Capitola is known as the oldest beach resort on the West Coast. The original Capitola settlement was an off-shoot of a community called Soquel Landing, a wharf located at the mouth of Soquel Creek. Today Capitola is a popular tourist town because of its trendy shops and restaurants on the shore directly connecting to a fishing wharf and its large, sandy beach.
Back in the 1850s, the Soquel wharf served as an outlet for the produce and lumber grown inland. In an effort to capture whales, Captain John Pope Davenport moved his operations from Monterey to the Soquel wharf in 1865. However, he was unable to capture whales, so a year later he moved his operation to Point Ano Nuevo.
In 1869 a local land owner, Frederick A. Hihn, decided to develop the area into a seaside resort. At first he leased the area to Samuel A. Hall and the area became known as Camp Capitola.
In the summer of 1961 hundreds of birds attacked Capitola. Most of the birds were Sooty Shearwaters, a normally non-aggressive species that rarely comes to shore. Alfred Hitchcock was a regular visitor to nearby Santa Cruz and read about this episode. He went on to direct a film—The Birds—based on the idea of hundreds of birds attacking humans. The reason for this attack remained unknown for over 25 years until it was discovered that the birds had been affected by domoic acid, a toxin produced by red algae.
Steep cliffs mark access to several popular beaches, including New Brighton Beach, or drop directly to the rocky shoreline of the bay. Downtown Capitola sits in a depression among the cliffs so that the popular tourist and shopping area leads directly to Capitola Beach. Colorful houses and hotels line the slopes of the town leading back up to the clifftops.
Capitola has mild weather throughout the year, enjoying a Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, mostly dry summers. Due to its proximity to Monterey Bay, fog and low overcast are common during the night and morning hours, especially in the summer.
Currently Capitola’sTop 10 Employers are; Subaru, Toyota, Kia of Santa Cruz, Macy’s, Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceeria, Sears, Whole Foods Market, Shadowbrook Restaurant, Trader Joe’s, Nob Hill Foods, Kohl’s and Pacific Coast Manor.
Local Capitola events include: an Easter Egg Hunt on the Beach, the Capitola Kite Classic in May, in June the Annual Capitola Rod & Custom Classic Car Show, in July the Wharf to Wharf Race, through out the summer – Art and Music at the Beach, Twilight Concerts and Movies on the Beach, in August the Annual Begonia Festival, in September the Annual Art and Wine Festival, in October the Children’s Halloween Parade, and during the Holiday Season – Surfing Santa, Holiday Tree Lighting and Community Caroling.
Overall, Capitola represents the best of the West Coast.
If you are interested in relocating to the Capitola, Santa Cruz, and/or Aptos area, contact one of Century 21 M&M’s award winning Realtors, call toll free at 800-696-5305 or stop in at our local office at 1500 41st Avenue Suite 100, Capitola, CA 95010.