17 Super Fun Things to Do in Capitola, California

Are you planning a visit to Capitola or Santa Cruz, California? If so, you might be looking for fun things to do.

The area surrounding Capitola and Santa Cruz County has lots of fun activities for people of all ages. Whether you are looking for art galleries, a beach resort, or awesome breweries and wineries, take a look at a few of the top Capitola attractions, and consider staying at one of these amazing vacation houses in the area. There are plenty of beautiful vacation rentals on the West Coast located a short walk from many of these beautiful attractions. Some even have ocean views!

Here are 17 super fun things to do in Capitola, California that will make this vacation one of your best!

1. Capitola City Beach

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Address: Esplanade & San Jose Ave, Capitola, CA 95010

Without a doubt, the top thing you have to do in Capitola is Capitola City Beach. This is located at the North End of Monterey Bay and is a popular location for people who love the outdoors. You can enjoy some bird-watching, relax in the sun, and even go surfing. If you want to play some volleyball, you can find volleyball courts at Capitola City Beach as well.

Fans of fishing should head to Capitola Wharf Pier. It is situated close to Soquel Cove, and the water is relatively calm in the area. The beach is also relatively close to shops and restaurants located on the Esplanade, as well as historic buildings in the area. You might even notice a few special events on Capitola City Beach throughout the year!

You can relax on the beach, stroll on the beach boardwalk, or take advantage of the beach town — the choice is yours! For another awesome day by the ocean, check out Santa Cruz Beach, too.

2. The Capitola Historical Museum

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If you are looking for a fun indoor activity, you should check out the Capitola Historical Museum. Here, you can learn about the cultural and social history of settlers and indigenous populations who used to live in the area. The museum is located relatively close to Capitola City Hall, and there are exhibits that rotate throughout the year. Therefore, you may want to come back regularly to see if there are new exhibits on display.

Many of the exhibits focus on the region’s economy, art, and social history. You can also get an inside look at how the tourism industry impacts the local area.

3. The Armida Winery

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  • Address: 2201 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
  • Website: https://armida.com/
  • Opening hours: 11 am – 5 pm daily

You may also want to check out the Armida Winery. Of course, this is something that is only meant for people who are of age, but this vineyard is one of the best in the area. Even though this is one of the smaller vineyards in the area, it produces wines and a variety of styles. They are known for their zinfandels and red wines, but you will definitely want to try the PoiZin zinfandel option they have.

The Tap Room is open seven days per week for wine tasting, and you can rent out the venue for events. They have parties throughout the year at their on-site wine bar, so you may want to take a look at the calendar to see if there’s anything special going on.

4. Shadowbrook Restaurant

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Are you looking for a delicious restaurant that is perfect for a romantic meal during your getaway? If so, you need to check out Shadowbrook. It has been open for over 70 years, and visiting here is like getting in a time capsule to early 20th-century America. You can explore what it was like to dine in the Old American West, and you can try some of the most delicious meals in the region.

The tranquil views over Soquel Creek are the perfect finishing touch, making it one of the best restaurants in Capitola. Be sure to book ahead as this spot is popular with tourists and locals alike.

5. The Capitola Mall

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If you are someone who likes to shop until you drop, then you will definitely want to check out the Capitola Mall. It is the only indoor shopping center in Santa Cruz County, and here you’ll have access to dozens of restaurants and stores. Enjoy browsing the stores of 100 retailers including Target, Bath & Body Works, and Hot Topic, then fill up on Five Guys or grab some Japanese food at Ramen Kaito.

6. The CineLux Capitola Cafe and Lounge

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If you are in the mood to see a movie, this is definitely the place to go. You can take advantage of comfortable seats, delicious beverages, and the most recent flicks. The lounge in itself is worth a visit to try some local wine and craft beer in a comfortable setting.

If you want to save money, you should consider visiting on a Tuesday night. They usually provide discounts on some of their most popular movies.

7. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

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  • Address: 103 Kennedy Dr, Capitola, CA 95010
  • Website: https://rusticales.com/
  • Opening hours: 2 pm – 8 pm Tuesday to Thursday / 12 pm – 8 pm Friday & Saturday / 12 pm – 7 pm Sunday / closed Monday

If you are of drinking age, then you may want to check out Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. This is an establishment that focuses on crafting ales of the old world. There is a beautiful tasting room that is open seven days per week, allowing you to figure out what you like the best.

The original Capitola Brewery is also open for tours and tastings during the week. Sante Adairius rotates their taps on a regular basis, so make sure you come back often to see if they have anything new.

8. New Brighton State Beach

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  • Address: 1500 Park Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
  • Opening hours: 8 am – Sunset

If you are looking for a public beach in Santa Cruz County, then you may want to check out New Brighton State Beach! This park is a beautiful location to go hiking, swimming, and fishing. You can also camp here overnight if you would like. You can find the main entrance to this beach near the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center.

