Welcome to Dillon Beach
Dillon Beach isn’t a city in the formal sense of the word. It doesn’t have an organized government or organized community activities. There are no strip malls or chain restaurants. The area even relies on the county to provide most of the basic community services. In fact, all it has is a relative handful of residents, a few locally operated camping facilities, and beaches. Luckily, the beaches are amazing enough to make up for the lack of everything else.
Lay of the Land
Dillon Beach is located along the edge of the Pacific Ocean in the northwest section of Marin County. A census designated location, Dillon Beach is the only privately owned beach in northern California. It is located at the mouth of the Tomales Bay, which puts it near the city of Tomales and Fallon; equally small and undeveloped locations. The Estero de San Antonio State Marine Recreational Management Area sits to the north of the town, but for the most part, the area is extremely isolated. Its closest major neighbors are San Rafael to the south east and Petaluma to the east. The 283 total residents enjoy the area more for its scenery than its economic bounty, with a median household income of $47,992 and average home values of $480,008.
Dillon Beach is not an easy location to access, either by car or by public transportation. California State Route 1 runs along most of the Pacific Coast and is the closest major roadway. However, public transportation is limited to the West Marin Stagecoach. The Marin County Stagecoach is a series of shuttles designed to provide access to the less developed regions of the county. The shuttle runs in a daily loop around the northern and western edges of the county. Luckily, it also offers service to San Rafael. San Rafael acts as the primary transportation hub for the county, providing connecting services to the majority of the county as well as into the Bay Area.
As a privately owned location, Dillon Beach is unique in the region. Whereas all of the publically owned and maintained sections of the coastline provide little more than beachside access, Dillon Beach has a smattering of support services available for visitors.
Lawson’s Landing is a campground and resort that offers a wide range of aquatic and recreational services. Like many of the locations in the area, Lawson’s Landing began life in the 1920’s as the vacation home of a wealthy California family. However, as the family and interest in the area grew, so did the location. Today, Lawson’s Landing provides visitors with camping facilities as well as support for responsible clamming, fishing, and boating. It also helps visitors ensure they are adhering to county and state guidelines while hiking, biking, and interacting with the local wildlife.
The Dillon Beach Resort is the closest thing that the area has to a functional commercial zone. The primary focus of the resort is to provide guests with access to several beachfront cabins. While the cabins are modestly furnished, they do feature a fully equipped kitchen and dining areas as well as gorgeous ocean views. Each of the cabins also features a fenced-in yard containing a BBQ pit as well as a picnic table. The resort also features the Dillon Beach Cafe, a locally operated restaurant focused on providing a menu supported by locally grown produce and locally captured seafood. The cafe is open from sunrise to sunset most days and offers a full range of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Finally, the resort also features a general store and a surf shop. Both of these locations are focused on functionality, offering staple foods, supplies, and aquatic equipment.