15 Best Things to Do in Capitola

15 Best Things to Do in Capitola

Nestled on the coast of Monterey Bay, Capitola is a lovely city in the Santa Cruz County in the golden state of California.

This town is located only a two-hour drive away from San Francisco. This small city has a population of nearly 10,000 people. It is one of the beach towns in the West and also the oldest beach resort on the west coast.

Capitol is a popular tourist destination; people all around the come to this stunning city to experience its sandy beaches and lovely parks.

However, the city has a lot more to it than beaches; there is an assortment of various eateries, shops, museums, and entertainment. The close-knit community of the town also hosts several festivals in the city throughout the year.

One thing is sure, the city has plenty for you to do and explore. Here are 15 of the best things to do in the lovely town of Capitola.

Stroll In The Californian Sunshine

Capitola sunset
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The golden state of California is known for its bright and coruscating sunshine. The weather of Capitola is usually very pleasant, which makes this city perfect to explore by just walking around.

This delightful town is easy on the eye and serves incredible views of the ocean and the sandy beaches. You can discover new shops and cafes along your way and try some Californian street food while you’re at it.

Longs walk in the palm-lined boulevard while being soaked in the golden sunlight will make you love this gorgeous city even more.

Learn About Local History At Capitola Historical Museum

Capitola Historical Museum is a local museum which offers ever so changing displays and exhibitions about the history of the town of Capitola and its lovely coastal community.

The display consists of multiple artefacts and old memorabilia that describes the local history very beautifully.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and will answer all of your questions accurately. It is located right next to Capitola City Hall and is open from Wednesdays through Sundays during the afternoon.

Visit the Capitola Historical Museum to learn and appreciate the local history of this incredible town.

Sunrise Or Sunset At Capitola Beach

Capitola Beach
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Perched along the northern end of Monterey Bay, Capitola City Beach is a well-liked sandy urban beach.

It is perfect for enjoying the central coast weather while relishing the breathtaking views of the ocean. The beach offers volleyball courts, showers, shops, restaurants, restrooms, fishing pier, and so much more.

Surfing is pretty popular here, and you will find many surfers enjoying the waves of the ocean. The beach is also a pretty favoured place among bird watchers, and you can spot several birds here.

There are benches all over the beach where you can sit and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to catch the magnificent view of sunset or sunrise from Capitola Beach.

Thomas Kinkade Signature Gold Gallery of Capitola is a beautiful gallery that displays American artist Thomas Kinkade’s paintings.

The legendary artist was also known as “Painter of Light” and painted a lot of portraits of pastoral setting, idyllic subjects, and his other works such as collage artworks.

Do you know that every one in twenty houses in America possesses at least one copy of Thomas Kinkade’s work?

You can Kinkade’s original work in the gallery with signed proofs, and Master Edition works. Visit this lovely little gallery to view the work of this venerable American artist.

Shop Until You Drop At The Capitola Mall

Santa Cruz’s only indoor mall, Capitola Mall was opened in 1977. The mall has over 80 stores, eateries, and entertainment avenues. There is a right blend of local artisan stores and major department stores.

The mall has every American staple store in it, including Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s and much more.

Along with stores, it has various eating establishments as well such as Olive Garden, Five Guys Burger and Fries, Subway, Starbucks, and much more. Stroll around in this mall to best explore what it has to offer and experience the quintessential American mall.

Stop By The New Brighton State Beach

New Brighton State Beach
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Situated on East of Santa Cruz’s Monterey Bay, New Brighton State Beach is a beach park in Capitola. It covers an area of about 95 acres and offers sweeping views of the Californian coast.

The beach is famous for different recreational activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, surfing, swimming, and more.

The shores and the waters of this beautiful beach provide a home to a lot of wildlife including rock crabs,  sea stars, dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, pelicans, and so many more.

The beach also has designated picnic areas where you can enjoy a picnic on a sunny day while enjoying the stunning view and the sound of waves crashing.

The main entrance of the beach also has a gift shop in the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center where you can buy souvenirs from to remember this city by.

Attend The Capitola Art & Wine Festival

Capitola Art & Wine Festival
David A. Litman / Shutterstock.com

Capitola Art & Wine Festival provides a fun weekend where you can drink exceptional wines and artisanal food while admiring locally made crafts.

The festival is held in mid-September and provides the last hurrah of the summer. The festival showcases the art of more than 160 talented artists, exceptional wines from over 222 wineries of Santa Cruz, and more.

There are various fascinating options to choose from when it comes to food; you can eat everything from Hawaiian poke to falafels. Along with marvellous food, wine, and art, the festival also provides entertainment with live music, local dance, street performers, and more.

Attend the Capitola Art & Eine Festival to satisfy your inner gastronome while enjoying gorgeous art and wonderful entertainment.

Fishing At The Capitola Wharf

Capitola Wharf
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Capitola Wharf is a pier located above the Pacific ocean in Capitola. There are various oldest condominiums and vacation homes situated near the dock.

There are several restaurants located near as well where you can enjoy the view of the pier while dining. The pier provides breathtakingly beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the blue sky of California.

You can enjoy fishing while gazing and appreciating the beauty of the pier. Only 260 meters in length, it is never jam-packed.

You can enjoy long and peaceful walks here while relishing the beauty of the dotted shoreline and pastel buildings. Don’t forget to catch the sunset or sunrise at the Capitol Wharf, and you’ll thank us later.

