30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Capitola

Capitola is situated on the shores of the central coast of California. This popular tourist destination is a small seaside town in Santa Cruz County.

This lovely city, two hours far from San Francisco, attracts tourists from around the world.

People usually come here to explore its sandy beaches, shops, and wonderful parks. However, it has a lot more to explore than just beaches and parks.

It hosts various festivals, has a historic museum, huge restaurants, and many more.

Here you can find the best beauty, legal, financial, real estate, shops, eat, play, and other services.

There is something for everyone here. Capitola has welcomed visitors for more than 150 years so it has a large variety of things to explore.

I am sharing a list of thirty things that you must do while visiting Capitola. 

Things To Do In Capitola

1. Capitola Historical Museum

Things To Do In Capitola

It is located on Capitola Avenue, near Capitola City Hall. It offers displays and exhibitions about Capitola’s history including artifacts and old memories that perfectly describe local history. 

Things to do:

Visit this great place to learn about Capitola history and its lovely coastal community and appreciate its history.

Timings: Friday – Sunday, 12-4 pm 

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2. Capitola Beach

Things To Do In Capitola

Located along the shores of the northern end of Monterey Bay in Capitola City, it is a sandy urban beach. Capitola Beach has showers, restaurants, shops, restrooms, and many more.

Things to do:

Ocean waves offer you a perfect place for surfing. This Beach offers you benches where you can sit comfortably and enjoy the beautiful view. It gives you a perfect view of sunrise and sunset.

Timings: 24 hours 

3. Thomas Kinkade Signature Gold Gallery

Things To Do In Capitola

This beautiful Thomas Kinkade Signature Gold Gallery offers you the paintings of the Great artist Thomas Kinkade.

Thomas Kinkade is also known as the Painter of Light. Here, you can see his original artwork with signed proofs and master edition works. This great artist was also known for his collage art.

Things to do:

You should visit this place to view the works of Thomas Kinkade. If you are interested in arts and painting then this is must watch place for you.

Timings: seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm

4. Capitola Mall

Things To Do In Capitola

Capitola Mall has been operating since 1977. It is located along 41st Avenue and has around 80 stores, entertainment avenues, and eateries.

It is a perfect mixture of local artisans and departmental stores. It has so many eating establishments such as Olive Garden, Subway, Starbucks, and others.

Things to do: 

Wander around the mall to explore what it has to offer and experience American staples.

Timings:11 am to 7 pm, seven days a week 

5. New Brighton State Beach

Things To Do In Capitola

Nestled East of Santa Cruz’s Monterey Bay, this is a beach park in Capitola City. It is spread over an area of 95 acres offering scenic views of the California Coast.

Things to do:

It is the perfect spot for enjoying recreational activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, and surfing.

Timings: 24 hours 

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6. Annual Capitola Art and Wine Festival

Things To Do In Capitola

At this festival, you can have exceptional wines with artisanal food and also love locally made crafts. It displays the art of more than 150 artists, wines from over 200 wineries, and a lot more

Things to do:

Attend this festival to enjoy beautiful art and fantastic entertainment.

Timings: In mid-September 

7. Capitola Wharf

Things To Do In Capitola

It is situated on Wharf road, is Pier perched over the Pacific Ocean. It is about 260 meters in length and there is no jam.

Things to do:

This wharf has various nearby restaurants, you can enjoy the view while having dinner. It is perfect for fishing and for watching stunning sunrises and sunsets.

Timings: 24 hours

8. Capitola Beach Company

Capitola Beach Company is a Surfside beach boutique that gives surfing and paddleboarding lessons. 

Things to do: 

If you do not know surfing and are interested in learning it then their well-trained and experienced coaches will take care of you.

Timings: 11 am to 5 pm, seven days a week

9. Armida Winery Tasting Room 

Things To Do In Capitola

The Armida Winery Tasting Room gives you extraordinary wines and breathtaking views. They made exceptional wines with those grapes that are grown in mountainous regions in the country.

They offer a collection of handcrafted wines which are vineyard-designated.

Things to do:

Here you can taste varieties of Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Zinfandel, and many more.

Timings: 11 am to 6 pm, seven days a week 

10. Paradise Beach Grille

Things To Do In Capitola

Built in 1998, Paradise Beach Grille has been serving different types of American delicacies including fresh seafood. 

It has been ranked the best restaurant in the city for seven years. Their menu has a wide range of food ranging from salads to steaks and vegan, gluten-free to seafood. 

Things to do:

Here you can have mouth-watering dishes to satisfy your hunger while enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean.

