Take a road trip from San Jose in California’s Bay Area to Capitola, a whimsical and colorful seaside city that is only 40 minutes from San Jose. Craving that special brand of relaxation usually found only on the Greek Isles or Italian coast, but don’t want the hassle and expense of European travel? Come to Capitola, the quintessential Mediterranean beach town nestled between the redwood forests and Pacific waves of California’s Monterey Bay. The oldest beach resort in California, it is the perfect place for relaxation and fun that the entire family will enjoy. Capitola boasts beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, unique boutique shopping, a lively Esplanade, and a series of events that delight people of all ages. Enjoy all of this and more while surrounded by the unique charm of Capitola’s vintage beach town buildings.
Attractions and Activities in Capitola
The Capitola Beach and Brighton State Beach are beautiful, the Esplanade is bursting with life and the Capitola Wharf has great fishing. Capitola knows how to provide sun-soaked fun and relaxation for visitors of all generations. The town’s annual and daily events never fail to be crowd-pleasers. Capitola Esplanade Park hosts twilight concerts every Wednesday in the summer, the Capitola Car Show in June and the Capitola Art & Wine Festival in September. Other popular Capitola events are the Labor Day Begonia Festival, the Wharf to Wharf Race in July and Surfing Santa & the Reindeer in November.
New Brighton State Beach
New Brighton State Beach is one of the most popular and most visited state beaches in California. This 93-acre park along the beautiful coast of Santa Cruz offers spectacular views of the Monterey Bay. It is famous for its family-oriented campground which sits on the towering bluffs high above the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful, lush vegetation of towering pine trees, Monterey Cypress, oak, eucalyptus trees, and wild berry vines surround campers with peaceful tranquility. Once the site of a Chinese fishing village, it now offers locals and visitors a haven from the hectic pace of city life.
Capitola Historical Museum
The Capitola Historical Museum maintains extensive collections of photographs and artifacts related to Capitola’s history, and offers to change exhibits on the history and art of the area, as well as on special seasonal and topical themes. Museum grounds now include a reconstructed cottage from the era of the early 20th-century beach resort and a wash house.
Capitola Beach is one of California’s prettiest city beaches, always busy. It has beautiful views of the Monterey Bay and sailboats moored offshore, and a string of colorfully-painted cottages along the water add a festive touch.
White Crane Winery
White Crane Winery, an oasis for those seeking beautiful scenery, fine wine, and a White Crane Winery unique and memorable tasting experience. Panoramic views surround this hidden jewel tucked deep in the heart of Livermore Valley’s finest winegrowing region. Book your wedding or special event and create a memory that will last a lifetime. Winemaker Nick Nardolillo has mastered the art of creating world-class, award-winning, ultra-premium wines. He selects only top quality grapes from his estate and other premium vineyards throughout Northern California. Hand crafted in small lots are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Bordeaux Blends, Sparkling Wine, and Ports.
Dining in Capitola
Nothing is better than dining in Capitola village with the sounds of crashing waves and local musicians serving as background music. The Esplanade is the place to be for the liveliest Capitola dining and drinking experience – a scene that will stay alive well into the wee hours of the morning. Some local favorites include Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria, Paradise Beach Grille, Pizza My Heart and Zelda’s. Take the tiny “cable car” up to Shadowbrook Restaurant for a relaxed fine dining experience that will impress even the most discerning foodies.
Zelda’s On The Beach
Just a quick drive over the hill from the quaint town of Los Gatos, in the beachside city of Capitola, sits a rare gem of a restaurant called Zelda’s. The expansive outside boardwalk situates you right on the sand where you can watch the ocean roll in while your dogs sit at your feet or even romp up and down the boardwalk playing with their newfound furry friends. It is impossible to have a care in the world once you start sipping one of their fabulous margaritas, or if you happen to be there in the morning, their killer Bloody Marys.
Paradise Beach Grille
On January 2nd, 1998, we purchased the building at 215 Esplanade. After 5 months of extensive renovations, we opened our restaurant, Paradise Beach Grille, in late May of the same year on Memorial Day. Five years later in 2003, Robert and Carol Coe joined the Paradise Beach Grille family as investment partners. Still going strong, last May marked our 11th year anniversary.
Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria
In 1978, Gayle & Joe Ortiz started a small bakery in 800 square feet, with one friend serving 10 items. Five years later, the Rosticceria, an Italian deli with a wood-burning rotisserie was added. Today, Gayle’s is a thriving 10,000 square foot food emporium with two successful cookbooks and 115 employees. Every day, they transform the best natural ingredients like real butter, fresh eggs, and organic flour into more than 500 different pastries, cakes, cookies, bread, sandwiches and entreés.
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.
Cava Wine Bar
In 2004, Cliff and his partner Zach had a business idea for a Wine Bar in the right location to establish a fun and relaxing venue where everyone could have the opportunity to discover new wines in a comfortable environment. Affordability and a fun-loving, somewhat irreverent atmosphere were paramount. Cliff’s roots started in Panama. His historical arc of food and wine spans many continents; this experience and passion comes forward in any discussion with Cliff. Truly it is his calling. Cliff realized at a young age that he would do almost anything for a good glass of wine. In fact, he gave up his favorite Puka shell necklace for a bottle of 1984 Les Perrieres Meursault Premier Cru.
Shopping in Capitola
After a few hours enjoying the Capitola Beach, shoppers can simply step from the sand onto the town’s famous Esplanade and up Capitola Avenue. This is the main shopping area in Capitola, and it won’t disappoint. Visitors can find everything from bookstores to surf shops to couture clothing boutiques to art galleries along this small street. Some of the shoppers’ favorites include Big Kahuna, The Craft Gallery Annex and The Village Mouse. The Capitola Mall is an enclosed shopping center that houses Macy’s, Sears and over 100 other shops and restaurants.
Steps to the beach, in the heart of the Capitola Village, our boutique hotel offers clean, comfortable rooms with high quality linens and breezy Caribbean décor. Relax with a complimentary cup of gourmet coffee, tea, and freshly baked pastries or biscotti available in our lobby each morning. Keep in touch with free Wi-Fi access available throughout the property. Park once at walk to fine restaurants, unique shops and galleries. Enjoy live music, wine tasting, the beach and Capitola Wharf, all within steps of your room. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is ready to welcome you. We are looking forward to your visit!
Capitola Venetian Hotel
The Capitola Venetian is an all-suite, boutique hotel on the beach in Capitola Village, five miles south of Santa Cruz and forty miles north of Monterey. A fabulous lodging. Capitola Village has repeatedly been voted one of the best spots on the California coast, a town where you walk everywhere: to shops, art galleries, restaurants and coffee houses, right there at the waterfront. Among the annual events that draw visitors and locals are the Begonia Festival, Art and Wine Festival, and the famous Wharf to Wharf race. The Venetian itself is in the Mediterranean style with hand-carved doors thematic of Venice, Italy; their craftsmanship reflects the quality of the variety of suites available for singles, couples, and sizeable families. See Our Rooms.
Inn at Depot Hill
Inn at Depot Hill, we pride ourselves on providing friendly, personalized service and beautiful guest rooms and suites. Beyond the comfort of your accommodations, these complimentary services and amenities are provided to ensure your visit is a memorable experience.