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Apr 16th
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Area Guide

Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Best of Santa Cruz County

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks

It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, Editor
Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Santa Cruz Happy Hour Directory

Santa Cruz Happy Hour Directory

Santa Cruz Happy Hour Directory
In good times or bad, who can resist happy hour?  Check out our Santa Cruz area happy hour directory, where you'll find a list of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that offer specials on food and drink. Know of something we missed?  Add a comment below or contact Good Times.

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Santa Cruz Visitor Guide

Santa Cruz Visitor Guide

One of the pleasures that locals find living in Santa Cruz County is, perhaps, knowing that they reside in somewhat of a protective paradise. There’s the striking beauty—from the gorgeous Monterey Bay to the breathtaking Santa Cruz Mountains. And then there’s the amazing food—from festive little taquerías to upscale culinary hot spots. And in between, there’s so much activity happening that it’s hard to be bored here. Now, you get to experience some of the splendor, too. Most visitors to the area admit to being captivated by everything Santa Cruz County has to offer, and our annual guide is designed to help steer you in the right direction, and, perhaps, point out a few things you may not have even considered on your trip.
Open Santa Cruz Visitor Guide PDF
>
Santa Cruz Visitor Guide Online>

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

The 2012 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll

The 2012 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll

What is the best new business in Santa Cruz County? Where do you find the best calamari? Which local mover and shaker captured your interest? The answers to all that—and much more—awaits. Welcome to our annual Best Of Santa Cruz Readers’ Poll. It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, we spotlight all of the local businesses, restaurants and humans that captured your interest over the past year. Our hats go off to our readers, for voting, and to all of the individuals recognized as being the “best” they can be in the creative realms they operate in. They’re a passionate bunch, these winners, so take some time and appreciate their time in the spotlight. Also, take note of our annual Critics’ Picks on page 100, where our editorial posse unveils a different kind of “list.”  As always, thank you for reading. And here’s to another year of making Santa Cruz County the very best it can be.
As always, thanks for reading. And here’s to another year of making Santa Cruz County the best it can be.
—Greg Archer, Editor

Best of Santa Cruz County Index:
| Critics’ Picks | Shops | Food & Drink | Arts & Entertainment | Health & Fitness | Professionals | The Rest |

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Wine Bars and Wineries in Santa Cruz County

Wine Bars and Wineries in Santa Cruz County

There are so many local wineries in the area, but there are a unique cluster of impressive wine bars, too. Pop the cork and dive in. See also Good Times Josie Cowden's reviews of Santa Cruz area wines and wineries.
Restaurant dining and wine reviews >
Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area >
Restaurant A-Z in Santa Cruz area >

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area

Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area

Click below for the menus, phone numbers and address of all these restaurants:
Laili, Kianti’s, Rosie McCann’s, El Palomar, Fire Fish, Ideal Bar & Grill, Miramar, Casablanca Restaurant, Zelda’s, Paradise Beach Grille, Zameen Cuisine, Sawasdee Thai Cuisine, Lillian’s, The Crepe Place, burger., The Parish, Samba Rock, Pearl of the Ocean, Vasili’s Greek Taverna, Zoccoli’s Deli, Taqueria Vallarta, Charlie Hong Kong, Aloha Island Grille, May’s Sushi, Engfer’s Pizza Works, Chill Out Cafe, Clubhouse Kitchen, Hollin’s House, Hindquarter, Ristorante Italiano, Zachary’s, Hula’s, Linwood’s Bar & Grill.
Dining, Restaurant list in Santa Cruz County
Restaurant dining and wine reviews >
>Spring 2012 Food and Wine Dining Guide PDF.
Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area (Fall 2011) >
Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area (Spring 2011) >
Restaurant A-Z in Santa Cruz area >

Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Dog-friendly Spots in Santa Cruz

Dog-friendly Spots in Santa Cruz

Dog-friendly businesses in Santa Cruz County
Dining
Shopping
Lodging
Dog Parks
Dog Friendly Beaches
Miscellaneous



 

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Lighted Boat Parade 2011

Lighted Boat Parade 2011

Photo slideshow.  Judging cetegories: Sailing, Power, People Powered, Commercial/Sponsored Vessels, Best of Theme and Best Music. Enchanted Harbor at Santa Cruz Dec. 3, 2011 Sponsored by the Santa Cruz Harbor Yacht Club.

