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Influencer Dylan Efron Celebrates California Surfing Day

By Molly Bloss 10/06/2023

In celebration of California Surfing Day, Visit California invited YouTuber Dylan Efron to experience the unique surf communities of Santa Cruz County, Ventura and Oceanside. Efron, his dog Boo, and his friends Shane and Brennen embarked on a week-long road trip in early September, documenting their adventures for Efron’s new California surfing series that went live on Sept. 20.

In Santa Cruz County, the group stayed at the Dream Inn, which sits directly atop the legendary Cowell Beach and is home to Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge — named in honor of the surfing innovator and surf industry legend.

During his visit, Efron had the opportunity to meet with local legend Bob Pearson, founder of Pearson Arrow Surfboards. Bob shared the history of mainland surfing at the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, which overlooks the internationally renowned surfing hotspot Steamer Lane and has solid redwood boards dating back to 1885. Bob, who has crafted boards from some of the world’s top surfers, also invited Efron back to his shop and showed Efron all the steps that go into designing and shaping a surfboard.

Between catching waves, Efron had the opportunity to explore Bill's Wheels Skateshop, play some beach volleyball, enjoy a meal at Venus Spirits Cocktails & Kitchen, and grab a latte at local favorite Verve Coffee Roasters. The group also drove to nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains and known for its 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees.



After Santa Cruz, Efron ventured south to California’s Central Coast and the charming surf town of Ventura. Upon arrival, the group checked into Waypoint Ventura, a unique hotel and outdoor experience featuring luxuriously restored vintage trailers overlooking the Ventura Pier. Next, they visited Rocks & Drams, Downtown Ventura's neighborhood cocktail bar featuring Asian fusion cuisine.

In Ventura, Efron had the opportunity to meet with professional surfer and champion longboarder Mary Osborne. Mary, who is also the founder of the Mary Osborne Surf Academy, shared some of the favorite aspects of Ventura — including the city’s family owned businesses, friendly community and dog-friendly beaches.

The group visited one of those restaurants, Spencer Makenzie's, to enjoy the restaurant’s famous grilled fish and shrimp burrito. They documented their self-imposed eating contest (featuring not only burritos but also ahi pockets) in the below YouTube video, which left them too full to visit Rumfish y Vino for dinner, but is another great seafood spot in Downtown Ventura.



To close out the road trip, the group journeyed to Oceanside, where they participated in the new Point Break Oceanside Experience from Whitlock Surf Industries and Go Jump Oceanside. This ultimate thrill-seeking adventure combined a breathtaking ocean view tandem jump skydive session with a two-hour surf lesson.



During his trip, Efron had the chance to meet Cory Whitlock, who was a professional surfer and now runs the Whitlock family shaping business and surfboard manufacturing facility. He also had the opportunity to visit the California Surf Museum and tour Sticky Bumps/Wax Research Inc. to see how surf wax is made. Efron also had the opportunity to experience some O’Side flavor at Local Tap House, Señor Grubby's and The Buccaneer Cafe.

While in Oceanside, the group stayed at Mission Pacific Hotel, which opened in spring 2021 and is home to Valle — a culinary homage to Baja cuisine that just received its first MICHELIN star. The beach resort is just steps from Oceanside Pier, where the group was lucky enough to attend Finals Day of the U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships, featuring the best adaptive surfers from around the world. This event, which started in Oceanside in 2017, has grown into an international competition and is an embodiment of what makes California surf culture so special.

Check out the trailer for the new California surf series on Efron’s Instagram or TikTok, and watch the full video series on his YouTube channel here.

In addition to his own content, Visit California’s earned team arranged interviews following his trip, resulting in additional coverage on Access Daily and Us Weekly.

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