Last Updated on March 26, 2024

I stumbled upon Dillon Beach Resort while looking for cool places in Northern California, and I hit the jackpot! After signing up for their mailing list I was notified of a special they had in March. I jumped at it! I’m delighted to say this is one of the coolest spots I’ve found! Let me tell you about my experience.

Getting There

Dillon Beach is at the mouth of Tomales Bay, at the bottom end of Bodega Bay. It’s about 60 miles north of San Francisco.

I traveled from the South Bay Area. On the way there I took the “long way”, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, then driving up the gorgeous Highway 1. This was about 1/2 an hour longer than the “short way” over the San Rafael Bridge, but worth it if you have extra time.

As a native Californian, I’m repeatedly amazed by how beautiful Highway 1 is! Especially after the rainy season when the hills are as green as any Irish landscape, but right up against the Pacific Ocean!

On the way you can stop and visit Muir Beach (part of it is clothing optional)! The road is windy but beautiful. I don’t recommend it for car sickness-prone people.

Closer to the turn-off for Dillon Beach there are rolling green hills with sheep and cows! I felt like I was in Ireland!


Dillon Beach Resort

1 Beach Avenue, Dillon Beach, CA 94929

Dillon Beach Resort is comprised of 25 tiny homes plus 3 original cottages. The Resort has the only privately owned beach in California. As a guest, you get a parking pass which allows you parking privileges at the beach. It’s a 5-minute walk from the cottages or you can drive down if you’re bringing stuff with you.

I was pleased as punch with my Osprey Cottage! It is indeed tiny, but for a solo traveler, it was just perfect! The ocean views were to die for! Being able to lounge on my couch, work on my laptop, and see the ocean view through two huge bay windows was one for the books!

I was so impressed with the efficiency, expert design, great quality free wifi connection, and comfort of my tiny home! 🙂


General Store and Coastal Kitchen Restaurant

The Resort has a general store/surf shop. It’s a nice little store with many grocery items you might need, including milk, sandwiches, frozen foods, drinks, and Equator coffees. The store also has surf gear, beach supplies, t-shirts, and Dillon Beach souvenirs. While very convenient, the store is expensive! Be prepared to spend $4 for a can of Coke for example.

The on-site restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, is next to the store. I’ll include the menu below. It is not open Monday through Weds, by the way.


Dillon Beach

The Resort owns the mile of private beach in front of it. It’s a beautiful, wide expanse of sand with row upon row of waves visible rolling in. It is a dog-friendly beach and they are allowed off-leash. Seeing dogs run and play in the surf from my window all day was so fun! By the way, the resort accepts dogs, but there’s a $125 extra charge per stay.


Tomales

Other than the General Store and Coastal Kitchen restaurant at the resort there are no other establishments in Dillon Beach. The nearest town, 4 miles away, is Tomales (population 187). I went there trying to find dinner on a Monday night but the restaurants were all closed. Next time I visit I’d like to try the Route One Bakery & Kitchen, which is highly rated online and looks delicious!

Tomales has a General Store which is larger (and a bit cheaper) than the Resorts. It has groceries plus lots of cute decor and novelties.


Nick’s Cove

The closest open restaurant was Nick’s Cove, in the town of Marshall. This is 8 miles, or a 15-minute drive from Dillon Beach Resort.

Nick’s Cove is a seafood restaurant that has been there for 90+ years. It seems like a fun place where they have live music, art shows and they rent kayaks and paddle boards. I ordered a crab roll and brought it back to my cabin. It was pretty good!


In Summary

I fell in love with Dillon Beach Resort! The views, scenery in the surrounding areas, and cool new mini-house cabins were ideal! Here are some tips for your stay:

  • The cabins are pricy. You can get a non-ocean view cabin for $99 per night. The ocean-view cabin I stayed in was regularly $300 per night. I got on the Dillon Beach Resort mailing list and was able to book my stay during a 50% off sale they had! I’m not sure how often such sales occur, but give it a shot. I felt like I’d hit the jackpot!
  • Bring groceries with you! I’d expected a charming Marin County deli/grocery store to magically appear for me on my drive in, but that didn’t happen! Next time I’ll stop in Petaluma (1/2 hour away) on my way in for groceries.

Highlights of the Stay:

  • The amazing ocean view.
  • The super stylish and efficient tiny home

Lowlight of the Stay:

  • High cost of items at the Market.

Thing that made me say “What the heck?”

  • I needed to get Maintenance to come by to fold up the Murphy Bed.

Please let me know if you have any tips or recommendations for this area. Thanks for reading!


Video Tour of Dillon Beach Resort


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