Go Surfing!

Capitola Surfing
Michael Barajas / Shutterstock.com

Capitola is a fantastic place to catch a wave, so don't forget your surfboard. Also check out the Capitola Beach Company, a fantastic surfside beach boutique in Capitola that offers surfing and paddleboarding lessons.

Surfing in the pacific ocean while enjoying the golden sunshine is a must when you are California. So if you don’t know how to surf, Capitola Beach Company is perfect for you.

You can book your lessons online on their website. The instructors and experienced and trained and will take good care of you.

The company even provides all the gear and equipment with the lessons, so that you don’t have to buy or rent anything. If you already know how to surf, then you can rent surfboards and other such things from the company at an accessible price.

Sample Wines At Armida Winery

Armida Winery
jejim / Shutterstock.com

Santa Cruz boasts some of the very best wineries of the region and offers exceptional wines made from grapes grown and harvested in the mountainous region of the county.

A heavenly winery that offers breathtakingly incredible views, Armida Winery is located in the quaint town of Capitola.

It is nestled in a picturesque location with mountains of Santa Cruz on one side and Monterey Bay on the other. The winery offers an impressive collection of hand-craft vineyard designated wines.

It provides wines from some of the most renowned wineries of the region including Durell Vineyard, Maple Vineyards, and more. You can taste different varieties of Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Zinfandel, and many more here.  

You can also take a guided tour of the winery and sample different types of wines for only $20, and this fee will also be waived if you decide to buy a bottle or two of wines from the winery. Visit this remarkable winery and experience the renowned winery yourself.

Dine While Gazing At The Ocean At The Paradise Beach Grille

Paradise Beach Grille
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Opened in 1988, Paradise Beach Grille is a fantastic restaurant in Capitola that serves delicious American food along with fresh seafood. It has been voted the best restaurant in the city for seven years.

This restaurant is the absolute perfect place to have lunch while enjoying the stunning view of the ocean. The menu offers a wide variety of delicious food, from salads to steaks, along with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. It also provides an extensive collection of wines to pair with your meal.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is very relaxed with live music. Gogobot.com named the Paradise Beach Grille the 18th most romantic restaurant in the world. Satisfy your hunger at the Paradise Beach Grille and eat mouth-watering food with stunning views of the ocean.

Experience Fine Dining At The Shadowbrook

Founded in 1947, Shadowbrook is an acclaimed restaurant in Capitola that provides a unique dining experience and offers indoor, outdoor, and rooftop dining.

This award-winning restaurant is known to provide “romance in the dining”. The diverse menu of the restaurant provides scrumptious American cuisine with a twist to it.

Some of the most famous dishes on the menu are Thai-style game hen, hazelnut-crusted brook trout, and honey-glazed pork chops.

The eatery also provides vegan and vegetarian option to cater to everyone; some of the best vegan and vegetarian items on the menu are sunflower seed risotto, black truffle gnocchi, stuffed portobello, and soba noodle medley.

Shadowbrook also offers free shuttle service to everyone within a 3-mile radius.

So if you are near the restaurant, you can call them, and they will pick you up and drop you at the restaurant for free. Enjoy a meal at this fabulous restaurant to experience the “romance in dining” with delectable food.

Drink Crafted Ales At Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is a small but charming brewery in Capitola that serves old-world-style ales and several other types of brilliant beers.

This brewery focuses on the quality and the craft to ensure that the end product is extraordinary.

It serves the best craft beer in the town. Some of the best selling brews of the place are Four Legs Good Blond Quad, American Wild Ale, Saison Bernice, Love’s Armor, Maiden Fields Berliner Weisse, and Deaf Stewart Witbier.

The brewery operates year-round and is open seven days of the week. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is a perfect place for you if you love beers.

Eat Cakes And Sandwiches At Gayle’s Bakery

Gayle’s Bakery is a bakery cafe in Capitola that serves delicious desserts and pastries along with deli sandwiches, salads, and breakfast food. Enjoy scrumptious cakes and pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The signature cakes of the Bakery include blackberry bramble, orange chiffon, multi-fruit tarte, chocolate mousse, salted caramel cake, and obviously, the old fashioned chocolate cake.

Along with these delicious cakes, the bakery-cafe serves other desserts as well as roasted meats, deli sandwiches, soups, and so much more. Don’t forget to visit Gayle’s Bakery and try their flavoursome desserts and other scrummy dishes.

Stay At The Venetian Hotel

Venetian Hotel
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Located on the Capitola City Beach, Venetian Hotel is a boutique hotel in Capitola that offers several amenities and sweeping views. Venetian Hotel has been voted as one of the best hotels on the coast of  California.

The hotel is built with Mediterranean style and features hand-carved doors like of Venice. The hotel offers different types of suites to cater to everyone.

Stay at the Venetian Hotel to enjoy ocean views from your room and make your stay worthwhile.

A gorgeous coastal city full of history and adventure, Capitola is a perfect place to experience the world-famous coasts of California while still being in a small and tight-knit city.

The numerous beaches, wineries, eateries, festivals will win over your heart.

Visit this incredibly beautiful town to experience and explore the spirit of California. Do not forget to tell us your favourite thing from the list and make sure to do all these things when you visit Capitola.

Best Airbnbs in Capitola

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Best Hotels in Capitola

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