Best of Santa Cruz County 2021: Health and Recreation

Share Tweet Share Share Email Find out what readers voted as the best among health

Find out what readers voted as the best among health and recreation.



  1. Offering one of just a few cannabis delivery services in Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz Naturals is on a mission to provide cannabis in a green and sustainable way.
  2. Santa Cruz Naturals offers delivery service from both its Aptos and Watsonville locations using zero and low emission vehicles. Deliveries are available from 11am-7pm daily.
  3. As a boutique, family-owned small business, Santa Cruz Naturals is proud to be a “Clean Green” business—voluntarily going through the one of the most rigorous nationally recognized cannabis certification programs out there.
  4. Some 70% of Santa Cruz Natural’s products come from local cannabis growers, small businesses and artisans.
  5. Santa Cruz Naturals offers a daily 25% discount for veterans, and 10% for teachers, students, and senior citizens. HUGH MCCORMICK



  1. Many people don’t know that Santa Cruz icon Jack O’Neill actually established his first store in 1952 in a garage in … San Francisco. Right next to his favorite bodysurfing break.
  2. O’Neill moved to Santa Cruz at the end of the decade. His 500-square-foot O’Neill Surf Shop near the entrance to Cowell Beach quickly became an epicenter for Northern California surfing. It was, in fact, the first business to call itself a surf shop. The State Historical Resources Commission designated the spot as a California Point of Historical Interest.
  3. Jack O’Neill is credited with inventing the wetsuit, and his son Pat holds credit for inventing the leash on a surfboard. The neoprene wetsuits designed by O’Neill allowed surfers to extend their sessions in the frigid waters of Santa Cruz County.
  4. Today, O’Neill is one of the biggest wetsuit brands on the planet. The O’Neill brand was sold to a Dutch company in 2007, but the Santa Cruz-based O’Neill family continues to operate and own the wetsuit business.
  5. Over 100,000 children have participated in the O’Neill Sea Odyssey. Jack O’Neill founded the free, ocean-based program to educate young people about ocean ecology and the marine environment of the Monterey Bay. An afternoon aboard the impressive catamaran is basically the best field trip ever. HUGH MCCORMICK



  1. Fleet Feet of Aptos is locally owned and operated, and your go-to spot for your walking, running, and fitness needs. Step on the magic scanner to map your unique feet, then find the perfect shoe.
  2. Fleet Feet’s core values are community, inspiration, excellence, inclusivity, and innovation. The shop is a place to visit and get inspired to live a better, healthier and fuller life.
  3. The North Face recently named Fleet Feet Aptos the winner of the “Never Stop Exploring Award.” The award recognized the specialty running store for demonstrating dedication to encouraging and enabling outdoor exploration within the community.
  4. Fleet Feet provides training, funding, and equipment to support positive change through running. Their “Project Fit” program supports elementary school running programs.
  5. The shop goes above and beyond for young athletes, providing dozens of pairs of shoes for the local chapter of Girls on the Run, and over 70 pairs of track spikes for Aptos and Watsonville high schools. HUGH MCCORMICK

Five Branches University

200 7th Ave., Santa Cruz, 


RUNNER-UP Momo Acupuncture, Craig Sakimoto – Santa Cruz Core

Bike Shop

Bicycle Trip  

1001 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 


RUNNERS-UP Epicenter, Another Bike Shop

Santa Cruz Naturals

9077 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-7266; 

19 San Juan Road, Royal Oaks, 722-2018,

RUNNERS-UP 3 Bros, KindPeoples


533 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, 515-4114;

3600 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 471-8562,

RUNNERS-UP Treehouse, Santa Cruz Naturals

Big Pete’s Treats

RUNNERS-UP KindPeoples, Santa Cruz Naturals

Akasha Apothecary

RUNNERS-UP Jade Nectar, Santa Cruz Naturals

Rhodes Walton, DC

317 Potrero St., Suite C, Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Duncan McCollum, DC; Arthur Faygenholtz, DC

Seabright Crossfit

1619 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Research Park, West Fitness

Michael Raffo, DDS

2185 41st Ave., Capitola, 476-8700,

RUNNERS-UP Garrett Kubota, DDS; Michael Carlton, DDS

Bruce Eisendorf, MD

Sutter Health, 2025 Soquel Ave., Second Floor, Santa Cruz.


