While on one of our trips in Northern California, checking out the Golden Gate Bridge, we were lucky enough to drive the breathtaking 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. It is absolutely beautiful and follows the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses, mansions, and scenic attractions, including Spanish Bay Cove, the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock, and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees. Before we went I knew it was 17 miles. duh, but I didn’t know it had four primary entrances, the main highway entrance at California State Route 1, and entrances in Carmel and Pacific Grove.
No matter which entrance you start at, there is a guard gate where you pay a toll and receive a brochure with a list of stops and points of interest. The dashed red line on the roadway and neatly posted signs along the route, help you navigate easily. We were in Monterey so we started at the Pacific Grove Gate and wound our way around and around. I can’t even tell you which way we went, or how many places we stopped to take pictures. They say it’s only a 17-mile drive, but it felt like a lot more the way we did it, lol. The drive made me fall in love with California again as it was so beautiful.
Below is a list of all of the places where you can stop along the route.
1. SHEPHERD’S KNOLL
2. HUCKLEBERRY HILL
3. SPANISH BAY BEACH
4. THE RESTLESS SEA
5. POINT JOE
6. CHINA ROCK (though I hate the name)
7. BIRD ROCK
8. SEAL ROCK
9. FANSHELL BEACH OVERLOOK
10. CYPRESS POINT LOOKOUT
11. CROCKER GROVE
12. THE LONE CYPRESS
13. GHOST TREES AT PESCADERO POINT
14. PEBBLE BEACH VISITOR CENTER
15. PEBBLE BEACH GOLF LINKS
16. PEBBLE BEACH EQUESTRIAN CENTER
17. FORD MEADOW
We did make a stop or visit the Visitor Center but apparently, they host about 2 million guests from around the world each year. I wish we had stopped because we would have been able to learn more about the history of the Pepple Beach area. Maybe we will have to take the time to visit the center on a future trip doing the 17-Mile Drive.
Sadly we were there later in the afternoon and had already had lunch, otherwise, it would have been amazing to stop somewhere and have a little picnic while watching the water hit the rocks. We will have to remember this next time as I really want to do this trip again.
Another cool thing we saw while driving around was a few deer running around through people’s front yards. Seeing so many really surprised me due to all the heavy traffic in the area. However, I guess they were more hungry than afraid. Sad state of affairs for our wildlife, but that’s another blog post, lol.
If you are ever in the area, this is a definite must-do. Take my advice and plan to bring a meal. Either way, make sure to park somewhere for a while and enjoy the beauty that God created and that we have the pleasure to enjoy. There are definitely enough awe-inspiring vistas and legendary sites along this 17-mile drive. This makes it perfect for a day of exploration. Hope you can make it one day. Here is a link to their website with more information and maps of the area.
17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach California Visitor Information
17 Mile Dr Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Dawn to Dusk
The entrance fee into Pebble Beach Resorts and 17-Mile Drive is $10.50 per vehicle. Upon payment of your entry fee at any of the five entry gates into Pebble Beach, you will receive a helpful brochure and 17-Mile Drive Map detailing the many scenic and historic points of interest along the route which also serves as a perfect souvenir.
As stated the drive itself is in Pebble Beach, stretching from Pacific Grove to Carmel. You can enter the 17-Mile Drive through five different gates: Pacific Grove Gate [gate is off Sunset Drive], Country Club Gate [gate off of Congress Avenue], S.F.B Morse Gate [gate off of Sunset Drive], Highway 1 Gate [gate off Highway 1 and 68], and the Carmel Gate [gate off San Antonio Avenue].
While 17 miles is not a long drive, it is suggested to allow 3 hours to make this drive by car and leave plenty of time for stopping, walking around, and taking pictures. I am not exactly sure how long we stayed in the area, but it was quite a while. The area is absolutely stunning.
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