Capitola vacation rentals
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Your guide to Capitola
Welcome to Capitola
Established as a summer cottage escape, the small town of Capitola has stayed true to its roots as one of California’s first marquee resort destinations. Here you can wander a winding esplanade through the cozy village hugged by ocean bluffs, exploring clusters of Craftsman-style homes, galleries, breweries, and boutiques. Waterfront bistros serve food and cocktails alongside tranquil views, and wine tasting rooms offer wares from nearby vineyards. You can easily spend the day relaxing in the sun or learning to surf at Capitola's big sandy beach, which is dotted with bright, candy-colored storefronts. Begin your evening by taking in the sunset from the tip of a 855-foot wooden pier. Located just south of Santa Cruz, Capitola provides a low-key alternative to its neighbor’s buzzy boardwalk amusement park, making it an ideal base for exploring Northern California’s coastal charms.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Capitola
If you’re hoping for a classic beach vacation, summer and the early months of fall are the best time to enjoy Capitola. Warm weather entices people to the beach, where sun worshippers lounge on the sand or try their luck at boogie boarding and surfing in the gentle waves. Sidewalk dining buzzes, and the town hosts outdoor concerts, movies, and art fairs, including the Capitola Art and Wine Festival in September, featuring more than 160 artists and 20 wineries. As fall fades into winter, you’ll still encounter sunny days, but also cooler temps, fog, and rain showers. These seasons also mean fewer crowds, though — and a walk along the beach under foggy skies can be just as picturesque as on a summer day. (Note that even in the summer, mornings and evenings can be fogged in, so bring extra layers.)
Top things to do in Capitola
New Brighton State Beach
While Capitola Beach is the main waterfront draw, nearby New Brighton State Beach is an under-the-radar gem. This undeveloped swatch of coastline boasts dramatic tree-topped bluffs and uninterrupted vistas of Monterey Bay. Explore the beach via hiking trails, and stop by the nature center — open in spring and summer — to learn more about its history and environs.
This 150-year-old community a mere five-minute drive from Capitola is an appealing collection of mom-and-pop antique shops perfect for a day of leisurely browsing. After you’ve located a unique treasure to take home, unwind with a tipple at a local winery.
Bigfoot Discovery Museum
Southern California can keep its movie stars. In Northern California, the most famous resident is a hairy humanoid who roams the redwoods named Bigfoot. Journey about 20 minutes inland from Capitola to the forested town of Felton to visit the diminutive and quirky Bigfoot Discovery Museum, which offers proof (if you choose to see it that way) of the creature's existence, alongside pop culture memorabilia.