17 Mile Drive is a scenic road that stretches from Pacific Grove near Monterey through Pebble Beach, near Carmel. It runs along the coast and passes famous golf courses & mansions. The real highlights are the glimpses into the natural beauty of rugged Northern California, including Seal Rock and the Lone Cypress Tree. There is a $10 toll to drive the road & motorcycles are not allowed, but it’s worth the fee!
Much to my surprise, our drive started in dense woods with cabins & condos peeking out from behind the trees. We soon came to a break in the trees where we could catch a glimpse of the drive that lay ahead of us.
As we wound down the hills, the road slowly flattened out, revealing lovely white sand beaches! This first stop is known as Spanish Bay, after Spanish explorers who camped here while looking for Monterey Bay. This is the perfect place for a picnic. I’ll definitely be prepared next time!
Right across the street from these beautiful beaches and running along side them are several of the famous Pebble Beach golf courses. I understand why everyone wants to play here!
I begrudgingly left the white sands as we headed to the next stop, Point Joe, where earlier mariners often crashed, having mistaken it for the entrance to Monterey Bay.
The locals were a big fan of the glorious weather!
Seals dotted the aptly named Seal Rock, our next stop! They lay sunning themselves and busily chattering among themselves.
Here we were lucky enough to spot a happy sea otter bobbing about in the seaweed!
As you progress down the drive, keep an eye out for loads of cars pulling over to the side of the road. This will be how you know you’ve reached the Lone Cypress Tree! As one of California’s most enduring landmarks, the Lone Cypress has defied nature & gravity here for over 250 years.
The end (or beginning, depending on which side you start on) of the 17 Mile Drive is Pebble Beach, the famous resort & golf course. Golfing here costs over $500 for a round so if you opt for it, you’d better bring your best game!