Capitola Beach Day Trip (Wood Forts + Lunch on the Water)
We headed to the beach town of Capitola today on our journey to do 52 awesome day trips around the Bay Area. Amazingly, it’s just 72 minutes from Oakland, CA.
We focused on Capitola Beach which is located at San Jose Ave and Esplanade
Capitola, CA 95010 (or you could just enter “Capitola Beach” into Google Maps). Note: there are 2 other beaches in Capitola but we chose Capitola Beach because it’s nearby food and coffee!
Capitola Beach (the beach!)
The first thing you’ll notice about Capitola Beach is that there are 2 sides to the beach. If you’re facing the ocean, the left side is a nice beginner surf spot. Here’s the wave:
The left/surf side doesn’t have much room for sitting on a blanket though we saw a few parents standing on the beach watching their kids.
If you’re facing right, you see this really cool beach that is better for sitting on a blanket all day:
There’s tons of drift wood on this beach and kids were creating forts (or playing with existing ones.
There are easy bathrooms right next to the beach:
After hanging on the beach for a couple of hours, you might want to check out the Capitola restaurants on the water…on Esplanade (the road closest to Capitola Beach).
Capitola Beach Restaurants
The Capitola Beach restaurants on the water side are (left-to-right) if you’re looking at the beach:
- Tacos Moreno
- My Thai Beach
- Zelda’s on the Beach
- Bay Bar & Grill
- Pizza My Heart
- The Sand Bar
- Paradise Beach Grille
We chose The Sand Bar (211 Esplanade, Capitola, CA 95010) which had a cute little deck on the water:
There’s a little coean/lagoon/canal wet area (below) that you can see from the beach-front restaurants. Dogs were playing in it.
Note: To get to the lagoon thing with the dogs, you need to enter the stairs from the Capitola Wharf (at the base of the large pier at 1400 Wharf Rd, Capitola, CA 95010).
Anyway, back at the Sand Bar, we watched the dogs playing in the water over some yummy fried food. Hello to this fun local couple pictured below(they are the parents of young men Maverick and Marshall) who we got to chat with at the Sand Bar. Please send them this article if you know them!
Coffee at Capitola Beach
After lunch and a cocktail, you might want some caffeine. The parents of Maverick and Marshall recommended we headed about 100 feet down the street to Mr. Toots Coffeehouse (231 Esplanade Capitola, CA 95010). It’s upstairs one flight:
The Mr. Toots team is super-friendly (thank you for making us that second cocoa when our son dropped the first!).
The lattes and cocoa were super-yummy.
After the caffeine, and some more beach-playing, we ducked into the super-cool Jade Allen boutique (208 Monterey Ave, Capitola, CA 95010) created by Sonya Yampolsky. It’s just 100 yards from Capitola Beach and is chock full of brands from domestic and international designers.
A special thanks to Michelle who was working at Jade Allen there that day. She was kind as can be and also helped coach us on parking within Capitola. Great hire, Sonya!
Some final tips about Capitola:
- Easy Parking — Show up early (9am) if you want to easily find parking close to the beach (you can park up to 3 hours in most the spots down near the water but there are very few).
- Backup Parking for Capitola Beach — Capitola has 220+ spots at the Beach and Village Parking Lots (Upper and Lower levels) located behind City Hall at 420 Capitola Avenue. Parking costs are $0.50 an hour, for up to 12 hours. These lots are highly recommended if you plan to stay longer than the 3-hour limit imposed in the Village parking spaces.
- Capitola Surf Cam — https://www.surfline.com/surf-report/capitola/5842041f4e65fad6a7708ddf?camId=600db84b83602e171b044734