Capitola Wharf and Stockton Avenue Bridge.
Paradise Beach Grille is located along the gorgeous Capitola lagoon with a patio overlooking the water with the ocean as a backdrop. They offer Lunch, Happy Hour (Monday-Friday), and Dinner every day with live music on some nights. We stopped by for lunch and tried a couple of their seafood options and left full and energized for some more fun on the beach!
We had a delicious dinner at Sotola Bar and Grill which serves California Farmstead Cuisine. They focus on local growers, ranches, and fisheries so you know everything is fresh. They have large windows everywhere with views of the ocean and beach on all sides. They also have a great outdoor seating area that overlooks the lagoon with the famous Venetian Court in the background.
You haven’t visited Capitola until you’ve wandered around Capitola Village visiting its many restaurants, shops, and art galleries that sell all sorts of fun and interesting things. We spent a couple of hours wandering in and out of shops and still didn’t get a chance to see everything! We stopped by a couple of shops including the following:
Sweet Asylum Boutique for some beautiful sea inspired jewelry and gifts
Phoebe’s Jewelry and Art to see some beautiful glass art and local paintings
Capitola Reef for some fun beach and surf gear as well as an expansive toe ring collection
Nubia for their expansive swimwear collection
Rainbow City Limit for a large variety of colorful gifts and souvenirs.
Capitola Wharf is located along the side of Capitola Beach. It is the perfect place for a stroll, fishing, or to grab a quick bite at the Wharf House. It’s also a great place to look for whales and dolphins when in season.
Capitola Beach is the center of Capitola with everything you need for a perfect beach day. The beach has plenty of sand space to lay out, play frisbee, and build sand castles. There are also a lot of beginner surfers that learn to surf along the cliffs to the left with the Capitola Wharf running along the right. Right behind the beach is a lagoon lined with restaurant patios with a Veneice feel.