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article imageReview: Capitola, Ca. get away from the madding crowd Special

By Gar Swaffar     Jun 13, 2012 in Travel
Capitola, California has beautiful beaches, great hotels, beautiful beaches, fine dining, and beautiful beaches. Did I mention the beaches?
The weekend escape was worth the drive.
The city of Capitola is just a few miles south of Santa Cruz, but is a world apart from the extreme hustle and bustle which Santa Cruz experiences every summer. The beaches are easy to enjoy, and while the town isn’t devoid of life, it often has a less frantic feel to it.
Twin Lakes State Beach
Twin Lakes State Beach
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The area around Capitola is packed with enjoyable destinations with such an eclectic mixture of places to go, that everyone should be able to find something to occupy a simple weekend or even a long and leisurely weekend. Including a round of golf at any of the nearby golf courses.
We recently spent a long weekend in Capitola, and found that it had a perfect mix of inexpensive outings combined with dining experiences which would be hard to beat anywhere, at any price, plus absolutely beautiful surroundings.
We made our base for “Operation Weekend Recuperation” the Capitola Venetian Hotel on the beach. And it was definitely a treat to stay there. The rooms run from $130+ to $250+ most days with special rates occasionally. The higher rate rooms face the ocean for a view of Monterey Bay and the Pacific beyond, and are well worth the extra. Being able to sit quietly in your room, enjoying a cup of coffee and breakfast, while staring out at the bay and seabirds is almost as restful as a good nights sleep.
The rooms at the Capitola Venetian Hotel are each unique with a Spanish Colonial Revival motif and was originally built in 1924-1925. The Mediterranean influences in the architecture stand out also, and if you're nearby, be sure to get a look at the carved doors the current owner has installed.
Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
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Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
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Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
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Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
Carved doors at the Capitola Venetian Hotel
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The attractions in the area are too numerous to list, but a smattering of them would include: State beaches, there are Twin Lakes S.B., Seacliff S.B., Cowell's Beach, Sunset Beach plus several others.
State parks available in the area include; Natural Bridges S.P., Ano Nuevo S.P., New Brighton S.B., Wilder Ranch S. P., and a must see for any who enjoy ocean related items is the Lighthouse Point Surfing Museum. With the museum being housed in the brick structure lighthouse on the point, the building with its large Fresnel lens on top is a favorite photo-op.
Lighthouse Point Surfing Museum
Lighthouse Point Surfing Museum
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A very inexpensive short trip to The Mystery Spot is a quick ten or fifteen minute drive from the beaches, and is only five dollars per person plus five dollars to park. The guided tour offers demonstrations of the truly unusual gravity forces at play in a 150 foot circle in the redwood forested area. Water runs uphill, and so do billiard balls!
The explanations stretch from the plausible to the outlandish, but as the guides will tell you, if the forces are ever fully explained, it won’t be The Mystery Spot any longer, it would be The Solved Spot, and who would want to go see that?
Time spent just walking along the beach listening to the waves, seagulls, pelicans and terns is capable of bringing the stress levels down to a near zero state in only moments. Any extra time spent idling along is the perfect answer to a hectic life and busy schedule.
As for dining in the area, the range is enormous, from dining in room, to outstanding sushi, to fine dining and everything in between. Luxurious dinners can be had at the Fog Bank along with Sunday evening jam sessions, Dharma’s Restaurant for those who enjoy really excellent vegetarian food and for a real treat, try Miyako’s Japanese Restaurant for their daily buffet or the never ending sushi!
Just in the nick of time I made it back to see some of the dozens of classic cars go by on their way to the car show.
Classic Cars
Classic Cars
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Classic Cars
Classic Cars
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The Capitola area has all the ingredients for a romantic getaway or just a time to recharge the inner life force. With so much to do, or nothing to do at all, except enjoy the sun, the ocean and restful atmosphere, a pleasant weekend or mid-week adventure can be had with very little trouble.
More about Capitola, Beaches, State parks, Dining, Sushi
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