There, you can learn more about the history of the indigenous populations that used to live in the area and take a look around the gift store. You can also sign up for a few youth programs, such as Junior Ranger programs, and learn more about the outdoors.

9. Caruso’s Tuscan Cuisine

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This is another delicious family-owned restaurant located in Capitola. The restaurant has been modeled after the bazaars you will find in Europe, and the owners focus on serving authentic Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day, and all dishes are prepared from scratch. With numerous appetizers, classic pasta, and pizza, you are sure to be full when you leave!

10. The Capitola Beach Company

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If you want to learn how to surf and paddleboard, then you need to swing by the Capitola Beach company. Getting out on the water is one of the most popular activities in the region, and you can sign up for private or semi-private lessons. No matter how experienced you are, there is always room to improve! Therefore, consider signing up for a few lessons, and take a look at some of the equipment they have available.

11. Phoebe’s Fine Jewelry and Art Glass

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As you are walking around Capitola Village, be sure to take a look at this amazing art gallery. It has been open for 25 years, and it showcases artwork from some of the most talented artists in the region. You can find canvases of downtown, the local beach, and the beautiful pier. You can experience everything that Capitola has to offer in a completely new light.

This is one of the most visually appealing attractions in Capitola, and you might even want to purchase handcrafted items made by some of the local artists.

12. Sage Float and Spa

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  • Address: 1395 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010
  • Website: https://www.sagefloatspa.com/
  • Opening hours: 10.30 am – 8.30 pm Monday / 9.30 am – 8.30 pm Tuesday / 10 am – 8.30 pm Wednesday & Thursday / 9 am – 9 pm Friday to Sunday

Vacations are about health and wellness, so you should make time to swing by Sage Float Spa. This is the premier location in Santa Cruz to take advantage of a float tank. You can also sign up for a massage, enjoy an infrared sauna, and learn more about how float therapy can help you improve your overall quality of life.

13. Pizza My Heart

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  • Address: 209 Esplanade, Capitola, CA 95010
  • Website: https://www.pizzamyheart.com/
  • Opening hours: 11 am – 9 pm Sunday to Thursday / 11 am – 10 pm Friday & Saturday

Are you in the mood for pizza? If so, you need to swing by this tasty pizza shop. Even though there is some debate, many people believe this is the best pizza in Capitola. Furthermore, if you have dietary restrictions, they have gluten-free options.

If you really want to go wild, you need to check out the Big Sur pizza, which is packed with every meat you can possibly imagine. If you are hungry, this is the place to go.

14. Margaritaville Capitola

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Margaritaville has been one of the most popular restaurants in Capitola for more than 30 years. It was recently renovated, and it provides a wide variety of Mexican dishes. Of note, it is not affiliated with the popular Jimmy Buffett chain. At Margaritaville, you can order seafood dishes, Mexican dishes, and handcrafted margaritas. If you want to eat on the water, there is a back patio available as well.

15. Capitola Surf and Paddle

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If you are looking for a new surfboard, this is the place to go. They have a wide selection, and you can talk to experts about which option is best for you. Even if you do not have any surfing experience, you should still take a look at the handiwork. They might provide you with some tidbits about some of the most popular beaches in the area. You can rent equipment, sign up for lessons, and check out a few rentals for surfers. You might find a kayak or two as well!

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  • Address: 112 Capitola Ave #100, Capitola, CA 95010
  • Website: https://www.lumengal.com/
  • Opening hours: 11 am – 5 pm Sunday to Thursday / 11 am – 6 pm Friday & Saturday

Are you looking for some unique gifts from your trip? If so, you should swing by Lumen Gallery, which focuses on eclectic art. There is a variety of home accessories made by local artists, and you can explore innovative designs that could work well in your home. This is the perfect spot to go for a souvenir, so consider swinging by the location on Capitola Avenue in Capitola Village to see what they have to offer.

18. The West Cliff Drive

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Address: Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Located near Capitola, West Cliff Drive is the perfect place to go for some scenic views. If you are trying to snap a perfect picture during your day trip, you definitely will not want to miss out on this opportunity. This hiking, walking, and biking path in Santa Cruz is approximately three miles long and offers amazing views of Monterey Bay. Even if you are just swinging by San Francisco for a short time, try to make an effort to get out to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Check out a state park or two!

When you are done for the day, consider swinging by the Paradise Beach Grille, Gayle’s Bakery, or relaxing at one of the picnic areas.

There’s So Much to Do in Capitola!

As you can see, there’s so much to do in Capitola. Whether you’re into art, shopping, dining, or surfing, this is the place for you. Tip: time your trip to coincide with the Capitola Art & Wine Festival for an extra special break.