Capitola City Beach is a picturesque stretch of shoreline located in the heart of Capitola, a small city in Santa Cruz County about an hour and fifteen minutes south of San Francisco. The beach is a great spot for sunbathing, surfing, fishing and more, all with the beautiful multi-colored backdrop of the Venetian Village cottages that line its shores.
The Capitola Wharf at Capitola City Beach offers a wide variety of activities, as well. Dining, pier fishing, whale-watching, and kayak rentals just to name a few.
Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, birdwatching, fishing, shopping, dining, kayaking, paddleboarding, and whale and dolphin-watching.
The east end of the beach is a popular surfing destination.
The beach is a popular location for birdwatching due to the nearby lagoon that attracts a wide variety of feathered creatures. The lagoon is only around during warmer months.
No dogs are allowed on the beach.
Restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and benches, as well as volleyball nets, kayak rentals, a fishing pier, shopping, and dining.
Lifeguards are only present during busy hours, and riptides are not uncommon in the area, so take caution when swimming or doing any other water activities.
There are metered parking lots at the beach as well as metered street parking in nearby Downtown Capitola and on Cliff Drive.
Hooper Beach can be found on the west side of the Capitola Wharf. There you can fish or birdwatch, and dogs are allowed off leash.
Capitola City Beach is right in the heart of Capitola where you’ll find a number of things to do. There’s a historical museum, wineries, breweries, the Capitola Mall, various restaurants and shops, and more.
The Venetian Village, which borders Capitola City Beach, offers their colorful condos for rent (affiliate link). They don’t come cheap but some of their doors literally open up onto the sand, and all of the many amenities of Capitola City Beach will be at your disposal.
Capitola was developed into a seaside resort by Frederick A. Hihn in 1869, making it the oldest beach resort on the entire west coast.
During the summer of 1961, there was an unusual event in the city of Capitola in which large flocks of usually non-aggressive birds began attacking the town. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock caught wind of the odd story while visiting nearby Santa Cruz. It became his inspiration for his 1963 thriller The Birds (affiliate link).
Location: San Jose Avenue and Esplanade in Capitola, California
Season: Year round