Dillon Beach Resort gets a spruce-up and cute new tiny homes just in time for summer.
(Kassie Borreson)

Dillon Beach Resort gets a spruce-up and cute new tiny homes just in time for summer.


Next time you feel called for a coastal drive and oysters in West Marin, make plans to pull over for the night in Dillon Beach, where a 130-year-old stay is fresh from a renovation just in time for summer escapes.

A view of Dillon Beach below a new tiny home at Dillon Beach Resort.(Kassie Borreson)

Dillon Beach Resort has been revived by local Mike Goebel (also the owner of Petaluma's Brewsters and SF's Churchill) who, since buying the property in 2018, has orchestrated an overhaul in partnership with Oregon-based tiny home home builder Tru Form Tiny. The team has preserved the easygoing vibe of the retreat's early days, while spiffing up the amenities and adding 13 new tiny homes to the existing 14 cottages clustered on the hillside.

Set on 55 acres including one rare acre of coastline, Dillon Beach Resort is said to be one of the only privately owned sections of beach in California.

“There’s a lot of character to the property, and being on the coast, it’s raw,” says Goebel. “We try to not do much and sort of just embrace that rawness. It’s a fine balance to create something special and unique but also let the elements in.”

A cottage kitchen at Dillon Beach Resort.(Kassie Borreson)

The elements are at your fingertips when you stay in the new tiny homes, designed to be fully functional and intentional.

The 150-square-foot studios have floor-to-ceiling windows that make you feel as if you’re in the middle of the ocean, while fully stocked kitchens will keep you cozy on the ground with vintage-style appliances, gas ranges, and the necessary accoutrements for fresh pour-overs of Equator coffee. There are also pull-down murphy beds and concrete sinks in the bathrooms.

The resort's other lodging options vary in size with some, like the two-bedroom cottages on the bluff closest to the beach, being ample enough for families and groups. These 1940s army bunkers still have some cool original features, but each has been updated with the same vintage beach-chic vibes.

The converted trailer bar at Dillon Beach Resort.(Shaun Samuels)

Outdoor spaces have a communal feel with Adirondack chairs, picnic tables, and a large central deck with corn hole set up if the spirit hits. And, of course, there's the beach which, though Goebel has private ownership, he maintains it as a public beach. There's unique opportunity for fun events down there, and he plans to host pop-up events, weddings, and other programming there soon—think summer clambakes and fire-to-table dinners in the cypress grove. If you happen to stumble upon a horse trailer-turned-bar down at the beach, make sure to run over for a cold beer.

When the time comes for a meal, the onsite Coastal Kitchen, helmed by chef Jake Wood, serves seaside classics such as chowder and fish and chips, plus a burger, a Caesar salad, and some creative surprises. Pastry chef Luiza Rodrigues' tempting goodies also stock the stay's General Store, a marketplace and coffee shop that sells local goat's milk soap, Double 8 Dairy soft serve, and obscure bottles of mezcal. You can even rent a surfboard there.

Fish & Chips at Coastal Kitchen.(Kassie Borreson)

Thing Things to do Near Dillon Beach Resort

You probably won’t really want to venture away from the beach or your cozy new tiny home, but if you do, there are fun outing options nearby, including the stellar Route One Bakery & Kitchen in Tomales.

Toluma Farms & Tomales Farmstead Creamery is also a must-visit. Owners Tamara Hicks and David Jablons are deeply committed to land protection and preservation. The goat and sheep dairy and creamery also works in partnership with SF bagel company Daily Driver. You can buy their cheese at the Dillon Beach General Store, but we recommend booking a tour for a deeper dive into farm life amd tasting at their lovely farm house.

And for an offsite meal, nothing beats Nick’s Cove, the storied resort restaurant now in the capable hands of chef Chris Cosentino whose menu highlights seafood including the new “Jasper-style” roll with Dungeness crab, Bay shrimp and lobster. Don’t skip an order of the smoked black cod dip with spiced house potato chips—“a riff off my childhood,” says Cosentino, who grew up in New England. “But we’re not using Old Bay seasoning here, we’re using Tomales Bay seasoning,” he explains, harvested and dried just for these chips. “This place has become an East Coast-West Coast mashup for me.”

// Dillon Beach Resort, 1 Beach Ave. (Dillon Beach), dillonbeachresort.com

Eat, Play, Stay at Dillon Beach ResortShaun Samuels

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