A half an hour away from Petaluma, as you turn around the corner onto Dillon rd. and turn around the corner of the shop at the top of the hill, the ocean will come out and the overcast weather will immediately attack your skin if you aren’t wearing warm clothes. The beach is just around the bend but it’s still going to take some time to get down to the beach as many people pay to get into the beach. If you go on a little further down the road, you will find a little campsite office where you can find a long line of cars paying to get into the campground. Lawson’s Landing. An RV/tent camping ground area that has been around since the early 1950’s. So sit back and relax as I take you on a trip to the beach called Lawson’s Landing.
Lawson’s Landing/ Dillons Beach is a tourist attraction that has been around for more than 20 years . It is home to many sea animals and people from the valley and all around. The marine area around it has the city Petaluma where most people venturing to the camp site go through to get all the things they need for camping. The campsite has been in the same family since it opened in 1957. Lawson’s Landing is a campsite/fishing ground with animals like seals, deer, skunks, rabbits, and other marine animals. To many people Lawson’s Landing is their home and the one place they can get away from everything and have fun with others, whether it’s letting loose or getting new life experiences like holding a crab for the first time or splashing in the frigid water diving for abalone on the rocks nearby. Crabbing, kayaking, clamming, fishing and swimming are just a few of the things that can be done at Lawson’s Landing as well as site seeing along the coast. Before heading to bed in your tent or RV, making popcorn or eating freshly caught crab is the way to end your day and plus who doesn’t like listening to the sound of the waves roll onto the beach while they sleep? During the night there isn’t much going on mainly because everyone is sleeping or having a grad. party. But if you turn off your flash lights and put out you fire, you can see more stars than you can in the Sacramento Valley.
*Campers be warned though, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR ICE CHESTS OR TRASH UNGAURDED AT NIGHT!!! If you do it’s likely you’ll have some midnight visitors digging through your stuff like raccoons, skunks, possums and stray cats.
On one or more occasion a woman from Sacramento is there in the summer time selling flags, kites and bumper stickers and if you’re lucky some extra clothes because it can get as cold as 45 degrees even in summer! It might surprise you though that more than 75% of campers there are from Sacramento. If you’re there and talk to people you might find out they could be your neighbors or live in your neighborhood.
I’ve been going to Lawson’s landing since I was 4. I go every summer but this summer was different. The CCC (California Coastal Commission) is thinking of shutting it down. They state that Lawson’s does not have the permits to have campers on the grounds because of the wildlife. I mean come on. It’s not like people are allowed to bring guns and shot at the deer or animals! But the main reasons they want to shut it down are because during the opening time of the park the Lawson’s did not have the needed permits to keep people in the area or have their business there. Carl “Willie” Volger, current owner, stated in an interview, “The basic problem is that the campground was started in 1957 without the proper permits. The Lawson family has been trying to get the permits since 1962.” For the CCC this gives them room and something to attack at. “The septic tanks serving the restrooms and permanent trailers are not up to code and the dunes here are some of the very last mobile dunes in the state,” says Carl. When asked about the good points of Lawson’s his reply was, “On the other hand, Lawson’s Landing provides needed moderate-cost coastal access to quite a few people, and one of the most important parts of the current permit application is the proposed new water waste system.” The coast has been accessed for an incredibly long time from this family and they need the help of us the people to help them stay open.
Lawson’s is trying hard to get enough money to fix these problems and are trying to meet the CCC halfway with the permits they say Lawson’s don’t have. I’ve been thinking of sending Lawson’s a 10,000 dollar check. they need letters to help back them back them up. If you know someone or have been going to Lawson’s or loved the experience you’ve had, write a letter and send it to them at:
CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION
NORTH CENTRAL COAST DISTRICT
45 FREMONT STREET, SUITE 2000
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105-5260
ATTN: COASTAL COMMISSION STAFF AND COASTAL COMMISSIONERS
RE: APPEAL NO.: A-2-MAR-08-028 (LAWSON’S LANDING)
It seems likely that the California Coastal Commission will approve a permit for Lawson’s Landing to continue to offer camping, but the big question is how large of an area will they allow? Much of the campground is near wetlands (the ditches) and the Commission would like to see a no-camping area around those wetlands. Too much no-camping area would equal less room for campers, higher prices, and if not enough people come due to the higher prices and costs of doing business, no more Lawson’s Landing. Please! The beach needs your help! Think of all the family’s that have been going there since they were kids and maybe that they bring their kids now. so please for the sake of the beach, the families, and my sanity please write a note or visit so you can write a note to the CCC.
Visit these sites to see more on the beach: