A couple of weeks ago, Bryan & I escaped for the weekend to explore the little town of Capitola. We really didn’t know what to expect but were SO pleased with our visit that we are already making plans to go back! Such a charming little town with some great restaurants, wine bars, shops and a gorgeous view of the water. It’s a quick 1.5 hour trip from the Bay Area, so it makes for the perfect weekend getaway. If you live close, you should definitely add it to your travel list!

Where We Stayed In Capitola:

Where do I even begin with this cute, adorable and charming hotel!? It really reminded me more of a European style bed and breakfast. Small, cozy and decorated in the chicest way. Did I mention that the bed was heavenly? SO comfortable. This hotel is also located right in the center of it all, walking distance from all the restaurants, shops and beach. They had a “wine and cheese” hour around 5pm and then also had pastries and coffee waiting for us in the morning as well. I love the feel of super cozy and homey hotels and The Capitola Hotel did not disappoint. If you visit Capitola, this is definitely the best place to stay. 

Where We Ate in Capitola: 

Mr. Toots Coffeehouse : If you know us well by now, you know we love our coffee! We found this adorable little coffeehouse right across the street from The Capitola Hotel. You climb the stairs and you are immediately in love with the small cozy feel of this place, not to mention they have a patio with the best view! (pictured above) The coffee was amazing and it was a great start to our day!

Cava Wine Bar : This little wine bar was such an amazing find! We loved the atmosphere and the happy hour vibe that was happening. We chose to go here before dinner and have some drinks while listening to the live music performer they had playing that night. Great spot!

Margaritaville : Another find right across the street from our hotel where we stopped in to have a mid day margarita. (I mean, it is vacation right?!)  Great menu and a beautiful outdoor patio!

Caruso’s Tuscan Cuisine : Ok, if you go to Capitola and only have time for one meal, make it this one. This was hands down one of my absolute favorite meals. A super small genuine Italian restaurant with about 7 tables and the most AMAZING bolognese sauce. We honestly felt for a brief time that we had escaped to Italy for the night. We had the chicken parm and the gnocchi which were both FANTASTIC. (Sidenote: Expect to wait about an hour for a table. We put our name in and then went to the Cava Wine Bar, mentioned above, (which is right next door), while we waited. Trust me, it’s worth every second of the wait.) 

Paradise Beach Grille : We stopped here for a late night drink and all the food and drinks that passed us looked so good! We got to experience a painkiller drink for the first time, which Bryan would now tell you is his new favorite drink. Another great option for a pre-dinner drink and appetizer as well!

Pizza My Heart : We couldn’t help it. We had to have a slice of pizza from the original Pizza My Heart! And there’s just something about eating Pizza My Heart in a beach town. They just go together.

Gayle’s Bakery : On our way out of town, we stopped at Gayle’s Bakery. It was a MUST. Everyone that knows about Capitola knows about Gayle’s. Talk about an absolute amazing selection of baked goods and fresh food. A great place to stop and grab some food to take to the beach or for a picnic. Did I mention the incredible selection of pastries!?

 What We Explored In Capitola:

One of the best parts about Capitola is that it’s small, easy to walk around and just relax. We didn’t really do any activities besides eat, drink, shop in the little boutiques and walk the beach. Which to me is the best weekend getaway. Romantic and relaxing. I’ll take it. 

What I Wore In Capitola: 

 Vest | Striped Turtleneck | Jeans | Boots | Bag )

Since it was a rainy weekend in Capitola, I opted for my Hunter rain boots which were perfect, comfortable and matched with every outfit I wore. Packing one pair of shoes on a weekend getaway is pretty amazing (and unheard of for me!) AND I know you were thinking the same thing.

Whenever I’m packing for trips like this, I pick items that can all be interchangeable and worn together. For example, I packed this adorable quilted excursion vest which I could have worn with either of the sweaters I packed. Being able to mix and match pieces is definitely the way to pack less when traveling. 


All in all, Capitola was the PERFECT weekend getaway. I highly recommend adding it your romantic weekend getaway list with your hubby or boyfriend OR it’s a great place for a relaxing girls weekend away as well. 

Have you been to Capitola? I’d love to hear of any other recommendations as we will definitely be back!

His Take: (He’s backkkkk)

Our weekend tour of coastal California cities continued in Capitola.  It’s about 10 minutes east of Santa Cruz, and under 2 hours from the Bay Area (depending on traffic).  We are lucky to live where we do – surrounded by so many awesome spots!  

The city is walkable.  Small.  Not too touristy (it was October – probably ‘a little’ more crowded in the summer).  Lots of small shops where you can buy anything you want that says “Capitola” on it.  Cool bars and restaurants.  And yes, the beach!  You could do it in a day – two if the weather was nice and you spent a day on the sand. 

My highlights:

Margaritaville – Just as it sounds.  They make a mean margarita.  Don’t go looking for Jimmy Buffett like I did.  These guys are not affiliated, but they make a solid ‘rita.

Paradise Beach Grille – Fun bar, great drink selection, view of the ocean over one shoulder, playoff baseball over the other… All good!  I ordered a Painkiller – one of my favorite cocktails (Pusser’s Rum, Pineapple juice, OJ, cream of coconut, skaken/over ice, nutmeg = instant vacation).  

Caruso’s Tuscan Cuisine – We went back to Rome for a couple hours – in Capitola, CA.  Small, cozy restaurant decorated like some of our favorite spots in Italy.  Melt in your mouth food (gnocchi was ridiculous).  Worth the wait! 

** HUGE thanks to Corrie & the Capitola Hotel for hosting us. We absolutely loved everything about our stay. If you visit and stay in the Capitola Hotel, make sure to tell them you heard about it from! **



  1. Capitola Hotel
    October 28, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Thanks a ton, Ashley, for the kind words about Capitola Hotel and our little village! I love your blog and this post especially!! I'm so glad you had an awesome time on our neck of the beach. Please do come back and stay a little longer. And to all of your followers…We Can't Wait To Host You, so come check us out!Corrie Sid – Owner, Capitola Hotel

    • Ashley
      October 30, 2016 / 5:55 pm

      We will definitely come back! Thanks again for such a wonderful stay!

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