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Photograph by Jenn Ireland
West is Best: Readers just love them some West Cliff Drive; the scenic rec trail and oceanside street won best bike ride, makeout spot, place for contemplation, place to walk and sunset view.

People & Places

Readers Survey Results

Best Beach


Natural Bridges

Twin Lakes

Best Bike Ride

West Cliff Drive

Wilder Ranch State Park

Nisene Marks State Park

Best Boardwalk Attraction

Big Dipper

Log Ride


Best Hiking Spot

Nisene Marks State Park


Wilder Ranch State Park

Best Local Hero

Pink Umbrella Man

Ryan Coonerty


Best Local Villain

Robert Norse

Ryan Rittenhouse

Pink Umbrella Man

Best Makeout Spot

West Cliff Drive



Best Neighborhood



Beach Flats

Best Neighborhood Park

Ocean View Park
102 Oceanview Ave, Santa Cruz

Frederick Street Park
158 Frederick St, Santa Cruz

Blue Ball Park
461 Old San Jose Road, Soquel

Best NonProfit Group

Girl Scouts

Save Our Shores
345 Lake Ave, Santa Cruz. 831.462.5660

Second Harvest Food
800 Ohlone Pkwy, Watsonville. 831.722.7110

Best Place for Contemplation

West Cliff Drive



Best Place to Get Married


1 Chaminade Ln, Santa Cruz. 800.283.6569

1 Seascape Resort Dr, Aptos. 831.662.7120

Best Place to Take Kids

Beach St, Santa Cruz. 831.423.5590


Seymour Center
100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz. 831.459.3800

Best Place to Walk

West Cliff Drive



Best Season




Best Street Performer

Great Morgani

Pink Umbrella Man

Bob Noxious

Best Sunset View

West Cliff Drive

Natural Bridges

Seacliff Beach

Best Surf Spot

Steamer Lane

Cowells Beach

Pleasure Point


World Domination Is For Underachievers: With Planet Cruz beaming tales of local hijinks all over the universe, Santa Cruz's mastery of the galaxy can't be far behind.


Best Wine Bar


Best Local Journalist

Jessica Lussenhop

Best School

Empire Academy

Best Bike Messenger

Pedaler's Express
They'll bring you some cans of soup and a bottle of Tylenol when you're too sick to haul your lazy ass to the store. I mean, how awesome is that?

Favorite Local Design Company

Left Coast Digital

Best Brunch

All-You-Can-Drink Mimosas at Center Street Grille

Best Pest Control

Gophers Limited

Best Local Motorcycle Club

Vampires Motorcycle Club

Best Santa Cruz Cultural Export System

Planet Cruz Comedy

Best Way for Film Fans to Log Off

The Video Store
As one of the last holdouts I know not to join Netflix, I have to admit I have a strange fetish for the video store experience. So I'm thankful for the indies that Santa Cruz still has, especially the two pillars of local rentaldom that have supplied countless film fixes over the years: Westside Video and East Cliff Video. Though it's in a new location, East Cliff is in its 26th year, and owner Sami Abed now owns Video 9 in Ben Lomond and Cedar Street Video in downtown Santa Cruz. "I've got people who used to come in as kids bringing in kids," he says of his customers. (SP)

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