Capitola is bestowed with a craggy coastline that breaks into a wide beach with a sumptuous view of the Monterey Bay. Indeed, the site was so popular that a massive hotel once stood sentinel on the bluffs. Today, visitors are drawn instead to smaller inns, private beach homes leased out for the summer season, or to the famed Capitola Venetian, a pastel-hued landmark that reportedly was the first condominium in California.
The town naturally resembles an amphitheater with dramatic cliffs dotted with Victorian- style beach homes, a center village valley bordered by the ocean, decorated with the Soquel river and accented with a tall train trestle as artistic as a Vermont covered bridge.
Capitola Village offers numerous craft galleries, boutiques, and casual little restaurants ideal for family dining. For this small village, dining choices are pretty varied from great hamburgers, to Mexican food, Indian cuisine, and seafood. There is night time entertainment at some of the establishments in the village. Just up the river, the Shadowbrook restaurant has a tram you can take down the hillside to their front door. The regionally-famous Gayle’s Bakery and Jones & Bones gourmet shop are located just up the street.
The annual Begonia Festival takes place in Capitola, filling Soquel Creek with flower-draped floats created by local competitors. The sandcastle contest is a must-see. In fact, if you want to be a part of these town festivities, book your accommodations early, because the town is packed with merry witnesses to nature's blooms.
The Capitola real estate market is very specialized with homes located near the village commanding the highest prices, and many second home buyers from the Silicon Valley coming for weekend getaways. While the area includes mostly single family homes, there are also opportunities to purchase condos & townhomes. Capitola is within with the Soquel Union School District, and the local schools are considered to be relatively good compared to nearby cities.