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).
Ocean View Blvd in Pacific Grove, which becomes Sunset Drive in Asilomar Beach, is as good as if not better than 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. It is a spectacular route along golf courses, rocky cliffs, sea lions, kelp beds, fishing boats, bicyclists, joggers, various sea birds, a lighthouse, and some of Monterey's finest sunsets. One thing is for sure, Ocean View Drive is free, which means I am not putting more money in the pockets of the already obscenely rich who wallow on the sands at Pebble Beach.
Sure, this "17 mile drive" is just 4 miles. But, then again, the nine dollar 17 Mile Drive is actually only about 9 miles from Pacific Grove to Carmel, with maybe 7 miles of that along the water. Who owns a road anyway?
If the drive along Pacific Grove and Asilomar beach isn't enough to quench your thirst for beautiful ocean views, move on to Carmel. Take Rt 1 South and turn right into town on Ocean Ave which dead ends at the beach. Just before the dead end, take a left on Scenic Drive...sounds scenic! This route runs along the cliff between the beautiful beach-side cottages and the wide sandy beach below, including (free) views of Pebble Beach (gasp!). At the southern edge of the drive you'll overlook Carmel River Beach and Point Lobos just 1.5 miles to the south. Where Scenic Drive ends, take Carmelo Street, then a right on 15th Ave and you'll come out next to the awesome Carmel Mission.
(As for the REAL 17 Mile Drive: thanks to VT member ppethoe for this suggestion: "buy a Herald paper, show the real estate open house section (or yard sale) to the guard when entering Pebble Beach 17mile Drive area so you save $9 entrance fee." I'll give it a shot one of these days...)
A highlight of any trip to the Monterey Peninsula must be the 17 Mile Drive,onto the Pebble Beach properties. It has some of the most famous golf courses in the world, big houses, and ocean views that will simply take your breath away.
It costs $8.50-definitely worth it with some 18 different turnoffs where you can take all the pictures you want. The area is also a wildlife and plant sanctuary. You can see several kinds of birds, other animals and, if you're lucky, seals, otters and sea lions.
A perfect little spot in the world!
It's not often you get to see a living being that's 250 years old. This tree, the Lone Cypress, was a sapling when California was a Spanish colony in the mid 18th century. And still today, there it is, standing tall, so proud and majestic. Think of all that's happened in this tree's lifetime!
The Lone Cypress is also the symbol of Pebble Beach Golf Club.
The guide book said it's a road along which you will see more millionaire houses than ocean views.
May be. But the ocean views are amazing.
Like the lonely cypres which is the California symbol (on the photograph).
The entrance for us was free : I have never been debited of the 8$ I pay with my card.
The 17 Mile Drive is a scenic route that runs from Monterey to Carmel. Starting in Pacific Grove, the road follows the Pacific Coast line, through the exclusive Pebble Beach area and then loops back via the Del Monte Forest.
We only drove the most scenic section (around 10 miles) from the Pacific Grove Gate to the Carmel Gate. The cost to enter the area was $9.50 per car (Sep 2008), but we felt the lovely coastal scenery certainly made it worthwhile. Upon entry, you will be given a useful map which highlights the main points of interest along the way.
We stopped to look at Bird Rock, home to shorebirds and also seals and sea lions, and enjoyed the coastal views from Cypress Point Lookout. Speaking of Cypresses, we saw the 'Lone Cypress', which has been sitting alone on its rocky perch for over 250 years. We also saw the Ghost Tree, and went for a wander at Pescadero Point.
The most exciting thing we saw, from Alex's point of view anyway, was a glimpse of the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, which he dreams of playing at one day.
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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