and there you have it.
My area is 4-Mile and south, all the way down to Big Sur. Since you're mainly beginners, I suggest you don't surf the lane until you have watched how the locals interact and feel confident you can sit in their lineup. They get really really territorial and will throw rocks. Don't be afraid of them though, if you show respect you'll be fine.
Right next to the Lane is Cowells, the west sides designated beginner spot. If the sandbar is set up right this summer and there are some swells, definitely surf Cowells. It can be such a fun wave and is really good for beginner/intermediate surfers. If anyone gives you shit and gets territorial on you, its frankly pathetic that they're claiming Cowells as their "spot" so you don't really have to give them the time of day. But thats just coming from me...
On the east side, you get to Pleasure Point. Pleasure Point is THE SHIT. It is my Mecca. I grew up on every wave out there. Pleasure has a few different breaks depending on the storm, swell, and time of year. I LOVE PLEASURE POINT. It is fantastic for both short and longboarders. But, like everything in Santa Cruz, it gets territorial. Again, show respect, wait for your wave. There are some breaks that are on the sides of the point itself that are more beginner friendly and have a cool vibe, too. The rides from any spot at the point are usually really long. Cody Townsend grew up on this wave too, fyi. Good eats at Pleasure Pizza. 41st Avenue is surf shop central so you can restock mid way to stupid Southern California.
In Capitola itself, there is a teeny jetty. The break is called Capitola. Its a fun right and a short left, but its got a fun vibe and is good for beg/int. I have won a few surf contests out there so clearly it can't be THAT hard.
Anyway, if you have any other questions let me know. Have fun, show respect, paddle hard.