.Best of Santa Cruz County 2022: Community Life

The best beach, derby girl, farmers market and more

Best Nonprofit Group

Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association

1. Serving Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and South San Jose Counties, Jacob’s Heart provides financial, practical, peer and emotional support to hundreds of children with cancer and thousands of their family members.
2. The organization is named after a boy who had been given a 5% chance to survive cancer as a toddler. Nearly 25 years later, Jacob is alive and flourishing.
3. Since 1998, Jacob’s Heart has served over 3,300 seriously ill children and their family members. During the pandemic, the nonprofit delivered over 112,000 pounds of nutritious food to families in treatment.
4. Over 100 campers attended Camp Heart and Hands—a free camp for families experiencing pediatric cancer.
5. Jacob’s Heart founder Lori Butterworth appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and was awarded the “Use Your Life” award to buy the first Jacob’s Heart van. It paved the way to launch the Heart on Wheels medical transportation program.

Best Wedding Venue

Chaminade Resort and Spa

1. Sprawling over a 300-acre hilltop with take-your-breath-away views of the Monterey Bay, Chaminade offers 156 guest rooms in 11 villas. The resort’s elegant rooms are nestled amongst fragrant eucalyptus trees and rich natural landscaping.
2. The site has a facinating history dating back to the early 20th century, including 10 years as the Chaminade Boys High School, beginning in 1930. In May 1985, Chaminade Resort and Spa opened to the public.
3. The popular Spanish-style resort seeks to combine old-world elegance with modern luxury; its many Best of Santa Cruz awards over the years suggest it has succeeded.
4. Chaminade’s two panoramic, ocean-view ceremony and reception sites make it one of the most in-demand wedding sites in the area.
5. The resort recently added a second pool, complete with cabanas, firepits and a poolside bar.

In May 1985, Chaminade Resort and Spa opened to the public.



Seabright Beach

East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
RUNNERS-UP Capitola City Beach, Seacliff State Beach

Bike Ride

West Cliff Drive

RUNNERS-UP Wilder Ranch, Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Boardwalk Ride

Giant Dipper

400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, 423-5590, beachboardwalk.com
RUNNERS-UP Log Ride, Cave Train

Derby Girl

Eileen Hill

RUNNERS-UP Sharon D Pain, Ace Wenchura 

Dog Park

Frederick Street

168 Frederick St., Santa Cruz
RUNNERS-UP Aptos Polo Grounds, Its Beach 

Farmers Market 

Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College  

6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 728-5060
RUNNERS-UP Downtown, Live Oak 

Local Athlete (non-Derby)

Nat Young

RUNNERS-UP Carina Reid, Anne Sakamoto

Local Hero

Our First Responders

RUNNERS-UP Carina Reid, Curtis Reilford



RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Point, Westside

Nonprofit Group

Jacob’s Heart

680 W Beach St., Watsonville, 724-9100, jacobsheart.org
RUNNERS-UP Second Harvest, Monarch Services

Place of Worship

Twin Lakes Church

2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Aptos, 465-3300, tlc.org
RUNNERS-UP Temple Beth El, Resurrection Catholic Community

Place to Walk/Jog/Hike

West Cliff Drive

RUNNERS-UP Nisene Marks, Wilder Ranch

Retreat Center

1440 Multiversity 

800 Bethany Drive, Scotts Valley, 544-1440, 1440.org
RUNNERS-UP Land of Medicine Buddha, Mount Hermon Adventures

Wedding Venue

Chaminade Resort & Spa

1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, 475-5600, chaminade.com
RUNNERS-UP Seascape Beach Resort, Shadowbrook Restaurant


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