We spent part of our Memorial Day Weekend in Santa Cruz County! This magical land is full of the cutest flower filled walkways and bright colored buildings. We felt like we were living in a rainbow dream! This week at OHBI we're talking all about some of our favorite spots to visit in this area. Get ready to pack up your swimsuit, sunnies, and an infinite amount of sunscreen because you're going to want to check out this beach town ASAP.
Of course our first stop was to get the good stuff...caffeine! Verve is by far one of the best coffee shops around. If you're new to the coffee world and are looking for more than just the burnt taste that some coffee places have to offer (we won't mention any names but you know who you are) Verve is a solid place to start. They have several locations in the Santa Cruz area and even a few in Los Angeles. The atmosphere is inviting and the baristas are always friendly and cracking jokes, which is exactly what you need before you've had your coffee. One of our favorite drinks to order is the Nitro Cold Brew on tap. We really can't describe how good it is but we're going to try anyway. Since the coffee is mixed with nitrogen as it comes out of the tap, the naturally sweet cold brew gets a creamy texture without the addition of milk! Since its already sweet, no sugar is needed. No extra calories makes us feel like we're winning at life! Don't be alarmed when you see the foamy top. Due to the addition of nitrogen the coffee is slightly carbonated. People might think you're drinking a morning beer, but don't worry you know the truth. Check it out below! If this drink seems too far out of your comfort zone they serve the traditional favs like lattes and cappuccinos that are to die for.
Next up we took a short little drive to Capitola, also known as The Village by the Sea. We spent most of our day here and if you keep reading you'll see why we put on our swimsuits (don't let this word freak you out) and embraced the beach town vibes. If those beach body worries are creepin' in then we'll let you in on a little secret. This is how we got our bodies "beach" ready for this adventure...Get a paper and pen ready because this process is really important:
Step 1: Put on your swimsuit
Step 2: Go to the beach
Step 3: Leave that self doubt and second guessing at home
Step 4: Have fun because its the beach and "you is smart, kind, and important!"
Now that we got over that swimsuit hurdle we can talk more about the Capitola Venetian Hotel. SWOON! This place is made from rainbows and unicorn dreams. These cute tiny beach houses can be rented! Sadly we failed to plan ahead and couldn't check out the inside of these rooms. We did however find Room 7 1/2 and we're almost positive it would have taken us to the Hogwarts Train Station just like the 9 3/4 Platform in Harry Potter. If anyone does know what's behind that door let us know, we're curious. :)
This trip wouldn't be an adventure to Capitola without a stop to Margaritaville! This restaurant offers oceanfront views and has a modern feel after its recent renovation. They serve some of the best Mexican inspired seafood creations. One of our favs is the calamari severed with jalapeño lime aioli and chipotle crema dipping sauces. YUM…we might still be drooling over this appetizer. In case you're wondering, the margaritas are glorious and are made with love by some of the coolest bartenders. Our bartender, Thomas (yes, we usually end up making friends with the bartender) talked us into a spicy jalapeño cucumber margarita topped with tajin. This marg definitely didn't have us searching for our lost shaker of salt!
Margaritaville sits below a coffee shop called Mr. Toots coffeehouse as you can see in the picture below. We didn't visit the coffee shop this time but figured it was worth mentioning because the name is hilarious. We might be in our late twenties but we're still laughing about it.
Village Grill and Creamery, also known as "Beach Break by Marianne's" is one spot you won't want to miss out on. If you've ever visited the area before, you must be a believer in Marianne's. This place makes some of the best local hand crafted ice cream around. Marianne's has been proudly serving since 1947 with a few locations. Our most frequently visited location is in Santa Cruz on Ocean Street *CUE Yellowcard...There's a place off Ocean Avenue*.
An added bonus about the location in Capitola is it also serves Polar Bear Ice Cream, another local fav! We're all about their "collaboration not competition" culture. The Lavander Honey by Polar Bear and Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough by Marianne's were calling our names! Sadly the ice cream was so tasty that we may have made a blogger fail and forgotten to take pictures to share with y'all. YIKES...but take our word for it this place will fulfill all of your ice cream dreams! If you don't believe us then check out this older pic of Alissa looking like the happiest girl on Earth with her cone. It's the look of pure bliss.
This beach town is full of bright colors and hidden gems. We just couldn't resist showing off some more of our favorite finds.
It wasn't a beach day without the appropriate clothing and accessories. Santa Cruz County might be a beach town but it can get pretty chilly in the morning. We started out our day with our favorite denim and a light jacket then switched to our swimmies and shorts when it started to warm up. Make sure you find yourself an extra large beach bag to carry all of your beach day essentials!
You better believe our Maria Shireen bracelets were on our beach day list! These Artisan style bracelets were the perfect selection for an adventure day with their lightweight feel. Our lovely locks were a bit salty after taking a snooze on the beach so we were thankful to have our hair ties ready for a top knot.
The beauty of Capitola is that the buildings are so close to the beach that there are endless shops and restaurants to explore. Sometimes you need to take a break from the sunshine to avoid getting to lobster sunburn status.
If you get the chance to visit this area let us know what you think! If you find any gems we'd love to hear about it!
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