Last year’s Best of Santa Cruz County was a testament to perseverance. Following two years of pandemic-induced hardships and uncertainty, the community came out of lockdown with a newfound commitment to support all things local. People rallied around the businesses they love and consciously kept money here in the county instead of giving it to Amazon.
This year, the region has been tested yet again, with an onslaught of devastating storms causing destruction countywide. Yes, several old and new businesses shuttered due to unavoidable circumstances that began to hit over three years ago. But resilience has kept doors open to many favorite spots, from Capitola and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Westside and south county.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered, and floodwaters hit hard. Yet, our readers still showed their unwavering support for the community, demonstrated by the thousands of votes we received from residents—longtime and those new to the area—showing appreciation for all the people, places and things they hold near and dear.
Santa Cruz County’s heart still beats strong, and, as you’ll read in our Editor’s Picks section, which includes “Best Sounding Horn,” “Best Addams Family Dive Bar” and “Best Place to Switch Up Your Coffee Order,” this slice of Central Coast paradise will always be the perfect amount of weird. Enjoy reading our 2023 issue of Best of Santa Cruz County.
ADAM JOSEPH | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF