Introduction to Capitola, California

Capitola, California, in Santa Cruz county, is 4 miles E of Santa Cruz, California (center to center) and 25 miles S of San Jose, California. The city is included in the Santa Cruz - Watsonville metropolitan area. 

Capitola History

Capitola, one of the oldest beach resorts on the West Coast, was founded as 'Camp Capitola' in the year 1874 by Samuel A. Hall. The name 'Capitola' was inspired by the heroine of 'The Hidden Hand', a novel by the very popular E.D.E.N. Southworth. The area was originally inhabited by Soquel Indians over thousands of years ago. However, the thriving Indian culture was totally wiped out as a result of the devastation caused by several floods. In the year 1949, Capitola became the third city to be established in Santa Cruz County.

Capitola and nearby Attractions

  • Capitola Historical Museum
  • Capitola Begonia Festival
  • Hooper Beach
  • Capitola City Hall
  • Grace Community Church of Capitola
  • Old Riverview Historic District

Things To Do In Capitola

Capitola has a rich and varied history that is reflected in the city's museums and halls. The city boasts of being the oldest and one of the most popular beach resorts in California. It has amazing weather all the year round and the beaches offer a huge range of recreational possibilities including fishing, boating, and all kinds of beach and water games. Capitola is surrounded on one side by mountains of redwood forests. Several famous festivals are hosted in the city like the Begonia Festival and the Art & Wine Festival, which provide excellent weekend entertainment for visitors. One can also take a tour of the churches and go for picnics at any of the numerous parks that dot city.

Capitola Transportation

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is the local airport.

Capitola Higher Education

The city is served by the University Of California-Santa Cruz.


Total Population 10,077
Male Share of the Population 50.1%
Female Share of the Population 49.9%
Senior Citizens 18.5%
Employed Population 16+ 5,010
Age of the Population 43


% of people married 44.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 37%
Median Earnings25+ $42,311
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $26,912
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,603


Median Family Income $73,610
% Above Poverty Level 90%
% Below Poverty Level 10%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 26 minutes
% Working from Home 10.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 6.2%
% Using Public Transportation 2.2%


People Living Alone 36.9%
Median Gross Rent $1,589
Median House Value $514,000


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 38.1%
US/American 0%
English 17%
Irish 11.4%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Capitola Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 4 miles E of Santa Cruz, California (center to center)
Nearest Large City 25 miles S of San Jose, California
County Santa Cruz
Standard Zip Codes 95010, 95062
Phone Area Codes 831
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 36.975
Longitude -121.952

Capitola Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.8 miles
Jan Temp 40 to 61 F
Apr Temp 44 to 69 F
Jul Temp 53 to 75 F
Oct Temp 48 to 73 F
Annual Precip 30.6 inches
Distance 10.7 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 61 F
Apr Temp 45 to 68 F
Jul Temp 53 to 72 F
Oct Temp 48 to 72 F
Annual Precip 23.2 inches
Station GILROY
Distance 21.4 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 60 F
Apr Temp 47 to 73 F
Jul Temp 56 to 88 F
Oct Temp 50 to 79 F
Annual Precip 20.6 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Los Gatos 30,398 $157,701
Monte Sereno 3,508 $229,583
Santa Cruz 62,752 $88,738
Saratoga 30,817 $200,677
Scotts Valley 11,780 $113,546
Watsonville 52,543 $47,604

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

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Capitola High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

809 BAY AVE. NO. H
A Special Education School
Serves 118 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.1

809 BAY AVE. NO. H
A Non-traditional School
Serves 94 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.8

Study Online in Capitola
Historic Capitola


Hotel Capitola between 1900 and 1910
Additional Resources
Info for Capitola Government Officials

Are you an official in the Capitola government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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