Best Of

Best of 2024

We asked you to share your favorite places to take your kids and places you enjoy as a family. We wanted to know what businesses you consider the Best in Santa Cruz, and man, did you ever respond! Thanks to everyone who answered our survey.

Camps

Day Camp 

Kennolyn Day Camps

kennolyncamps.com

Runner up

Redwood Music Kid Camp

(Community Music School)

Redwood Music Kid Camp

CommunityMusicSchool.org

Young musicians explore Celtic music at this two-week day camp for ages 7-13. For players of violin, flute, penny whistle, recorder, harp, guitar, ukulele, keyboards, and cello. Students practice in instrument-specific groups, and with the entire ensemble. Camp begins July 22 in Scotts Valley. Information and registration at CommunityMusicSchool.org.

Residential Camp

Camp Kennolyn

kennolyncamps.com

Runner up

Redwood Music Teen Camp(Community Music School)

Redwood Music Teen Camp

CommunityMusicSchool.org

Teen musicians explore Celtic music at this week-long residential camp in Aptos. Students practice and perform in instrument-specific groups, small bands, and with the entire camp; there’s also dancing, movies, crafts, and more! For players of strings, plucked instruments, woodwinds, and keyboards. Information and registration is online at CommunityMusicSchool.org.

Dining

Bakery

Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria

504 Bay Avenue, Capitola

831.462.1200

gaylesbakery.com

Runner up

Companion Bakery

Coffee Shop

Cat & Cloud

Four locations

catandcloud.com

Runner up

11th Hour

Breakfast

Zachary’s

819 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

831.427.0646

Runner up

Walnut Avenue Cafe

Deli

Zoccoli’s Delicatessen

1534 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz

831.423.1711

zoccolis.com

Runner up

Garden Liquor & Deli

Dinner

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen

1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

831.425.2288

lilliansitaliankitchen.com

Runner up

Laili Restaurant

Fine Dining

Cafe Cruz Restaurant

2621 41st Ave. Soquel

831.476.3801

cafecruz.com

Runner up

Shadowbrook

Grocery Store

Shopper’s Corner

622 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

831.429.1494

shopperscorner.com

Runner up

New Leaf Community Markets

Ice Cream

Marianne’s Ice Cream

Three locations

mariannesicecream.com

Runner up

Penny Ice Cream

Pizza

Pizza My Heart

1116 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

831.426.2511

pizzamyheart.com

Runner up

Pleasure Point Pizza

Sushi

Otoro Sushi

235 Mt Hermon Rd, Ste G, Scotts Valley

831.440.9040

Runner up

Mobo Sushi

Taqueria

Taqueria Vallarta

Locations in Santa Cruz and Felton

Enjoytaqueriavallarta.com

Runner up

Los Pericos

To Go

Charlie Hong Kong

1141 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

831.426.5664

charliehongkong.com

Runner up

 

Pizza My Heart

Family Friendly Restaurant

Otoro Sushi

235 Mt Hermon Rd, Ste G, Scotts Valley

831.440.9040

Runner up

Carpo’s

Extra Curricular

After School Care

Sprouts Aftercare

sproutsaftercare.com

Runner up

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County

Art Studio

Studio Sprout

studiosproutsantacruz.com

831.325.2785

Runner up

Seven Directions Art and Learning Center

Dance

International Academy of Dance

320 Encinal Street Santa Cruz

831.466.0458

iadance.com

Dance for JOY! IAD provides professional instruction for all ages in an encouraging atmosphere. Our studio trains students to develop their artistry, technique, balance, strength and flexibility, while honing style, focus, agility and energy… bringing joy to every class and performance! We can’t wait to see you in the studio!

Runner up

Tannery World Dance

Music

Music Together/ Musical Me

MusicalMe, Inc. offering Music Together™

Locations throughout Santa Cruz and

Santa Clara County

831.332.9002

musicalme.com

We are overjoyed to be voted #1 AGAIN! Now in our 28th year, made possible with the loving support of our incredible community.  Thank you! Come join the fun at our Music Together classes –playful, rich, and engaging for everyone.  Summer-only special:  Unlimited Bonus Classes!

