Capitola is a city in Santa Cruz County, California, United States, on the coast of Monterey Bay. The population was 10,033 at the 2000 census. Founded as "Camp Capitola" by Samuel A. Hall in 1874, Capitola was named for the heroine of The Hidden Hand, a novel by the popular author E.D.E.N. Southworth, favored by Hall's daughter Lulu. Capitola is known as the oldest beach resort on the West Coast.
Capitola is a popular tourist town because of its trendy shops and restaurants on the shore directly connecting to a fishing wharf and its large, sandy beach.
Capitola lies west of the census-designated area of Aptos and east of the census-designated place of Live Oak.
Capitola is located at(36.976250, -121.954750).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km²), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (4.14%) is water.
Capitola sits on the northeast shore of Monterey Bay. Steep cliffs mark access to several popular beaches, including New Brighton Beach, or drop directly to the rocky shoreline of the Bay. Downtown Capitola sits in a depression among the cliffs so that the popular tourist and shopping area leads directly to Capitola Beach. Colorful houses and hotels line the slopes of the town leading back up to the higher clifftops.
There have been a number of historic fuel releases to the soil in Capitola; among these the following locations have been identified by the County of Santa Cruz or the California Regional Water Quality Control Board: 819 Bay Avenue, 1649 41st Avenue, 2210 41st Avenue and 1700 41st Avenue.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,033 people, 4,692 households, and 2,280 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,220.2 people per square mile (2,406.1/km²). There were 5,309 housing units at an average density of 3,291.5/sq mi (1,273.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.84% White, 1.17% African American, 0.57% Native American, 4.00% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 5.53% from other races, and 4.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.63% of the population.
There were 4,692 households out of which 22.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.1% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.4% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.79.
In the city the population was spread out with 18.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,048, and the median income for a family was $59,473. Males had a median income of $47,879 versus $35,444 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,609. About 2.0% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Capitola is located in the 11th Senate District, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 27th Assembly District, represented by Democrat John Laird. Federally, Capitola is located in California's 17th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +17and is represented by Democrat Sam Farr.