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Capitola is a small, charming town on the coast of Monterey Bay in California. It is approximately 6 miles east of downtown Santa Cruz.

Get in


Take Santa Cruz Metro bus lines 66, 68 or 69 from Santa Cruz Metro Center towards Capitola Mall. The cost is $2.

If you're driving, Highway 1 and use 41st Avenue, Park Avenue or Bay Porter exits.

Get around


By bicycle, skateboard or bus. You could also call a taxi or an Uber.


  • 1 Capitola Historical Museum, 410 Capitola Avenue, +1 831 464-0322. Provides a physical history of Capitola with its collections of photographs and artifacts important to Capitola's history. It also features exhibits on the art or history of Capitola.


  • 1 Capitola City Beach. In the village is a wonderful family beach - lots of clean sand and small but regular waves for anyone learning to surf.
  • 2 New Brighton Beach. A scenic state beach about two miles from Capitola Village. There is a campsite above the beach. New Brighton State Beach (Q14683472) on Wikidata New Brighton State Beach on Wikipedia
  • The Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. Gathers to play at the gazebo beside the City Beach on Sundays from 10-11:30AM. Great fun and music in a glorious setting.



Capitola hosts events year-round, including Twilight Concerts, Art at the Beach, the Capitola Begonia Festival, Movies at the Beach, and the Capitola Art and Wine Festival.

  • Capitola Art & Wine Festival. An admission-free event held in Capitola Village. It features music and food, as well as art and wine; many local wineries, artists, and restaurants participate. This has been a Capitola tradition since 1983. In 2019, 160 artists and 22 wineries participated.
  • Wharf to Wharf. This six-mile race from the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf to the Capitola Wharf is known as "The best little roadrace in California." It began in 1973 and has gained popularity ever since. Cash prizes are doled out to the top three winners. The race is for all types of runners and is on a very scenic route. The race is limited to 15,000 runners.



Capitola Village offers a variety of shopping and dining options. The shopping area consists of a number of retail art galleries, jewelry stores, and cute boutiques that will satisfy even the most discerning shopper.


  • Fog Bank. Located right on the beach and offers casual, stick-to-your-ribs style meals. Serves breakfast through dinner. Blues bands entertain in the evenings.
  • 1 My Thai Beach, 207 Esplanade, +1 831 464-3800. 11:30AM-10PM. Thai restaurant serving delicious food on the beach.
  • Tortilla Flats, 4616 Soquel Dr, Soquel, +1 831 476-1754. Very good Mexican food, including moles, and margaritas. Weekly tapas special (Monday and Tuesday) and special events menus. $6-15.
  • 2 Shadowbrook Restaurant, 1750 Wharf Rd, +1 831-475-1511, toll-free: +1-800-975 1511. Gorgeous setting overlooking Soquel Creek and reached by a "cable car" tram. Fine dining, Old-World charm.
  • Paradise Beach Grille, 215 Esplanade, +1 831 476-4900. Overlooking the water in Capitola Village, offers great atmosphere and island fusion cuisine. Full bar.
  • 3 Zelda's on the Beach, 203 Esplanade, +1 831 475-4900. 7AM-2AM. Located on the beach with spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Capitola wharf. Thursdays are Lobster Night. Fridays are Prime Rib Night. Live Music every Friday and Saturday nights. Patio dining, bar, restaurant, full espresso bar. Free WiFi.





Go next

  • Santa Cruz - Located six miles west of Capitola, Santa Cruz is best known as a countercultural hub, with a fun bohemian feel and youthful vibe, and weekend tourist attractions like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a historic mission, and the dubious Mystery Spot. The beaches north and south of Santa Cruz are considered some of the more pristine areas of natural beauty in central California, and while conditions generally make them impractical for swimming, several are considered an expert surfer's cold cold paradise.
Routes through Capitola
San FranciscoSanta Cruz  N  S  AptosMonterey

This city travel guide to Capitola is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.