Runners up

Be Natural Music
Kuumbwa Jazz

Sports

DeLaveaga Golf Course

401 Upper Park Road, Santa Cruz,

831.423.7214

delaveagagolf.com

Runner up

Scotts Valley Little League

Swimming

Adventure Sports Unlimited

303 Potrero St., Suite 15, Santa Cruz

831.458.3648

asudoit.com

Runners up

Jim Booth Swim School

Watsonville

831.722.3500

Jimboothswimschool.com

Be a water wonder! Lessons for all ages! From our Little Otters swim class for parents and their babies to our adult beginner class. The whole family can splash together at Jim Booth Swim School. Little Otters is a gentle introduction to our 94-degree indoor pool that will make you confident that you are guiding your infant to a happy water experience. will be offered at our outdoor pool located in Watsonville at Toadal fitness. The whole family can swim at Jim Booth Swim School!

Theater

All About Theatre

325 Washington St, Santa Cruz

831.345.6340

allabouttheatre.org

Thank you for voting AAT the best theater program as we celebrate 22 years of theater, and over 165 productions in Santa Cruz County. Offering year round training in the performing arts for children aged (3-6), Youth (6-10), Pre-teen (10-13) & Teens (13-17) and Adults. This summer we offer many themed 1-week camps in storytelling, dramatic play, broadway dance, voice and more. Come be a part of the magic!

Runner up

Rio Theatre

Gymnastics

June Bugs Gym

3910 Portola Drive, Suite 2, Santa Cruz

831.464.BUGS (2847)

JuneBugsGym.com

June Bug’s Gym is a place where your child can experience a fun-filled adventure in movement. We have a caring, respectful, and supportive staff that encourages every child in their growth of large motor skills and gymnastics along with social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Runner up

Santa Cruz Gymnastics

831.462.0655

scgym.com

Beginning June 3, we will be offering Gymnastics Camps for ages 5–12! Come FLIP WITH US at our weekly themed camps. Camps include gymnastics lessons on all Olympic events, supervised open gym time, group games, crafts and time in our foam pit! Full and half day options are available for each weekly camp. Check scgym.com for more information and to register.

Family Services

Bank

Bay Federal Credit Union

bayfed.com

Runner up

Santa Cruz County Bank

Place/House of Worship

Twin Lakes Church

2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Aptos

831.465.3300

tlc.org

Runner up

Temple Beth El

Insurance

State Farm

statefarm.com

Runner up

Michael Boffy Farmers Insurance

Photographer

Alicia Telfer

aliciatelfer.com

Runner up

Good Eye Photography

Realtor

Shemeika Fox

Runner up

Jessica Soto

Fitness

Toadal Fitness

Downtown: 831.423.3764

Live Oak: 831.464.3764

Cabrillo: 831.475.5979

Scotts Valley: 831.430.9200

Westside: 831.466.3764

Watsonville/Freedom:831.337.8623

[email protected]

toadalfitness.com

Runner up

MADabolic Scotts Valley

Outdoors

Beach

Natural Bridges State Park

Runner up

Seabright

Park

Henry Cowell State Park

Runner up

Garfield Park

Hiking

Henry Cowell State Park

Runner up

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Amusement Park

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

beachboardwalk.com

Personal Care

Hair Salon

The Nook Salon & Spa

920 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

831.295.6233

thenook.us

Runner up

Hau’s of Hair

Spa

Empowering Hands Massage and Spa

Valley Drive Suite F, Scotts Valley

831.888.7614

empoweringhands.massagetherapy.com

Runner up

Sage Float Spa

Massage Therapist

Empowering Hands Massage and Spa

Valley Drive Suite F, Scotts Valley

831.888.7614

empoweringhands.massagetherapy.com

Nail Salon

Tracy’s  Nails

1420 41st Ave, Capitola

831.462.2292

Health

Dentist/Orthodontist

Alison K. Jackson, DDS

Children’s Dentistry

7545 Soquel Dr, Aptos

831.662.2900

santacruzkidsdentist.com

Thank you for voting us your favorite pediatric dentist for the third year in a row! We love taking care of your children. New patients are always welcome. Call us and schedule an appointment soon.

Runner up

Heit Family Dentistry

Hospital

Dominican

1555 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz

877.917.0343

bayarea.dignityhealth.org/dominican-hospital

Runner up

Sutter

Pediatrician

Dr. Wheeler (Dignity Health)

