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A delightful hybrid of old and new, Capitola is one of California’s most charming beach towns.

With the azure waters of Monterey Bay as the backdrop, this intimate hillside getaway four miles south of Santa Cruz is terraced by Craftsman bungalows and packed with interesting shops, dining spots, wine bars and seaside fun.

During the warmer summer months, beach and water activities crank up. Surfers hit the waves; kayakers paddle the calmer waters; the sandy beach turns into a patchwork quilt of sunbathers; and fishermen toss their lines from the rocks or wharf.

Capitola may be busiest in summer, but is inviting all year long. With its clusters of shops and restaurants within just a few blocks of the beach, you can easily spend the day or even an entire weekend strolling around. Shopping options range from arts and crafts, designer apparel and original jewelry to retro surfer threads and high-fashion bikinis. Wine bars share equal beachfront vistas with bohemian coffee dens and live music cocktail scenes.

Take time out for wine tasting or a cappuccino before making dinner plans at one of the many inviting ocean-facing and creek-side restaurants. Overlooking the beach, the curving Esplanade offers a wide variety of lively dining choices and watering holes as well as prime al fresco people watching.

Just a few minutes walk from the beach, the famed Shadowbrook Restaurant perches on a steep hillside overlooking the scenic Soquel Creek estuary. Featuring fine dining in a romantic Old-World setting, as well as more casual fare in the popular Rock Room Lounge, this historic restaurant is reached either by its unique hillside “cable car” or via a winding garden path through flowers, luxuriant ferns and waterfalls.

Nearby, the Pleasure Point beach neighborhood is enjoying a vigorous new boom of chic coffeehouses complete with laid-back surfing culture vibes.

Visit for event listings and a business directory, along with a free VIP card with special offers from Capitola Village merchants.