German immigrant Frederick Hihn purchased the area where Capitola now sits and commissioned construction of a local wharf in 1857. While the wharf became an important development for the local lumber industry, Hihn took his time deciding how best to use the rest of his land. In 1869 he started working with Samuel Alonzo Hall, who helped Hihn build the nearby town of Soquel. They created a campground, giving passing travelers a place to stay as they made their way up and down the California coast. More tourist facilities followed, including cabins and a dance hall. Hihn also landscaped Capitola, adding trees, paths, and gardens to the growing tourist area.
While today the beach remains Capitola's biggest draw, one should not ignore this village's other outstanding features. Its streets are perfect for exploring, with quirky boutique stores, art galleries, and wine tasting rooms. Restaurants along the waterfront offer superb meals with a view. After your belly is full, it's comforting to know your accommodation is probably just a short walk away. Consider the choices below to find the right Capitola hotel for your needs.
When to Visit Capitola, CA
Capitola's Mediterranean climate delivers pleasant weather all year round, so there's never a bad time to go. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 75 degrees, while winter averages around 50 degrees. Summer is the busiest season, which results in a spike in accommodation rates. However, Capitola never gets as crowded as more popular California tourist spots, so you won't find yourself battling for space on the sand if your heart's set on a summer getaway. Rates are lowest in winter, although persistent rain can put a damper on travel plans.
Spring and fall may be the best time to visit Capitola for many travelers, as these seasons strike the right balance between favorable conditions and accommodation prices. Expect average temperatures in the 50s and low 60s when traveling over these months.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Capitola, CA:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average price patterns by star rating class in Capitola, CA. Analyze these illustrations to calculate the most cost effective time period to book in Capitola throughout the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Capitola, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $243.78
Capitola and its neighboring cities also have several options for travelers who enjoy the finer things in life. Treat yourself to true luxury in these hotels.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Santa Cruz – Capitola is one of the village's most recent additions. All guests stay in spacious suites, with separate living rooms and sleeping quarters. The most luxurious suites feature fireplaces, in-room hot tubs, and dual-head showers. Start your day right with continental breakfast on the rooftop patio, then enjoy the heated pool, spa, or bocce court. There's also a full-service business center for guests who can't totally escape the office.
Chaminade Resort & Spa, in nearby Santa Cruz, is a lavish accommodation option with recently renovated rooms and villas, and it includes two meditation rooms for total relaxation. Each room features little indulgences like microfiber robes, granite bathrooms, flat-screen LCD TVs, and resort or forest views. Dine in one of two onsite eateries: Sunset Restaurant, famous for its Sunday Champagne Brunch, and the modern Linwood's Bar & Grill. You can be as busy or as chilled as you like here, with premium facilities such as a full-service spa, hiking trails, volleyball and tennis courts, hot tubs, a Himalayan salt sauna, and fitness classes.
Affordable Hotel Options in Capitola, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $221.75
For a coastal getaway that leaves more money in your pocket, consider some of the Capitola area's most affordable hotels. Independent hotels like these offer low rates to compete with the well-known accommodation chains.
Located a couple of blocks from the coast in nearby Aptos, Rio Sands Hotel is a modest, modern, budget-friendly hotel. Colorful king rooms will suit couples and solo travelers, while suites offer more space for families and other larger traveling groups. You probably won't spend a lot of time in your room, though, as the hotel boasts a heated pool for year-round swimming, a hot tub, and BBQ and garden areas. A generous continental breakfast with Belgian waffles each morning and bottomless coffee day and night are both provided free or charge. You also won't pay extra for onsite parking or Wi-Fi access.
Ocean Gate Inn, in nearby Santa Cruz, has 25 air-conditioned standard and king rooms. Each features an LCD TV with premium satellite channels, a combination shower-bath, and a private balcony for watching the world go by. Parking and wireless internet are both free.
2 Star Average Prices: $189.08
Capitola: Real Discounts
Chain hotels in the Capitola area often offer discounts that can help certain tourists cut their travel bills. See whether you're eligible for these savings at the following hotels.
Best Western Seacliff Inn has several accommodation packages to help you save on local services. For example, the Family Stay & Play package includes a 25 percent discount for Severino's Bar & Grill or room service, while the Whale Watching package offers 15 percent off Sanctuary Cruises. As with all Best Western hotels, Seacliff Inn extends discounts to seniors 55 and over and AARP members, military and government personnel, AAA and CAA auto club members, and groups needing four or more rooms. This Aptos hotel features 148 guest rooms and 10 oversized suites spread over six buildings on the six-acre property.
The same travelers can save at Best Western Plus Capitola by the Sea Inn & Suites, a slightly more upmarket alternative recognized by the Best Western chain as one of the “Best of the Best.” The charming guest rooms feature individual climate control, microwaves and coffee making facilities, granite vanities with make-up mirrors, and high-definition TV sets. Unwind in the heated outdoor pool or spa or supercharge your workout in the exercise room. Morning newspapers, continental breakfasts, wireless internet, and onsite parking are all free.
Best Value Options in Capitola, CA
Getting value for your money is a key concern for most travelers. You'll always feel like you've secured a great deal when you stay at these best value Capitola options.
Quality Inn & Suites Capitola by the Sea takes value so seriously, it calls its friendly customer service employees Value Qs! The service they provide is just one part of the value you'll receive during your stay. The complimentary continental breakfast is generous, with waffles, pastries, fresh fruit, and freshly ground espresso coffee. Weekday newspapers are also free, although if you don't want to wait for the news, you'll appreciate the free Wi-Fi. An al fresco dining area and outdoor pool, open seasonally, help beautify the hotel grounds.
Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages has real charm, with well-appointed rooms and cottages, all featuring cable TVs, fridges, and microwaves. Many cottages also have kitchenettes and hot tubs. All guests receive a complimentary continental breakfast each morning. Other meals are made easy with an onsite barbecue area.
Have Fun at Festivals in Capitola, CA
Capitola might have a reputation for being a little sleepy, but you wouldn't know it during festival time. Residents throughout the region come together for the village's exciting events.
Rediscover the joys of childhood at the annual Kite Classic, held at Capitola Beach each May. Bring your own kite or purchase one from the Rainbow City Limits store on the day to take part in the competition. Alternatively, you could simply watch the colorful kites take flight in this family-friendly event. All funds raised on the day benefit local charities.
Thousands of runners converge on the area each summer for the Wharf to Wharf Race, dubbed “the best little road race in California.” Since 1973, casual joggers and serious runners make the scenic 6-mile journey from Santa Cruz Wharf to Capitola Wharf on the fourth Sunday of July. Bands, singers, and dancers dot the course, entertaining onlookers, motivating competitors, and giving the Wharf to Wharf its unique party atmosphere.
The Capitola Art and Wine Festival, held every September, is a celebration of all that makes the village special. More than 160 fine artists and 20 local wineries showcase their wares. You won't go hungry, with the Local Artisans Marketplace and Festival Food Court both offering an array of tasty treats. The festival is fun for the whole family, with a Kids Art & Music Area complementing the adult activities.
Capitola also loves celebrating the holidays. The annual Easter Egg Hunt, Easter on the Beach, Halloween Parade, Surfin' Santa, and Holiday Crafters Market help get everyone in the spirit of these seasons.
Check the events calendar on the Capitola–Soquel Chamber of Commerce site to see what's happening in Capitola during your next visit.
Whether you're hitting the beach or unwinding over a good meal and a few drinks at a waterfront restaurant, you're bound to have a good time in Capitola. A variety of local accommodation options makes the perfect home away from home when you're exploring this charming California coastal village.