Reproductive

Planned Parenthood

plannedparenthood.org

Midwife/Doula

Brie Buxton

Runner up

Dana Ramsey at Nurture

Therapist

TherapyWorks

Locations in Capitola and Scotts Valley

mytherapyworks.com

Runner up

Santa Cruz Therapy Collective

Specialist

Golden State Orthopedics & Spine

831.475.4024

goldenstateortho.com

Pets

Kennel

Bed and Biscuits

2625 Chanticleer Ave, Santa Cruz

831.475.1580

bedandbiscuits.com

Pet supplies

Pet Pals

3660 Soquel Dr Ste. A, Soquel

831.464.8775

petpals.net

Runner up

Pet Smart

Veterinarian

West Side Animal Shelter

Runner up

Chanticleer Veterinary Hospital

Resources

Radio Station

KZSC

kzsc.org

Retail

Art Supplies

Lenz Arts

142 River Street, Santa Cruz

831.423.1935

lenzarts.com

Runner up

Art Palace Arts

Baby

Mini Mint

808 41st Ave, Santa Cruz

831.902.1899

minimintstudio.com

Runner up

Hope’s Closet

Bike Shop

Scotts Valley Cyclesport

Three Locations

cyclesport.com

Runner up

Bike Trip

Children’s Clothing

Mini Mint

808 41st Ave, Santa Cruz

831.902.1899

minimintstudio.com

Runner up

Hope’s Closet

Gift Shop

Zinnia’s

219 Mt Hermon Rd C, Scotts Valley

831.430.9466

zinniasgiftboutique.com

Runner up

The Farm

Home Decor

Zinnia’s

219 Mt Hermon Rd C, Scotts Valley

831.430.9466

zinniasgiftboutique.com

Runner up

Marshall’s

Nursery/Garden

Dig Gardens

Two locations

diggardens.com

Runner up

San Lorenzo Garden Center

Skate/ Surf

Calistyle

222 Mount Hermon Rd Ste G, Scotts Valley

831.440.1088

Runner up

O’Neill’s

Teen Clothing

Calistyle

222 Mount Hermon Rd Ste G, Scotts Valley

831.440.1088

Runner up

Forever 21

Toys

Childish Toy Shop

127 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz

831.454.8208

childishsantacruz.com

Runner up

Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources

19B Rancho Del Mar, Aptos

831.316.7261

www.wonderlandsantacruz.com

Women’s Clothing

Pacific Trading Company

Santa Cruz and Capitola

Santa Cruz : 831.423.3349

Capitola: 831.476.6109

pacific-trading-co.com

Runner up

Mint Muse

Schools

Charter

Pacific Collegiate School

3004 Mission Street, Santa Cruz

831.479.7785

pacificcollegiate.com

Runner up

Ocean Grove

Elementary

Gateway School

Gateway School K-8

255 Swift Street, Santa Cruz

831.423.0341

gatewaysc.org

Gateway School is proud to be named the Best Elementary and Best Middle School in Santa Cruz as well as runner up for the Best Private School. From our small class sizes to our extraordinary programs, educators and academics, Gateway is inspiring students to be prepared, be known and belong. Visit us today.

Runner up

Spring Hill School

Middle School

Gateway School

Gateway School K-8

255 Swift Street, Santa Cruz

831.423.0341

gatewaysc.org

Gateway School is proud to be named the Best Elementary and Best Middle School in Santa Cruz as well as runner up for the Best Private School. From our small class sizes to our extraordinary programs, educators and academics, Gateway is inspiring students to be prepared, be known and belong. Visit us today.

Runner up

Pacific Collegiate School

High School

Santa Cruz High

schs.sccs.net

Runner up

Scotts Valley High School

Preschool

Simcha Preschool

831.479.3449

3055 Porter Gulch Rd, Aptos

tbeaptos.org/simcha-preschool.html

Runner up

Natural Bridges Children’s Center

Private School

Spring Hill School

831.427.2641

250 California Street, Santa Cruz

springhillschool.org

Thank you Santa Cruz area for your votes!  We love being a part of this community and look forward to continuing to serve you.   Join our teachers on July 27th, 10-11am for a morning of Design Thinking & Science Exploration.  Ages 4-10 years old.  Fun can be learning!

Runner up

Gateway School

Gateway School K-8

255 Swift Street, Santa Cruz

831.423.0341

gatewaysc.org

Gateway School is proud to be named the Best Elementary and Best Middle School in Santa Cruz as well as runner up for the Best Private School. From our small class sizes to our extraordinary programs, educators and academics, Gateway is inspiring students to be prepared, be known and belong. Visit us today.

Entertainment

Place to celebrate kid’s birthday

Roller Palladium

1606 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz

831.423.0844

santacruzrollerpalladium.com

Runner up

Boardwalk Bowl

Place For Adults to Celebrate

Shadowbrook

1750 Wharf Road, Capitola

831.475.1511

shadowbrook-capitola.com

Runner up

Bruno’s
 

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