17 Mile Drive, Monterey
The 17 Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, California, United States, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses and mansions. It also serves as the main road through the gated community of Pebble Beach. Like the community, the majority of 17-Mile Drive is owned and operated by the Pebble Beach Corporation.
Entry into Pebble Beach (and the scenic drive) costs US$9.25 per car. Residents of Pebble Beach and their guests enter for free. Entry is also free for bicyclists and pedestrians. Motorcycles are prohibited from entering 17-Mile Drive. Visitors will receive a map that points out some of the more scenic spots.
17 Mile drive near Carmel is an excellent way to spend about 1/2 a day and see a huge variety of outdoor scenery. From dramatic waves crashing on huge rocks, to lonley cypress trees with an ocean background, to pine trees, to exclusive golf clubs, to seal rock, to a beach made out of giant pebbles, just to name a few. The cost is about 9 dollars per car, not bad. Excellent opportunity if you are a photo junkie like me.
In Monterey the big thing to do is the 17 mile drive. But nearly everyone does this in the comfort of their own car.
Why not hire a bike and make a day of it. I did, and I'm not the fitest individual.
The bike for the day cost me about $20 for the day after the hostels 10% discount.
The ride is all but flat. A mere few hill which can be walked if need be. Remember you're following a coastal track not a mountain pass.
I really enjoyed this drive. We had a map that described some of the attractions along the way such as the Lone Cypress Tree. And there are plaques at different stops that describe more of what you're seeing. The views were breathtaking. My husband and I drove some and stopped along the way to get out and take in the views or play on the rocks/beach. I wish we had thought to make a little picnic. As you get closer to the Pebble Beach Golf Course the mansions along the water became part of the attraction:)
We did not do the entire loop. We started at the Pacific Grove gate and at the Carmel gate we decided to head into downtown Carmel and get lunch.
For a great day of driving and enjoying the beautiful coastline of Monterey Bay, head out to experience the 17-Mile Drive.
17-Mile Drive is one of the many beautiful California Beaches that stretch approximately 1000 miles along California. It passes through the Del Monte forest. Access to this haven is available at five guard gates in Carmel or Pacific Grove where a fee is charged (was under $10).
There are approximately 20 stops along the well marked route, each with a landmark of interest and paved parking for your vehicle. From the trademark Lone Cypress tree to the Restless Sea, Seal Rock to Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill, if the names of these places don't evoke emotion to the active imagination, the sights, sounds and smells should do the trick. Daylight hours are perfect guarantees to get the stunning photos--but don't miss one of the awesome sunsets.
Turned away from 17 Mile Drive this weekend. Explanation? No motorcycles allowed. The sting of discrimination--of any type--is not fun. Is it noise? Then make it a noise rule and restrict loud cars. What's the deal?
I am sure you've been told you have to do this drive before, thats because its worth it. The scenery is amazing and the drive is really nice and peaceful. You will see some amazing million dollar homes. There is a fee to go down this road i just cant remember how much it was, sorry, but definately worth it. Keep your eyes open, there's alot to see.
Along the 17 mile drive are parts of the Pebble Beach Golf Course. This is where they play one of the PGA's biggest tournaments. The course has the best setting and views ever. Many of the holes are located along the coast. I watched as a group of guys were playing a hole, where they had to hit it over the water onto the green, it was pretty cool. I hear the green fees here are around $500.00 and there is long waiting list. If i was a golfer i would love to play here....
17 mile drive is a scenic pathway that takes you through the hills, mountains, shores, beaches, golf courses and many other views along the way. To enter it costs $8.50 per car, but i think it is well worth it. At the entrance you are given a pamphlet which tells about the historic significance of each stop. You begin the drive through a community of beautiful hillside homes and end up at the Pebble beach golf course. In between are trees and amazing oceanside stops. There are plenty of places where you can pull over and just enjoy the view for a few moments or pull out your basket and have a picnic.
I totally, totally almost ralphed on this drive. I get extreme and terrifying motion sickness on car rides (not so bad - though obviously still there - on boats, trains, or planes), and this was a real test of my ability not to ruin the rental car's carpet.
Anyway, that and the entrance fee (yes, there's a toll to get on - I think it's like eight dollars per car load) still didn't subtract from how awesome this was. I'm not a really cruising the vistas kind of a girl, but damn - the view was amazing! We went right around dusk, and the sun was setting. It was gorgeous. Everyone passing through Monterey should do this.
Be sure to take your time for this spectacular scenic tour which takes you deep into the heart of the more than 5,000 acre Del Monte Forest. While following the drive along the coastline and through the forest you will encounter an abundance of deer, native birds, sea life, and wildflowers. You will see and hear the surf crash on the Pacific coastline just beyond lookouts and coves.
This drive will also take you past the lovely homes of the fortunate ones that live there.
The July day we went we saw smoke coming out of the fireplaces in the private homes. Meanwhile, deer were nibbling on their beautifully landscaped and manicured gardens and lawns.
And, of course, you will see The Lone Cypress, the symbol of Pebble Beach Company.
The 17 Mile Drive, makes for an enjoyable day in a quite beautiful scenery.
However, and in my opinion, it has not much more to offer than the actual Higway 1 (Pacific coast Highway). The difference is that you have to pay to get in here and you get to drive by the "Pebble beach" golf course and see some luxury mansions. In any case, the scenery is very beautiful and if you're in the area you might as well come here.
If you are interested in photography, there are some nice photo opportunites as the coastline is very beautiful and there is also some wildlife (you can even spot some deer) that can be quite interesting. All the birds on the rock at sunset (see picture) are quite nice to see.
The drive is open from sunrise to sunset.
For cars, there is an entrance fee ($8 per vehicle or per person in a tour bus), but if you bike it is free and on a nice day, it is probably much nicer (you must enter at the Pacific Grove gate).
One last picture of the 17-mile-drive, it is not such a good picture, but one that had to be taken, hahaha. The ones that know my love for lighthouses, know exactly what I mean. I take a picture of almost every lighthouse I see, so this one couldn't be missed in my collection.
It is weird actually, this part of the road. On the one side you have the beautiful coast, on the other side you have a luxurious golf-course. A weird mixture to me, but probably fantastic when you love golf.
This was my story about the area around Monterey. Don't forget to take a look at my Carmel page to see the second part of this trip!
Finally I want to give you some usefull links :
This was the road I took " The 17 mile drive". It starts just south of Monterey and follows a beautiful part of the coast. It is a very touristic road, you even have to pay to drive it. Yes, I am not kidding! I think it is rediculous to pay to drive this part of the coastal road, but I enjoyed nevertheless.
Along this road you drive along a beautiful coastline and through the forest. On the way you can see a lot of wildlife. Some of the rocks (just off-shore) are covered with sea lions, harbor seals and lots of birds. That was fascinating to see. I was even lucky enough to spot some deer as well :-)
It's not often you get to see a living being that's 250 years old. This tree, the Lone Cypress, was a sapling when California was a Spanish colony in the mid 18th century. And still today, there it is, standing tall, so proud and majestic. Think of all that's happened in this tree's lifetime!
The Lone Cypress is also the symbol of Pebble Beach Golf Club.