Timings: 11:30 am to 8:30 pm

11. Shadowbrook Restaurant

Things To Do In Capitola

Built in 1947, this restaurant offers you different types of dining experiences, including indoor, outdoor, and rooftop as well.

Their unique menu twists the traditional American delicacies. Honey-glazed pork chops and hazelnut-crusted brook trout are its most famous dishes.

For a vegan menu, stuffed Portobello and black truffle gnocchi are the best options. 

Things to do:

If you are near this place then can pick you up and drop you off after the meal that too free. 

Timings: 12 to 10 pm, seven days a week 

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12. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Things To Do In Capitola

This small and charming brewery serves traditional types of ales and extraordinary wines.

It is located on Kennedy Drive. Their primary focus is on the quality of their beer and they make sure that they craft the best beer in the city.

Four legs good blond quad, maiden fields Berliner Weisse and American wild ale are its best-selling brews. 

Things to do: 

For beer lovers, it is a perfect place for having a beer.

Timings: 12 to 7 pm on Sunday, 2 to 8 pm from Tuesday to Saturday, and Monday closed

13. Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticceria

Things To Do In Capitola

Located on Bay Avenue, Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticceria offers sweet and tasty desserts including pastries with breakfast food, salads, and sandwiches.

It is an appropriate place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Old fashioned chocolate cake, chocolate mousse cake, and salted caramel cake are its signature cakes. 

Things to do:

They provide a cozy ambiance so go there have a sweet meal time and relax.

Timings: 6:30 am to 7:30 pm, seven days a week 

14. Capitola Venetian Hotel

Things To Do In Capitola

Situated on Capitola City Beach, this hotel is a boutique hotel that gives you different amenities.

This will give you the vibes of Venice as it is designed in Mediterranean style with hand-carved doors. It provides its guests with different types of suites.

Things to do:

You can book this hotel and enjoy the ocean view from your window. Have a pleasant time and experience its vibes.

Timings: 24 hours

15. Caruso’s Tuscan Cuisine

Things To Do In Capitola

Located inside the Capitola Mercantile, Tuscan Cuisine is a retail complex designed like an old indoor European bazaar.

It has classic pasta meals and appetizers and it has 12 inches of wood-fired pizzas. It serves freshly prepared lunch daily.

Things to do: 

This place has a soothing aura, so go and have lunch with your friends. You can also make reservations for parties.

Timings: 5 to 8:30 pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Sunday and Monday are closed.

16. Sage Float Spa

Things To Do In Capitola

Want to destress? Then, this Sage Float Spa, located on 41st Avenue is the perfect place.

It will give you a peaceful and relaxing environment to reduce your stress levels, strengthen your inner peace, improve your sleep cycle and bring out your creativity. 

Things to do:- De-stress yourself and increase your concentration. Here you will be re-energized as they provide you float treatment with a Sauna with a massage.

Timings:- 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, seven days a week 

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17. Margaritaville 

Things To Do In Capitola

It is a Capitola institution for gourmet dining, located in Capitola Village. It has been serving for more than three decades.

It provides you with a wide range of freshly prepared Mexican delicacies like chicken mole enchiladas and seafood delicacies. 

Things to do:

Enjoy classical and authentic freshly prepared Mexican food. Also, they have a separate dog-friendly patio area so you can go with your dog as well. 

Timings: 11:30 am to 9 pm from Monday to Thursday, 11:30 am to 10 pm on Friday and 11 am to 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

18. Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery

Things To Do In Capitola

Located inside Capitola Mall, this museum is a perfect destination for kids for entertainment and early education.

Youngsters are motivated to develop an infinite curiosity and learning passion.  They also host birthday celebrations and special play dates.

Things to do:

Kids will experience the different people around the globe via some interactive plays. This will develop their motor skills and they will surely have a lot of fun in the cleaning setting.

Timings: 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm from Wednesday to Thursday and closed on Friday to Tuesday

19. Monarch Cove Inn

Things To Do In Capitola

Located on Capitola’s famous Depot Hill, this hotel on Sea Cliff gives splendid views of Monterey Bay’s sweeping curve. 

Things to do:

Enjoy staying here as it has individually designed Victorian bedrooms and cottages. These things will give you an aesthetic aura by fusing the past with the present.

Timings: 24 hours

20. Cinelux Capitola Cafe and Lounge

It is a movie theatre located on 41st Avenue. It is a perfect place to chill out with friends and peers.

Things to do:

If you want to watch a recent movie, then you should give it a try.

Timings: Different times as per the shows.

