Willow Berm Marina, SF Bay Delta
Access to the marina is by crossing a gated bridge from the levee road. It is built in two sections. The original marina, to the south of the entrance, is protected from river traffic by an earthen berm.
The new section is north of the entrance. It is exposed to river traffic and some rocking and rolling from wakes.
Some protection is provided by the large floating concrete dock that surrounds this section. Unfortunately, there are to many inconsiderate boaters oblivious to the havoc their wake causes.
What makes this marina one of our all-time favorites?
Management and employees are top notch. Friendly, accommodating and dedicated to making your stay as pleasant as possible.
When I’m asked what this marina is like my response is “it’s like living in Disneyland”! As far as marinas are concerned it is.
The place is kept clean, grounds are professionally maintained and infrastructure is constantly updated by a competent full-time crew.
Services provided tenants are also far and away the most comprehensive we ever experienced. Ranging from propane refill service to regular, scheduled pump-out service in the newer section of the marina and weekend breakfast buffet, courtesy of the management.
If the exceptional management were not enough let’s talk about the extensive amenities.
Willow Berm Marina is one of the largest in the area. But, there is no lack of restrooms, laundry facilities, Costco size dock carts, B-BQs, picnic tables and hangouts with fire pits.
Heated restrooms with showers are strategically placed throughout the marina. There are three laundry facilities. Gas B-BQs and picnic tables are placed at each shed. Guest dock is equipped with a complete outdoor kitchen. There is a bocce ball court and a shuffle board court. Let’s not forget the self-serve Ice dispenser next to the office.
Located next to the gated entrance to the island has a wraparound deck outfitted with tables and umbrellas. There is also a drink dispensing machine on the deck.
Entering through the double doors you can’t miss the aroma of freshly popped popcorn as you enter the large common area with huge TV and comfy couch. Beyond the living room is a dining area overlooking the water separating the levee and the island that is Willow Berm Marina.
A fully stocked kitchen for guest use ready to accommodate small or large gatherings. This is also where the weekend breakfast buffet is set up.
Moving beyond the kitchen it’s hard to miss the pool table in the adjoining room. At the end of the hall is the office outfitted with two computer stations. Each station is connected to the internet. This is also where books can be found.
Last but not least is the exercise room, complete with treadmill, elliptical, bicycle and weight machines. There is also a weight training center. Views from this room make working out a lot easier to endure.
Peek season, during the summer, gets pretty crowded. It’s best to book space in advance. Best bet for finding longer term space is from October to April.
There is a large guest dock that can accommodate larger vessels. Currently a 135′ boat is tied up there. Power and water are available on the guest dock.
Management is pretty good at finding space even in the summer for short term guests. It may take a little longer for long term tenancy.
One of the great things about the Delta is it’s wildlife. The low density residential development and being surrounded by farm land has created a perfect environment for all kinds of wildlife.
Our experience here has been nothing less than amazing. We’ve seen everything from mink to beaver and raccoon to sea lion and coyote.
Birds are the most obvious because they are so varied and plentiful. Almost every day we see everything from owl and hawk to heron, cormorant, geese and duck.
The big attraction for fishermen is striped bass. But, there are many species in the delta.
When we first arrived here I found raccoon footprints on our deck. I was out on the dock early one morning and confronted the culprit on his way to our boat. We checked each other out for a few seconds. He slowly turned around and went the other way. I’ve never seen him again.
It’s a good idea to keep your doors and hatches closed at night while you’re away or sleeping.
Management sponsors several activities throughout the year. From Christmas party to catered extravaganzas with live bands. These events foster a sense of community and are great for meeting fellow boaters and talk about all things boating.
I’m sure there are many more things I could talk about but I think you get the drift. This is one of our favorite destination marinas. Check out their website for more details and photos.