Even the most finicky vacationer can find a city in California that satisfies their hunger to travel. With cities like San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Palm Springs, Sacramento and San Francisco, there is never a dull moment where one has to stop and ask, “what should we do?”
But what if you want a different kind of trip? A mellow one where you spend more time sitting on a beach than walking city streets, eating at cafes than drinking in clubs, and where you don’t come home feeling like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation?
Dillon Beach, located about 20 minutes north of San Francisco, is one of California’s best family vacation destinations…and I mean the whole family, as Dillon Beach is one of the few dog-friendly beaches in California!
This serene little town overlooks the scenic Point Reyes Peninsula where visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, hiking, fishing, cycling, beachcombing, antiquing and even digging for the famous Dillon Beach giant clams! Children especially love running up and rolling down the sand dunes!
A long, gently sloping stretch of sand, Dillon Beach is usually crowd-free – which, as some dog owners will attest to, is crucial if you have a Chihuahua who thinks he is about 75lbs. beefier than he really is and insists on finding the largest dog on the beach, chasing it down until the poor unsuspecting thing relents, and proceeds to perform actions too inappropriate to discuss with you all. What? Oh, you thought I was talking about my little angel? I was speaking hypothetically, I swear…
Attracting surfers from nearby Mendocino, Napa and San Francisco counties, Dillon Beach’s surf is clean and consistent, although perhaps not the largest or most powerful surf around (expect 3 – 5 foot swells on most days). Liquid surf shop, located inside the general store, carries full gear for purchase or for rent.
Once you and your family are tired out from a day at the beach, visit the Dillon Beach Cafe and enjoy delicious breads, perfectly cooked meats, and famous clam chowder – all using locally grown produce!
If you are too sandy to dine (or have your pooch with you) stop by the General Store at Dillon Beach for some groceries to take back to your vacation rental home! The general store carries a wide variety of groceries including canned clams, fine wines, beer, ice, house-made deli sandwiches and salads, as well as salt-water taffy. Beach necessities and souvenirs can be found here as well – shells, warm sweaters and hats, toys, tide books, bait, and most anything else you might need. Local tip: stand on the brass star and see what happens!
Itching for some excitement but don’t want to drive to San Francisco? Head west into Tomales (an antique farming and dairying village) where you can chat over a few cold ones at the William Tell House Restaurant and Bar – the prime rib is highly reccomended! There’s also a bakery, a general store and a cafe just a stone’s throw from one another