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Shopping by the Sea

Shopping by the Sea in Capitola Village

BY Christine Candelaria

One can hardly describe Capitola Village without using the word quaint, but it’s true! The beauty and charm of this Mediterranean-inspired seaside town oozes out of nestled buildings with colorful exteriors, as if the picturesque ocean views weren’t enough. The atmosphere in Capitola Village is unique, as are the plentiful shops and galleries, many of them family-owned, that beckon with clever names and eye-catching window displays.

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Shopping in the Village is best done with a spontaneous approach because you never know what you may discover- some funky jewelry, local art, the perfect vacation memento, cute beach attire. Capitola Village has it all, and all within proximity to the sand and waves.

“I love that it is right at the beach. I love that it’s a mix of tourists on vacation or just visiting for the day, and locals watching their kids at Jr. Lifeguards or enjoying the restaurants and shops,” says local shop owner Carrie Hunter. For Hunter, owning a shop in the Village has brought her full circle. She worked in the Village almost 25 years ago and returned recently to open Zen Island By-The-Sea, noting that many of the same shop owners are still there today, welcoming her back.

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Summer Rhee-Pizano, of Art Inspired, loves the feeling of community the small beach town provides. Art Inspired, the newest merchant to join the Village, is a collective of four artists sharing their talents in photography, jewelry, repurposed furniture and art. Rhee-Pizano shared how during the shop’s renovation, they immediately noticed abundant community support. Visits from the nearby fire department and neighborhood locals brought encouraging words and enthusiasm for their wares.

While the Village certainly has its hustle and bustle moments, there’s a relaxed and easygoing vibe in the air. Zen Island features seaside-inspired jewelry, attire and home decor, and invites customers to shop in a “Dog, cell phone, ice cream and beverage friendly” environment. It doesn’t get more casual and laid-back than that!

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Break up a fun day of shopping with wine tasting, dining, a massage, or even a psychic reading. Or just sit on one of the many benches facing the ocean and enjoy the scenery.

And don’t worry about limited parking! During the busy summer season, free shuttle rides into the Village are available on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to mid-September. Just park for free at the Crossroads Center parking lot on Bay Avenue and catch a shuttle every 15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Happy shopping in quaint Capitola Village!

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