On the way down to Monterey, I love stopping in downtown Santa Cruz for a coffee break or a stretch break. I love Verve Coffee and the Penny Ice Creamery (which serves Verve Coffee ice cream!).
My 2 favorite shops are Stripe (they have a men and a womens a few stores down). They take such care to decorate their store and it’s curated so well. It helps also that everything in those stores are in my style aesthetic, I’ll be honest. It’s a great place to pick up gifts for others or something special for yourself! They have home goods, cards, clothes, hats, and even sunnies!
Less than 15 minutes away is Capitola, which is the home of the infamous row of colored houses. Parking is not easy to come by at the beach front, but that’s to be said about any beach, right? This time, I took my chances to see if there was parking and to my surprise, I found a spot right in front of Mr. Toots Coffee House. I’d never noticed this place before, but they had a sign outside advertising “Free Wifi” and “a great view”. I guess you could always eat at the restaurants on the waterfront or head down to the beach, but it sure is relaxing to be on your laptop doing work and still get a great view! There are only 2 tables on the terrace, so cross your fingers and hope they aren’t taken!
Capitola State Beach is much less crowded and low key than Santa Cruz Beach (Boardwalk), so if you’re into a day on the beach out on the sand, I’d suggest to head over to Capitola. And hey, if you’re not feelin’ Capitola when you arrive, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is only about 15 minutes away!