12 Unforgettable Things to do in Capitola CA

Capitola is a small beach town off of the PCH in California. The city is known for their quiet beaches, delicious restaurants, and cute cottage houses that line the streets. Capitola is a great place to visit if you want a tamer beach city with fewer tourists but just as much fun.

Although small, there are still tons of things to do in Capitola to make the most of your visit.

Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.

Venetian Court in Capitola California

Memorable Things to Do in Capitola CA

Venetian Court 

  • Address: 1500 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA

Venetian Court is a street filled with pastel cottages that sit right next to the wharf in Capitola. All of the homes are part of a hotel and privately owned, so you can’t walk through them. However, nobody will stop you from enjoying the outsides of them and their rainbow colors.

Plus, these cottages face the beach, so you can take a beach trip and visit the cottages on the same day, so why miss it?

Capitola Wharf

  • Address: 1400 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA 

One more of the many Capitola attractions is the wharf. Now Capitola’s wharf isn’t packed and filled with shops and goods like Santa Cruz or Monterey, but it is still a relaxed wharf to visit. It extends 855-feet into the ocean, and you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along with it, especially since it isn’t often crowded.

You’ll find a lot of tourists and locals fishing off the wharf, and if you want, you can check off The Wharf House, a restaurant that sits at the end of it.

Village Museum

  • Address: 410 Capitola Ave, Capitola, CA

Capitola is one of the oldest seaside resort towns in California, dating back to the 1800s, so their small town has a lot of history built into it.

One fantastic way to learn more and spend an entertaining afternoon in town is to take a tour through the Capitola Historical Museum to learn the town’s history and its community.

The museum is one of the greatest things to see in Capitola, it’s open Thursday through Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm and here is a good website for further details.

Shadowbrook Restaurant 

  • Address: 1750 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA 

Shadowbrook Restaurant is a well-known place to dine in Capitola, and if you’re staying within three miles of the restaurant, they will even send a vintage 1966 Checker Taxi to pick you up!

The place is a little more on the fancy side, so don’t wear your flip flops in. Their menu includes fresh seafood, vegetarian options, and prime rib.

Capitola California

New Brighton State Beach

  • Address: 1500 Park Ave, Capitola, CA

If you’re looking for a family-friendly beach in Capitola, New Brighton State Beach is perfect for hanging out. The beach offers campgrounds, a picnic area, swimming, fishing, and even the Monterey Pine Forest.

There is a parking fee of $10 to visit, but the beach is often empty, giving your family more room to enjoy themselves.

Capitola City Beach

  • Address: San Jose Ave & Esplanade, Capitola, CA 

Capitola City Beach is more of a well-known beach in Capitola and is perfect for visiting for a sunrise or sunset view. The beach has a volleyball court, showers, restrooms, restaurants, and shopping is also available nearby.

Surfing is a popular spot here, so you can enjoy watching the locals catching some waves. Not a fan of crowds? Worry not! The beach is more than big enough for the crowds it brings.

  • Address: 121 San Jose Ave, Capitola, CA

This art gallery features work from Thomas Kinkade, who is known as a “painter of light” and does a lot of portraits of pastoral settings.

While you might not know the name, his artwork is a staple in many households; they say at least one in twenty houses in American own a copy of his work. The gallery offers signed proofs and Master Edition work from the artist.

Capitola Mall

  • Address: 1855 41st Ave, Capitola, CA

Sounds weird, right? Capitola still holds a mall to its name, and it is great to visit and shop around it. There are over 80 stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues inside Capitola Mall, which is perfect for the whole family.

While there are some department stores in the mall, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the local artisan stores spread out across it.

Capitola Art and Wine Festival 

  • Address: 716 Capitola Ave, Suite G, Capitola, CA

Interested in fun things to do in Capitola? Well this wine and art festiva might be the answer. Every September, the Capitola Art and Wine Festival takes over a weekend to provide drinks, food, and art to locals and tourists. They showcase over 160 artists with wine and food from over 222 vendors throughout Santa Cruz.

Their food options are outstanding, including Hawaiian, falafels, and all your favorite deep-fried goodness. You can also enjoy live music, dancing, and street performers.

Check programs, upcoming dates, and more details about the even in the official website.

Armida Winery 

  • Address: 103 Stockton Ave, Capitola, CA

Stopping into a winery in Capitola is a perfect idea when you’re exploring. Armida offers a ton of options on wine from Chardonnay to Zinfandel, and they also feature a guided tour of the winery with samples for $20. If you buy a bottle, the tasting fee is waived.

Hanging out at Armida Winery is excellent if you’re looking to relax a little and enjoy a good glass of wine, book a wine tasting spot here.

Paradise Beach Grille

  • Address: 215 Esplanade, Capitola, CA 

The Paradise Beach Grille opened its doors in 1988 and serves terrific food with a stunning view. For seven years, it has been voted one of the best restaurants in Capitola, and we understand why.

Their menu includes fresh seafood with steak and vegetarian options, plus a gluten-free menu and even a kids menu. Sometimes the restaurant has live music, offering a killer wine list. Take a look at their menu and book a table here.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales 

  • Address: 103 Kennedy Dr, Capitola, CA

You can’t skip a good brewery when it’s in front of you. This brewery offers old-world ales that focus on quality and craft, so their beer is nothing but extraordinary. Locals love their American Wild Ale, Love’s Armor, and Maiden Fields Berliner Weisse.

They are open seven days a week, at 2 pm Tuesday through Thursday and noon Friday through Sunday, you can also get in touch with the brewery before the visit through their website.

While Capitola is on the quieter side, you will still have a great time exploring this relaxed, beach town. It is perfect for anyone who wants a mellow day trip, or a few days to relax and clear their head.

Looking for more places to visit in Central Coast California? Check these posts!

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