Winter is upon us at Dill 'n Thyme. With it comes peace and quiet, whale migrations and glorious sunsets. We had a temporary air quality hit along with all of northern California because of The Camp/Butte Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, but recent rains have cleared away smoke and particles, so your N95 mask is no longer necessary. Our hearts join with those of the survivors.
There just isn't another spot quite like California's Dillon Beach, a unique, still thriving fishing village hidden about three miles off the beaten path of Highway One. Dillon Beach has an unusually expansive beach with rocky tidal pools on one end and huge sand dunes bordering Tomales Bay on the other, both of which can be seen from the deck of Dill 'n Thyme. Because Dillon Beach is set back slightly from Tomales Point and Bodega Bay, it often lies in the sun, just out of reach of the fog belt, yet still has spectacular wave action offshore for surfing and calmer skimboarding towards the beach.
Sunsets are spectacular from Dill 'n Thyme's deck, providing our guests a stunning view of ocean and horizon. One can put feet up and enjoy a nice glass of Napa, Sonoma or Mendocino wine while staring out to sea and enjoying a peaceful sanctuary from a hectic life. Winter and early Spring hosts a wider variety of wildlife, including whales, seals, pelicans and a variety of seabirds. (Humpback whales having a spectacular party under the Golden Gate Bridge Video from Monday, July 11, 2016)
We welcomed guests this last summer from France, Britain, and the Netherlands and, of course, various US states & our loyal California beachcombers. Without exception, all entered into the spirit of Dill 'n Thyme as a source of fun and worry-free time away from stress and strife. All of our guests even understood that our summer morning fog is vital sunscreen for those Coastal Redwood Trees that survived logging along the northern California coast.
Our 2-bedroom little jewel, Dill 'n Thyme Cottage, is noted in the history books as the second cottage built for his family in 1910 by a Norwegian sea captain, whose estate sold it to the present owners in 1982. It underwent an architectural remodel in 1992, with special instructions to keep the New England cottage feel at the same time as maximizing the spectacular view, creating a totally secure seismic structure (after all, Tomales Bay is the San Andreas fault!), and providing all the carefree conveniences to vacationers, including unlimited bandwidth WiFi and DISH TV with a free Netflix account via Roku 3.
We provide a brand new 3-system coffee maker, the coffee grinder, the cappuccino maker, the margarita blender & for our guests who stay a week, a free bottle of wine. New range & microwave & a workhorse of a dishwasher and a fully stocked kitchen make k.p. duty a breeze! We do ask that you run your last load of dishes upon your departure, so Ana can put them away. We even have an outdoor shower (hot water!) to wash all the sand away to avoid sharing it with all your other house guests. In the same spirit, we ask that you leave your shoes outside the front door & go sock-footed inside! Beach flipflops are outside the front door in a basket right next to our beloved big blue 'Blu-ga Whale' charcoal BBQ (bring your favorite briquettes or preferred wood lump charcoal.).
We guarantee joy, laughter & restoration of spirit - a perfect get-away from stress, noise, traffic, grime, & daily grinds... a creative spot to read, write, photograph, tidepool, gather around a beach bonfire, stroll on the beach with or without your pup, or just reconnect with those you love. Our children and their friends walked safely to the beach and the beach store on their own, feeling quite grown up, but all the while within view of their parents (us!) from our deck.
Not to tempt you to overdo dependence on stressful tools, but Verizon has a cell phone tower at our little Dillon Beach Store. AT&T service is spotty in the village, but weirdly excellent on the beach. There is a house phone at our cottage with free long distance for those of you who can't get a strong cell phone signal. Just don't forget there's a big ocean (view!) out there.
Dillon Beach is always such an amazing adventure! To share a slice of our life at the beach...my husband, David, & I and our daughter, Caitlin, home on a break from a Fulbright year in Sicily, and needing a salty Pacific Ocean breeze to restore her, recently made a quick run out to our jewel of peace and tranquility defying daily stress & madness. After dropping off our groceries and tearing ourselves away from our hypnotic ocean view, we decided to stray a little south to historic Marshall. While David made his traditional beeline for Hog Island Barbecued Oysters, also a favorite of our away-at-school son, Jesse, Caitlin & I opted for a repeat excursion of Tomales Bay in our rented kayak from Blue Waters Kayaking. Last year, we were delighted to encounter a baby grey whale just off Hog Island where we saw other kayakers doing the 'roll' so they could view the little guy underwater; we wisely decided to remain upright! We beached our kayak at Pat Kuleto's Nick's Cove to make dinner reservations. Pat also owns Farallon and Boulevard in San Francisco. It is about a 15 minute car ride south of Dillon Beach.
Another absolute favorite stop for us is Tomales Bakery where the expatriate pastry chefs have escaped from San Francisco to the idyllic village of Tomales on Highway One, just 3 miles from Dillon Beach and on the way. It is not a surprise that San Franciscans, having long memories for the best in culinary experiences, still search them out, driving all the way from the City. Grab a loaf of warm bread for breakfast while you are there! Open Thursday-Sunday only, hours dictated by when they sell out their bakery goods.
A few winters ago, we discovered another great eatery only 3 miles north up Hiway One in Valley Ford - it's cleverly called Rocker Oysterfellers. Coincidentally, we have run into some real rock stars the few times we have made the run up there for an excellent dinner with exceptional service and, often, live music. Very fun bar also. For additional local color and great food, go on up to The Casino in the tiny town where Hitchcock filmed The Birds - Bodega. Play pool while you wait to be served. For more upscale dining, but with a casual atmosphere and dress, we love Bodega Bay's Terrapin Creek, which just earned a Michelin star (not easy)! It is operated by a young, extremely nice couple in Bodega Bay, again S.F. expatriates from top restaurants such as Jardiniere, Ame and Michael Mina.
Be our guests and you will return time and again for an 'all is right with the world' recharge, we guarantee it! When you come, don't worry about linens or towels. We provide one time linen service on arrival. Cleaning fee of $100 is non-refundable so that you do not have to work off your vacation at the end of your stay! Just kindly run a last load of dishes before Ana comes in to clean. And, if it's been a particular rowdy weekend, be sure to put furniture back in place and pick up trash, as well as recycle bottles and cans. Trash and recyle bins are outside toward the street.
If you are bringing your pet to dog-friendly Dillon Beach, bring a sturdy dog bed and some extra wipe down towels for surf and sand. There is a $45 pet fee per dog.
Here is our Google maps shortcut link from Hwy 101 in Petaluma with grocery store stops to Dill 'n Thyme, 25 Park Avenue in Dillon Beach:
Longer stays are available and negotiable, starting October 15.
Keywords: vacation home rental, beach cottage, getaway, casita, oceanview cottage