Sunday, July 25, 2010
DILLON BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Just about a 90 minutes drive north of San Francisco, in the furthest northern region of Marin county, hidden way in its own little pocket on the coast is the little village of Dillon Beach.
The village has a population count of just under 400 residents with only 114 homes. On my family's first visit to this small town we were pleasantly surprised by its charm and beauty.
It felt as though we had drove into a time warp back to the 1920's. It turns out our first impression of the small town was on point. I learned that most of the cottages on the village's hill are original to the 1920s when the town began to grow as a popular resort location.
(General store on left with cafe on the right)
The village was named after its founder George Dillon who settled here in 1858. It was Dillon's dream to turn the village into a beach resort. In 1903 he sold a portion of his beach front to John Keegan who then laid out plans for the Village.
(A view of the beach from the General store parking lot)
In 1911, Keegan sold his property to the California Eucalyptus Plantation Company. In 1923 Sylvester Lawson leased the town from the California Eucalyptus Plantation Company to build a resort and eventually purchased it in 1926. Since that time, the original Village remained largely untouched. The surrounding environs were developed in the 1970s with the construction of large homes on the hills above the village.
The town is located just 9 miles south of Bodega Bay, where the famous Hitchcock movie "The Birds" was filmed.
The summer weather gives you glimpses of sunshine that heats up the sand but the fog bank rolls in and cools it down by the end of the day.
Winters are the typical northern California coast experiences.
Papa and little Daniel checking out the view from the diminutive but cozy cabins located near the general store. They have the best unobstructed views of the picnic area on the beach.
A view from the main street, Dillon Beach Road,coming from the general store and leading to the beach.
The statue in Dillon's honor sits atop the hill overlooking the town's beach.
The beach has incredible sand dunes that go a great distance along the coast.
A view from the beach below of the part of the village.
This panoramic image from Wikipedia of the coast which includes the newer development to the left and the village on the right.
The road from the beach leading up to the village.
Bumble Bee path is a short cut up through the village.
Some of the interesting cottages in the village.
Most of the homes are under 1,200 square feet which greatly adds to the charm of the area.
The average cost to purchase one of these cottages is currently about $200 per sq. ft.
One of the main reason for this trip was to see if the area was a good place to invest in a coastal vacation home.
This cute cottage is called the S-cape. We really wanted to stay here but unfortunately, it wasn't available that weekend.
Originally, we had our sights set along the north east coast in Massachusetts.
We finally decided to look closer to home so that we can visit more often.
Dillon Beach is only a 2 1/2 hours drive away from our doorstep.
Dan,Cocco,little Dan and I all agree that this would be a great location.
The challenge of course is finding a home that would fit our family and is within our budget.
The home will be a 20 year anniversary(January 25th 2011) gift to ourselves.
Of course I am already excited about fixing it up to suit our style.
This 600 sq ft fixer upper cottage is available for $385K. Direct staircase access to the beach just 6 cottages away. We were unable to get an inside tour during this visit but will be returning the first week of August for a closer look with the Realtor.
The view from the front porch. What is especially nice is that we can also hear the sound of the ocean from here. The cottage is a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom. However, it includes a roomy single car garage below the home that could easily be converted to a second bedroom for the little guy.
This is 3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom vacation home we were lucky to rent on such a short notice(day before arrival). It was the last "pets welcomed" vacation rental available that weekend. Although it's only a block away, it was considered outside the village and part of the "new development" that occurred in the late 70's which apparently was an un welcomed boom for the villagers.
The upstairs great room kitchen combination. This is considered large by the village standards.
Our route from the rental home into the village on the way to the beach.
Ah! only a 7 minutes stroll away...
We spent the entire morning and afternoon at the beach on Saturday. The little American just loved running up then rolling down the sand dunes in the back.
Papa building a sand castle with the Little American while his sister Cocco anxiously waits to trample over it.
Hopefully, this will be a view our family will be able to revisit every summer for years to come.