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Capitola Beach Activities

Santa Cruz County



Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.


Capitola Beach Annual Events


Capitola Kite Classic

May TBA, 2018   Open to all ages and skill levels. On Capitola City Beach. Register at 11:00 AM. 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Capitola Recreatiion

Annual Capitola Rod & Custom Classic Car Show

June 9-10, 2018
Held on the Esplanade next to Capitola Beach, features over 300 cars, vendors, music, trophies.
Capitola Rod & Custom Classic

Wharf to Wharf Race

July 22, 2018
Runners start in Santa Cruz and wind their way along the coast to Capitola. Live bands line the route. Race begins at 8:30 AM.
Wharf to Wharf Race



Art and Jazz at the Beach

Sundays through the summer
Live jazz on the Esplanade Stage with local artists' works displayed in the Esplanade Park next to the beach.

Twilight Concerts

Wednesdays, June 7 - August 30, 2017
On the Esplanade Stage from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, enjoy a variety of music such as western, swing, rock and roll, Latin, jazz, and orchestra. Bring a picnic dinner and chairs and sit at the park or on the beach. Bring warm coats or a blanket as it can get chilly in the evening if the fog rolls in.
Twilight Concerts 2017

Movies on the Beach

TBA, 2017
Enjoy a movie on the beach. Bring a chair, flashlight, and blanket. Seating begins at 6:30 PM, movie starts at 7:30 PM. Free popcorn from 7:00 to 7:30 PM.

Begonia Festival Takes Its Final Bow

After 65 years the Capitola Begonia Festival celebrated its final festival in 2017. The local begonia grower and sole supplier to the festival will no longer be growing begonias, prompting the end of the traditional Labor Day weekend festivities.

Art & Wine Festival

September 9-10, 2017
In Capitola Village, two days of fine art, wine, gourmet food, entertainment, children's art. 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (5:00 PM on Sunday)
Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce: Art & Wine Festival

Mermaid Triathlon and Duathlon

October 7, 2017
At Capitola Beach, a women and girls' triathlon and duathlon event beginning at 7:20 AM.
Mermaid Series

Into the Capitola Surf


Swimming and Surfing at Capitola Beach

Known for is usually light surf, Capital Beach is a favorite place for families to enjoy a relaxed day at the beach. As with virtually everywhere along the California coast, rip currents are always a danger. The gentle surf makes Capitola a good place for launching paddle boards and kayaks. Boogie boarders do well in the area between the small jetty and the large jetty.

Avoid swimming in Soquel Creek and close to where it empties into the ocean at Capitola Beach. Water quality in the creek is poor.
Santa Cruz County Water Quality Reports

Surfers find good waves at the far end of the beach near the jetty. The area is popular with beginning surfers, although at low tide rocks can be a danger. Often the water is flat, but at times it can produce 3 to 5 foot waves.
City of Capitola Beach Camera
Monterey Bay Area Water Temperatures

Capitola Beach Company

Rentals for Stand up Paddle Boards, Surf Boards, Body Boards, Wetsuits, Beach Chairs, and Beach Umbrellas. Look for their rental trailer at Esplanade Park next to the beach.
Surf and Stand up Paddle Board Lessons
131 Monterey Ave., Capitola, CA
(831) 462-5222 Capitola Beach Company

Capitola Surf and Paddle

Personalized instruction for private or group standup paddle board lessons.
318 Riverview Ave., Capitola, CA
(831) 435-6503 Capitola Surf and Paddle

Fishing off the Wharf

The 855-foot long pier at Capitola is a popular gathering place for anglers, but it never gets overcrowded. Some fishermen rent boats or launch their own, while others line the railing.

Capitola Wharf at Capitola Beach, CA

Closer to the shore in the surf zone anglers are generally after barred and calico surfperch, while out toward the end of the pier they have a good variety of fish ready to strike their bait: sole, flounder, sand dabs, jacksmelt, perch, and California halibut. Occasionally you will see someone land a shark or striped bass.

Wharf Facilities

On the wharf you will find the Wharf House Restaurant and the Capitola Boat and Bait Shop, along with fish cleaning stations and restrooms.

Capitola Boat and Bait Shop:


Nearby Activities and Events

O'Neill Surf Shop

1115 41st Ave.
Capitola, CA
(831) 475-4151
Purchase or rent surfboards, wetsuits, and boogie boards


Surfer's Path Marathon

May 20, 2018
Marathon and Half Marathon or Relay
Marathon stars at 7:00 AM
Starts at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Surfer's Path Marathon


Capitola Historical Museum

410 Capitola Ave.
Capitola, CA
(831) 464-0322
Open Wednesday, Friday-Sunday, Noon to 4:00 PM
Capitola Museum
Capitola Self Guided Walking Tour Map


Epicenter Cycling
Bike Rentals

8035 Soquel Dr., #23
Aptos, CA
(831) 662-8100
Ride from their shop into Nisene Marks Park or around the area.
Mountain bikes and cruisers for as little as $15 for 2 hours.
Epicenter Cycling


Soquel Creek Trail

Walk along Soquel Creek starting on the east side of the Stockton Bridge. Watch for birds in the trees and ducks on the water. Ocasionally a snowy egret or great herons are spotted fishing in the creek.




Surfing and Fishing Books




Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety


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