RUNNERS-UP Lonna Larsh, MD; Karen Harrington, MD 

Tonya Fleck, ND

736 Chestnut St., Santa Cruz, 477-1377,

RUNNERS-UP Aimée Gould Shunney, ND; Irene Valencia, ND

Melanie Meyer @ The Skin Bar

500 Soquel Ave., Suite A, Santa Cruz, 295-1277

RUNNERS-UP Deann Neff @ Studio Spa, Sue Bell @ Simply Skin Esthetics


401 Upper Park Road, Santa Cruz, 


RUNNERS-UP Pasatiempo, Seascape

Toadal Fitness

113 Lincoln St., Santa Cruz, 423-3764;

1200 17th Ave., #108, Santa Cruz, 464-3764;

2929 Mission St. Extension, Santa Cruz, 466-3764;

269 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley, 430-9200,

RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Core, In-Shape Capitola

Sanford’s Martial Arts   

4626 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 


RUNNERS-UP Garth Taylor Jiu-Jitsu & Martial Arts, Allied MMA

Cala Remick-Rodriguez

317 Potrero St., Suite C, Santa Cruz, 425-9500,

RUNNERS-UP Lily Webber, Ellen O’Hanlon

Rejuvenate Medi-Spa

304 Lincoln St., Santa Cruz, 226-2108,

RUNNERS-UP Ultraderm, Yoso Wellness Spa

Dana Ramsey, CNM

2907 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz, 


RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Midwives; Kelly Olmstead, CNM


Healthy Way

3251 Mission Drive, Santa Cruz, 462-5900,

RUNNERS-UP Jaimi Jansen, Jocelyn Dubin

Mark Joiner

1773 Dominican Way, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP John A. Hedrick, North Coast Orthodontics

Outdoor World

1440 41st Ave., Capitola, 479-1501;

136 River St., Santa Cruz, 423-9555,

RUNNERS-UP Down Works, Play it Again Sports

Carina Reid

[email protected],

RUNNERS-UP Rocky @ Rocky’s Fitness Center, Beau Jansen @ Santa Cruz Core

Staff of Life 

1266 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-8632,

RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Core, Healthy Way

Monarch Pilates

6894A Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 475-8994,

RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Point Pilates, Synergy 

Fleet Feet

7960 Soquel Drive, Suite I, Aptos, 


RUNNER-UP Santa Cruz Running Company, The Running Revolution  


790 Mariner Park Way, Dock FF, Santa Cruz, 423-1213,

RUNNERS-UP O’Neill Yacht Charters, Nomad

Scotts Valley Skate Park

361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

RUNNERS-UP Mike Fox, Aptos Skate Park

Bill’s Wheels 

1240 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 


RUNNERS-UP Boardroom, Skateworks

Helm of Sun Valley

1408 41st Ave., Santa Cruz,


Yoso Wellness Spa

740 Front St., Suite 110, Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Well Within, Chaminade Resort & Spa

Well Within Spa

417 Cedar St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Sage Float Spa, Tea House Spa

Play It Again Sports 

4770 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 


RUNNERS-UP Outdoor World, Helm 

SUP Shack 

2214 E Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 


RUNNERS-UP Covewater

Black Surf Club Santa Cruz

RUNNERS-UP Richard Schmidt, Surf School Santa Cruz


110 Cooper St. #100D, Santa Cruz, 469-4377;

400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, 459-9230;

1115 41st Ave., Capitola, 475-4151,

RUNNERS-UP Freeline, Pacific Wave

Pleasure Point

RUNNERS-UP Steamer Lane, Cowell’s

Seahorse Swim School  

1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos


RUNNERS-UP Adventure Sports Unlimited, Simpkins Family Swim Center  

Emmanuel Denike, LMFT

RUNNERS-UP Rebecca Zulim, LMFT; Donna Ilstrup, MFT

Adobe Animal Hospital

1600 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Coast Veterinary, Westside Animal Hospital

Lauri Broderick Burr

RUNNERS-UP Emily Cervantes, Tricia Aminifard

Santa Cruz Yoga

402 Ingalls St., #11, Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Pleasure Point Yoga, Luma Yoga & Family Center