.Best of Santa Cruz County 2019: Community


Best Local Athlete (Non-Derby)

Nat Young

  1. Nat Young is a 27-year-old Santa Cruz surfing icon with a worldwide audience of 143,000 Instagram followers.
  2. When he’s back home in Santa Cruz, Young surfs every day—sometimes two or three times a day. When conditions aren’t good, he’s at the gym training.
  3. Young has always been an athlete. He grew up playing soccer, baseball, golf, and basketball, and competed on Santa Cruz’s junior lifeguard team.
  4. After he stood up on a boogie board at age 5 while on a trip to Mexico, he started surfing Cowells on a pink board. By 6, he graduated to Steamer Lane breaks, and has since gone up against some of the surfing greats, including Kelly Slater.
  5. He surfs goofy-footed, with his right foot forward—the minority stance in the surfing world. GEORGIA JOHNSON


Best Farmers Market

Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Market at Cabrillo College

  1. Features around 65 specialty vendors, most of whom are certified organic or use sustainable farming methods, offering pastured grass-fed meats and poultry, locally produced olive oil, fresh pasta and gourmet sauces, bacon, and tons of local produce. Best of Santa Cruz 2019 community cabrillo farmers market
  2. At the market, you can find unique items that are not commercially grown anymore, like kumquats and rutabagas.
  3. The only farmers market in Santa Cruz County operated by the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets—the oldest and largest farmers market organization on the Central Coast of California.
  4. Presents an opportunity for local farmers try growing different items, such as pluots (a cross between a plum and an apricot), bacon avocados and the local Watsonville “Howard” apples.
  5. There is beekeeper vendor a whose family has been keeping bees for over 200 years. GJ


Best Place to Walk/Jog/Hike

West Cliff Drive

  1. Hovering about 20 feet above the water, West Cliff Drive hosts hundreds of runners, bikers and dog walkers daily. Best of Santa Cruz 2019 West Cliff community
  2. West Cliff Drive stretches from Natural Bridges to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Municipal Wharf, which is the longest wharf on the West Coast.
  3. This area is where surfing was first brought to North America, introduced by three Hawaiian princes in 1885.
  4. The West Cliff bluffs are actually eroding away. As the sea level rises and storms batter West Cliff each winter, it’s unclear how long Santa Cruz’s favorite walk will be around.
  5. The annual Open Streets event draws hundreds to bike, play and dance with a great view on a zoned-off, no-traffic West Cliff Drive. GJ



secure document shredding


Seabright Beach

East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

RUNNERS-UP Capitola Beach, Twin Lakes Beach


Bike Ride

West Cliff Drive

RUNNERS-UP Nisene Marks, Wilder Ranch


Boardwalk Ride

Giant Dipper

400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, 423-5590, beachboardwalk.com

RUNNERS-UP Carousel, Fireball


Derby Girl

Ima Hotmess

RUNNERS-UP Hermione Danger, Flower Power


Dog Park

Frederick Street

168 Frederick St., Santa Cruz

RUNNERS-UP Aptos Polo Grounds, Its Beach


Farmers Market

Monterey Bay Certified 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, Katie Zaferes, Luke Rockhold


Local Hero

Andy Guy

RUNNERS-UP Curtis Reliford, Terry Hollenbeck




RUNNERS-UP Live Oak, Westside


Nonprofit Group

Romero Institute

210 High St. 2nd floor, Santa Cruz, 459-6135, romeroinstitute.org

RUNNERS-UP Dientes Community Dental Care, Grey Bears


Place of Worship

Twin Lakes Church

2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Aptos, 465-3300, tlc.org

RUNNERS-UP Inner Light Ministries, Temple Beth El


Place to Walk/Jog/Hike

West Cliff Drive

RUNNERS-UP East Cliff Drive, Forest of Nisene Marks State Park


Retreat Center

Land of Medicine Buddha

5800 Prescott Rd., Soquel, 462-8383, landofmedicinebuddha.org

RUNNERS-UP 1440 Multiversity, Mount Madonna Institute


Wedding Venue

Hollins House

20 Clubhouse Rd., Santa Cruz, 459-9177, thehollinshouse.com

Seascape Beach Resort

1 Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, 688-6800, seascaperesort.com

RUNNERS-UP Chaminade Resort & Spa, Shadowbrook




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