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Surf Spots & Schools in Santa Cruz County

Surf Spots & Schools in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz is one of the world's finest surfing areas.
Here's the Good Times guide to surfing & surf training.
Capitola Jetty , The Hook , Manresa/La Selva
Privates , Pleasure Point
Cowell , Steamer Lane , Natural Bridges
Three Mile , Scott’s Creek , Waddell Creek , Four Mile
See reviews of all by area

 

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Karaoke in Santa Cruz

Karaoke in Santa Cruz

Let your star shine with karaoke in Santa Cruz


Boardwalk Bowl
Bocci’s Cellar
Britannia Arms
Fog Bank
Henfling’s Tavern & Grill
Hindquarter Bar and Grill
I Love Sushi
Malone’s Grille
Michael’s on Main
Sir Froggy’s Pub
Trout Farm Inn

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Shopping in Santa Cruz

Shopping in Santa Cruz

Guide to shopping, antiques, boutiques, clothing, bookshops and more in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Yoga Centers in Santa Cruz County

Yoga Centers in Santa Cruz County

Sure, both UCSC and Cabrillo sport a bundle of great fitness classes—you may really dig the gyms there, too. But take note of some yoga alternatives here in Santa Cruz:
Contact yoga instructors for times and rates.

 

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Spiritual Guide in the Santa Cruz area

Spiritual Guide in the Santa Cruz area

NEW AGE/OMNI-FAITHS/ EASTERN
CATHOLICISM
CHRISTIANITY
PAGAN/OCCULT
JUDAISM

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Getting Around Bikes & Busses

Getting Around Bikes & BussesSanta Cruz is a very ecologically minded place. Combine that with students strapped for cash and you get a community particularly interested in alternative forms of transportation. Fortunately, whatever your reason—whether it be the exercise from riding a bike, the lower carbon footprint associated with public transit, or simply saving money with a carpool partner or highly efficient car—there is likely to be a local a solution for you.
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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

SC Culture, Attractions, Art Galleries & Theater

SC Culture, Attractions, Art Galleries & Theater

Get out and enjoy some Santa Cruz Attractions, Art Galleries & Theater.

Cabrillo Stage at the Cabrillo Theatre
6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 831-479-6154;
831-479-6429, cabrillostage.com Summer always heats up with Cabrillo’s high-caliber offerings. This year’s line-up includes “The Full Monty,” “Hairspray” and “The Last 5 Years.” Professional actors, great stage direction and brilliant music arrangement. Watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage on GTv.  photo: rr jones

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Dining, Restaurant list in Santa Cruz area A-Z

Dining, Restaurant list in Santa Cruz area A-Z

Dining, Restaurant list in Santa Cruz County
Restaurant dining and wine reviews >

Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area >

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Santa Cruz area Radio guide

Santa Cruz area Radio guide

Good Times area AM & FM radio stations and programming guide.

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Beaches in Santa Cruz County

Beaches in Santa Cruz County

A list of beaches in the North and South County area.
Capitola Beach, Castle Beach, Its Beach, Moran Lake, Manresa State Beach,
Sunset State Beach, Natural Bridges State Park, New Brighton State Beach,
Pleasure Point Beach , Privates ., Rio Del Mar Beach, Santa Cruz Main Beach
Seacliff State Beach , Twin Lakes State Beach
North Coast Beaches
Davenport Beach, Panther Beach , Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel , Waddell State Beach

 

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

SC Skating, Climbing, Biking, Boating, Kayaking, SCUBA

SC Skating, Climbing, Biking, Boating, Kayaking, SCUBA

Skating, Biking, Boating
Rock Climbing, Kayaking
Stand up Paddling
SCUBA, Rentals

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Free WiFi hot spots

Free WiFi hot spots

The Santa Cruz area offers several locations to connect to the internet for free while enjoying a coffee, meal or conversation. See the Good Times list for Free WiFi hot spots.

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Santa Cruz area movie theaters

Santa Cruz area movie theaters

Local theaters in the  Santa Cruz area.

Find out about New releases, Movie Times, Reviews, and Previews in our Santa Cruz film section >
Movie Times click here.

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Clubs & Night Life

Clubs & Night Life

As the long days turn to twilight and the sun sets to the west the Santa Cruz nights light up with something for everyone.  Whether you are looking for cool jazz, rock 'n' roll or some acoustic guitar you'll find it here.  Locals and travelers join together to celebrate great food, cool drinks and night beats. See Santa Cruz Area NightLife A-Z

Also see our area featured > calendar>

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Santa Cruz County Farmer's Markets

Santa Cruz County Farmer's Markets

Aptos Farmers’ Market At Cabrillo College
Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers’ Market 
Live Oak Farmers’ Market
Westside Farmers’ Market
Scotts Valley Farmers’ Market

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

Resorts, Hotels, Spas in Santa Cruz County

Resorts, Hotels, Spas in Santa Cruz County

Resorts,
Hotels,
B&B’s &
Spas in Santa Cruz County

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Santa Cruz - Area Guide

State Parks, Hiking & Walking

State Parks, Hiking & Walking

Whether you live here or are visiting the hiking and running trail options are amazing and some of the most beautiful in the world. Explore the local hills, redwoods, beaches and more. Explore our list of great hiking spots, leave your comments and submit your favorite hikes.
Note: There are some pending park closures due to the CA state budget - contact the Dept. of Parks and Recreation to confirm park hours and availability.
City of Santa Cruz >
Santa Cruz Department of Parks & Recreation >

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Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.