Why you should add Capitola, CA to your list of Must-See Beach Towns

Has anyone ever been to the coast line of California and hated their experience so much they declared never to return? If they have, then I would like to meet them because the scenery here is breathtaking; unlike any other!

I wrote this blog because I’m inclined to share a town that is so quaint, colorful, and quiet yet exciting enough that you will be captivated by the energy and ambiance. It reminds me of the Amalfi coast (slightly less dramatic) that Italy boasts, yet is much more affordable and easier to explore via foot. This little area has so much to offer so lets dive in:



The food in California has been a challenge for me to gloat about. However, Capitola has great dining options for two reasons: you can eat several places in a short distance and overlook the Pacific Ocean in the background. Pictured below is my favorite stop for Strawberry margaritas at Margaritaville along Capitola State Beach.


Margaritaville is a dining option I always go back to over and over in Capitola. First off, LOCATION! Nestled alongside the beach and colorful beach front villages, they offer Mexican themed cuisine. If I made a recommendation, I would say get the fried avocado tacos (they had me at avocados, tacos, and fried)!

Sotola is another option for a laid back vibe that features an outdoor balcony for dining. Whether you want west coast oysters, baby artichokes, lamb chops or something healthy, they have a chill vibe and good ambiance with the sound of the ocean in the background. The Buddha Bowl was a gluten free choice for me with avocado, quinoa, beets, cherry tomatoes and a nice light lemon Tahini dressing. The local IPA from the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery was my beer of choice. I would definitely have the beer again. See below for my dining picks.


The Sandbar is my recommendation for nightlife with friendly servers, good drinks, dancing, and local musicians most nights. They get a thumbs up from me because I was able to borrow some Wifi for parts of this blog!

Britannia Arms has the best burger in California, hands down! I got a custom made mushroom and Swiss burger (not listed on the menu), and will attest to this being the best burger I’ve had since moving to Northern California. This is a typical pub with sports, karaoke and pub style beer selections.


Mr. Toots Coffeehouse is where I wrapped up my day. Here, you can get hot or cold coffee with a warm peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie overlooking the water. I would personally recommend the cinnamon mocha over any coffee chain latte if you’re in town.

The good thing about all of these places is they are all alongside each other on the main strip at Capitola Beach.


Armida Wine Room is my rec’ for all the wine lovers out there. It features Sonoma County grown grapes and offers a tasting of 5-6 wines for $20. The $20 can go toward any wine they feature if you make a purchase. It’s a beautiful little setting next to the river/canal with an outdoor standing area so you can view the scenery and enjoy a summer or fall breeze.


Activities in Capitola:

  1. Helicopter Tours
  2. Seasonal Festivals
  3. Volleyball on the Beach
  4. Surfing (I enjoy watching!)
  5. Fishing Charters
  6. Whale Watching Cruises
  7. Bicycle Rentals

Enjoy being close proximity to:

  1.  Santa Cruz (5 miles or 17 minutes without traffic)
  2. San Jose (35 miles from the airport or 45 minutes without traffic)
  3. Carmel and Monterey (41 miles or about 45 minutes; scenic area with top a notch aquarium, Cannery row,  and scenic coastal views including the infamous 17 mile drive)
  4. San Francisco (63 miles from the airport or 1 hour 15 minutes without traffic)
  5. Napa (116 miles from Capitola or 2 hours without traffic; the well-known wine country of Sonoma County)

Capitola is a beautiful, quaint little beach town that is not over-run with tourists. It is easily walk-able and fairly easy to access as it’s close to three major airports: San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and Norman Y. Mineta International Airport in San Jose (SJC). Having this many airports makes it easy to snag a good flight deal. As far as hotels, prices vary depending on season. Summer is peak season, but the Venetian is beachfront and sometimes hosts deals as low as $109 a night in the fall and winter. That’s pretty good considering it’s still sunny and 75 as of mid-October.

Streets of Capitola

So if you are in the Bay Area, what are you waiting for?! If you are not in the Bay Area, book your flight now! San Francisco is one of the cheapest airports I fly out of so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to brag about Capitola.

Hope you enjoyed! Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you’re not: BigWorldLittleGirl

I’m doing a giveaway with some travel gear if you want to check out my IG. The details are under the most recent “GiveAway Time” photo.