Perhaps the best deal in the Bay Area: an oceanfront cabin at Steep Ravine for $100. The challenge? Actually reserving one of these popular cabins! Don’t be dissuaded; the effort is well worth it. Ten stand-alone cabins cluster on the bluff of Rocky Point on the Marin Coast, just south of Stinson Beach. The gated access road off of Highway 1 keeps it quiet and secluded. Indeed, this is glorified camping: Bring your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, lantern, and most other provisions for camping other than your tent.
There isn’t a bad cabin. All 10 look out to the Pacific, where the only thing you’ll hear is the crashing waves. To the north you’ll see Stinson Beach and its beachcombers. To the south are the Marin Headlands and San Francisco in the distance. If things get chilly, light the woodstove in your cabin. If you want to spend your day reading a book, or writing the next great American novel, this is the place.
If you’d rather go on a hike, the Steep Ravine Trail is accessed just across Highway 1 from the entrance road. You can jump on this classic 8-mile hike up to Pantoll and back down to Stinson Beach. Whatever you do, just be back for sunset.
TIP: Steep Ravine also has a campground with prime ocean-view sites! Bathrooms here have proper toilets and sinks, though no showers! No dogs.
The Steep Ravine cabins are reservable up to seven months in advance through Reserve America; they cost $100 per night. On the first day of each month, the entire seventh month in advance becomes reservable (for example, on January 1, 2017, you can reserve cabins for the entire month of July 2017). All weekends typically sell out within minutes, but there are cancellations. Call 415-388-2070 to see if there are any cancellations (up to 10 days in advance). If there are, show up at Pantoll Ranger Station at 2:00 p.m. the day of availability for a lottery to see who gets the cabin. We recommend booking a weeknight! No dogs.