It was December is Capitola. Though the beaches are open, the sand had debris and sea weeds from the sea due to a recent storm the California coast have had in the past few days. It’s cold there at this time of year, there are not a lot of people at the beach. The village though it had its share of winter visitors looks like it is in hibernation. The tides are low and there are barely any surfers on the water. The wharf is full of boat taken from the water wrapped and stored for the winter months. This is the central coast of California in the colder months.
Even though there’s a chill in the air, the sun is out and its clear daylight. People are wearing layers but with sunglasses, baseball caps. People are walking down Esplanade Park with hot drinks in one hand. The official name of this town is Capitola Village by the Sea.
Capitola has a creek that eventually leads to the beach the ocean. It’s called Soquel Creek. If you follow the creek from the beach, you will find a row of houses and restaurants’ patios along the banks. The banks of the creek sits at the bottom of the hills southwest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Capitola after all is a small village just south of the university town of Santa Cruz. Capitola is one of those quiet or even quaint coastal town you’d want to spend a quiet weekend outside the city. It is famous for surfers and for those who just want to watch them in the water.
Capitola Village by-the-Sea is two hour drive south of San Francisco and one hour drive south from Silicon Valley. I’ve had colleagues in the past who works in Silicon Valley and lives in Capitola. The one-hour commute from Capitola to Silicon Valley seems to be a sacrifice they are willing to do to live their version of the California coastal life. Once you visited this seaside village, you will know why people would do this kind of commute to work every day.
If you plan to visit Capitola, there are parking available around city hall which is walking distance from the beach. There is a selection of cafes around Esplanade Park and there are no restaurant chains here except for Margaritaville which is the loudest restaurant in the area. Just off the wharf, on the other side of the creek, you’ll find colorfully painted buildings the village is famous for. Sort of like the village’s version of the painted ladies. You will see these buildings for postcards of the area. The quiet, simplicity and seaside charm of this California coastal village can lure any traveler for a quiet Sunday afternoon.