21. Phoebe’s Fine Jewelry and Art Glass

Located at 107 Capitola Avenue, Phoebe’s Fine Jewelry and Art Glass offers you a wide range of sculptures, vases, and ocean-themed custom gifts made up of hand-blown and hand-fused glasses.

Things to do:

If you are interested in home decor and gifts then explore this place and experience the creativity of cute artworks.

Timings: 11 am to 5 pm, seven days a week 

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22. Capitola Surf and Paddle

It is a great place for sports enthusiasts. Capitola Surf and Paddle is a surf school that gives you personalized lessons to level up your surfing and paddling.

They offer you experienced coaches who are trained in ocean safety and also have certificates. 

Things to do:

If you want to learn surfing and paddling but are afraid of them then you should visit Capitola Surf and Paddle to learn about them.

Timings: 24 hours

23. Trestles Restaurant

Located at 316, Capitola Avenue, this restaurant offers food made from seasonal locally sourced produce. 

Things to do:

You can spend time with your loved one while having dinner here.

Timings: 5 to 9:30 pm from Wednesday to Friday and 4:30 to 9:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday 

24. Lumen Gallery

Located at 112 Capitola Avenue, Lumen Gallery is an art gallery that has art pieces, jewelry, clothes, sculptures, hangings, wall decors, cards, and many more.

Here local artists with their innovative designs make and sell beautiful handcrafted goods.

Things to do:

You can consider this for shopping. From here you can buy home essentials and also find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

Timings: Monday to Thursday 11 am to 5 pm and Friday to Sunday 11 am to 6 pm

25. Bay Bar and Grill

Located on Esplanade, it is a dive bar with bartenders, pool tables, and a jukebox.

Things to do:

It is a good place to have fun at. If you are with friends then you can give it a try.

Timings: 1 pm to 2 am, closed on Monday

26. Violet Blossom Massage

It is a massage spa located in Capitola. Although it is not a popular tourist destination, people visit this to relax and have some time for self-care.

Things to do:

If you are having pain or loose tissue problems you can treat your body and mind with their therapeutic massage services. They have highly trained professional staff to relax your foot, hand, and body by massaging while enjoying music in the background.

Timings: 9 am to 6 pm, seven days a week

27. Brown’s Ranch Marketplace

Spread in an area of 85000 square feet, it is a 30-store shopping center. It is situated near Capitola Mall.

It has cafes, various eateries, pizza shops, a sweet corner, and a lot more. 

Things to do:

It is the perfect place for shopping. Here you can buy various items to make your Capitola visit memorable.

Timings: 10 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday 

28. Rainbow City Limit

It is a shop located a few steps from the beach. Well, now you must be thinking that it is a typical shop with casual T-shirts, cards and all but it has a lot more in it.

You will be fascinated by the kites, mugs, and their colorful cute products. 

Things to do:

If you are with children then bring them here. I am sure that it will be the most fun having the time they would spend in Capitola. 

Timings: 10:30 am to 6 pm, closed on Sundays 

29. The Mystery Spot

It is a place where the laws of physics don’t seem to hold up. It is a famous tourist destination and is popularly known as Gravity box.

Things to do:

It will take you 45 minutes to explore this wonderful place. If you are fascinated by illusions then add it to your bucket list.

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday and 10 am to 6 pm on Monday 

30. Capitola Village Tour

It is a three and half hour tour covering 2.8 miles. It takes you to the never mentioned historic spots. 

Things to do:

You can visit the three best restaurants in Capitola. 

Timings: Wednesday after 2 pm

Does Capitola Beach have a boardwalk?

Yes, Capitola Beach has a boardwalk. This boardwalk is good for sightseeing. There is a shade under this Boardwalk in case you need a break from the sun.

There are shops on the boardwalk that have boats for rent. Also, this area is not that busy.

Frequently Asked Question

Q1. Is Capitola worth visiting?
Capitola is a lovely little town with beaches, restaurants, and parks. Capitola is one of the most popular destinations on the West Coast. It is the perfect place for sunbathing and getting a perfect tan. So yes, visiting this cute little town is worth it. It is an excellent choice for those who are interested in exploring art galleries, breweries, restaurants, and surfing.

Q2. What is Capitola CA known for?
This small city, home to around 1000, is known for its beautiful beaches, and boating services. It has both natural beauty and other attractions such as shops, malls, entertainment, art galleries, and many more. 

Q3. Is Capitola Beach dirty?
Capitola Beach is ranked third on the list of most polluted beaches in the State of California. According to Heal The Bay, it received an F grade based on its water quality. The root cause of this problem includes sewage, agricultural pollutants, E. coli, and fecal coliform bacteria. 

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