About 100 kilometers south of San Francisco is Capitola, a sleepy seaside town that embodies many of the ideals of a California of sun, sand, and relaxation. The name Capitola may sound to you like something more terrifying, as it was the setting that inspired Hitchcock to create his famous film The Birds when in the 60s, the birds of this town were poisoned with domoic acid and began to act terribly.
Beyond that curious anecdote, it is a beautiful little city with many plans for a wide population, ranging from families to young people looking to have fun. Today we tell you the best things to do in Capitola, always according to the statistics of the favorite places of its inhabitants.
What can I do in Capitola?
Life in Capitola is quiet but busy, and there is always an atmosphere in the most central areas of the city. Although the plans are varied, you have to remember that it is a coastal city, with a lot of sun and always good temperatures. This means that all plans revolve around the beach and the sea.
Their locals always recommend a few things to visit in Capitola. And according to the Statista web platform, Capitola is one of the towns in California that receives the most visitors and new neighbors. Although it is not the cheapest place to start a new life, it is the place that artists and people related to cinema and music often choose.
The best place to get an idea of why Capitola is a very visited place is its beach, without a doubt. A precious space that also has many advantages: it is right next to the town, with restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the sunset. In addition, right next to it is the Venetian Hotel, a group of colorful houses that make this one of the most photographed sights.
In the summer months, Capitola Beach becomes the center of activity in the city: free concerts by the sea, surf contests, and Soquel Creek which young children can swim in without entering the ocean. It is indeed a tourist place, and it will be convenient for you to go soon to get to know it more calmly. The good thing is that there is sunlight 300 days a year, and you can almost always swim.
Shops and art galleries: Capitola Village and Phoebe’s
Next to Capitola beach, you will find another of the important places in the city. This is Capitola Village, and it is made up of those typical seaside promenades of coastal towns, but with interesting boutiques and shops to visit.
Capitola Village is not like those gigantic shopping malls where trendy clothing chains are, but a small place where locals buy useful things and tourists enjoy souvenirs. Buy souvenirs here or there, and some Californian fashion stores that will undoubtedly make you fall in love.
And if what you like are the more artisan bohemian spaces, then you have to visit Phoebe’s. It is an art gallery opened in 1996, where there are precious works of art and crafts. Maybe you could buy a souvenir from there because at Phoebe’s the theme is closely related to the aesthetics of the streets of Capitola.
The Capitola Historical Museum
The beach, the sun, and the small shops are charming, but to learn more about the history of Capitola, you should visit its historical museum. It is a small place, with a permanent exhibition and some other temporary ones that show the town’s history, historical photos and works by local artists.
It is also a completely free visit. It is true that being a small art space, it is always appreciated to make a small donation so that the city’s young artists can be exhibited there and perhaps expand to larger places.
The famous SS Palo Alto
Let’s move away from the most central part of Capitola a little. We can visit a really interesting place: it is on Seacliff beach, and it is the famous SS Palo Alto, a half-sunken cargo ship representing a historical event. The government finished it too late, and it couldn’t be used for the war, so it was stationed there, and the distinctive pier led to it being built.
Today the pier is a place to fish, and some shops or entertainment venues are installed. The ship cannot be visited inside, and since it has been there for so long, it serves as a refuge for some marine species. It is one of the favorite places of the people in Capitola, so listen to them when they recommend you go there, walk along the pier, and see the landscape you can enjoy from the point to the coast.
Bodega Armina and Gayle’s Bakery
If you are from California or a lover of this part of the United States, you probably know how famous its wines are. This also happens in Capitola, and that is why one of the most interesting places is its cellar called Armida. Some beautiful fields where you can enjoy the afternoon sun while learning a little more about the history of wine.
For about 20 dollars it is possible to visit the vineyards and have a small tasting of the seasonal wines. This is a perfect plan, but even more so if it is combined with visiting the famous Gayle’s bakery. Delicious cakes and homemade food, which you can prepare to take with you on a picnic by the sea.
Although very good restaurants are scattered around the small town, such as Zelda’s on the Beach or Paradise Beach Grille, the charm of eating homemade and sweet food on the beach while watching the sunset over the ocean is priceless. A visit to learn about things to do in Capitola can be exciting, but it will also be relaxing. This shows that life in California is full of sun, beaches, and relaxation.