Dillon Beach is a quirky beach town about 60 miles north of San Francisco, worth visiting for its coastal small town vibe (think baby cousin of Santa Cruz, with less tie dye), nice beach and great views of the tip of the Point Reyes peninsula.


  • Visit the hidden beach town of Dillon Beach
  • Stop at Tomales Bay and taste its local oysters 
  • Drive part of Highway 1, US famous scenic coastal highway

From San Francisco, head over the Golden Gate Bridge and follow Highway 101 for about 40 miles until you reach Petaluma. Grab a late breakfast and coffee at Della Fattoria Downtown Café. If you want to bring a packed lunch to enjoy on the beach, try Lucchesi's Delicatessen.

Continue on the road by following directions to Dillon Beach, which leads you on a winding road through green pastures towards the ocean. This is one of those roads where the journey really is the destination, slow down and breathe it in. When you arrive at Dillon Beach, head straight to the sand and enjoy the quiet California ocean vibes there. Depending on the season, you might see kite surfers. 

Looking for more day trip ideas? Check out kimkim's top 10 day trips in the Bay Area

When you are ready, head back along Highway 1, which follows Tomales Bay. Stop at Tony's Seafood Restaurant or one of the many other oyster places along the Bay. 

A bit further south is Point Reyes Station, the access town to Point Reyes National Seashore, which can be a bit crowded with visitors but is worth a stop as well (especially if you're keen to sample or buy some delicious artisanal cheeses at the Cowgirl Creamery).

The drive back to San Francisco along Highway 1 is scenic and provides a fitting finale to this great day on the California back roads. 
View detailed route map on Google Maps