The 17-Mile-Drive – just unbelievably wonderful. You like being part of a postcard!
The 17-Mile-Drive is located southern of San Francisco along Highway One. To get there, there are five entrances (from North to South): the Pacific Grove Gate, the Country Club Gate, the S.F.B. Morse Gate, the Highway 1 Gate and the Carmel Gate. The fee of $10 is oh so worth it, you will see! As a pedestrian or bicyclist you do not have to pay to enter the scenic road.
To explain what the 17-Mile-Drive in particular is you can talk about a road in between the cities Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pebble Beach and Del Monte Forest. Once you entered the road you will drive by beautiful villas, some golf courses, the coast and forest.
In total there are 21 Stops, which offer you some awesome views. Each stop is reachable from each entrance since the road is a loop.
You can reach the first stop easiest from the Highway 1 Gate in the south. But as I mentioned before it does not matter which entrance you take you will drive by every Stop and you can decide yourself if you actually want to stop there or not. Some Stops might not be as interesting as others and some other may have the same view as others but still it is up to you where you make a stop. For me the golf courses were not as interesting so I left out the Stops 3, 4, 9, 12, 19, 20 and 21.
The individual stops are:
1. Shepherd’s Knoll, this vista point gives a grand view of the Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz mountains.
2. Huckleberry Hill, named for the abundance of native huckleberry bushes, this is one of the highest elevations in the forest.
3. Poppy Hills Golf Course, Golf Course
4. The Inn & Links at Spanish Bay, Resort
5. Spanish Bay, Don Gaspar de Portolá, the Spanish explorer, and his crew camped here in 1769 while searching for Monterey Bay. A scenic picnic stop, this is also a pleasant location for a stroll around the shoreline.
6.The Restless Sea, from the vista point, take note of the unique offshore turbulence generated by the submerged terrain off Point Joe.
7. Point Joe, early mariners often crashed upon these rocks after mistakenly setting their course for this point, believing that it was the entrance to Monterey Bay.
8. China Rock, here and at Point Joe, Chinese fisherman built lean-tos against the rocks for their homes in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
9. Bird Rock Hunt Course, part of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club
10. Bird Rock, this stately landmark is home to countless shorebirds and groups of harbor seals and sea lions.
11. Seal Rock Picnic Area, relax and picnic here, surrounded by a vibrant mix of marine and bird life.
12. Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Golf course
13. Fanshell Overlook, the pure white sand of the beach below is irresistible to harbor seals, who each spring return to bear their young. Closed during the harbor seal pupping seal season, April 1 to June 1.
14. Cypress Point Lookout, for more than 100 years, this point has been a preferred view of the dramatic Pacific coastline. Closed April 1 to June 1.
15. Crocker Grove, this 13-acre nature preserve harbors numerous species of native pine and cypress. The granddaddy of all Monterey cypress is located here. It is named for Charles Crocker, who established 17-Mile-Drive in 1881.
16. The Lone Cypress, as one of California’s most enduring landmarks, The Lone Cypress has prevailed on its rocky perch for more than 250 years. This icon is the living symbol of Pebble Beach Company.
17. The Ghost Tree, with a trunk bleached white from wind, this unique Monterey cypress has a sinister silhouette.
18. Pescadero Point, this location features views of Carmel Bay and Stillwater Cove.
19. The Lodge At Pebble Beach, Lodge but also dining and shopping possibilities.
20. Peter Hay Par-3 Golf Course and 100th U.S. Open 2000 Pebble Beach Monument, Peter Hay, golf pro, bronze sculpture.
21. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, guided horseback trail rides, riding lessons, boarding, and numerous major West Coast equestrian events are held here annually.
Since the 17-Mile-Drive really only is a scenic drive and there are no restaurants or grocery shops I would recommend brining food when you are planning to stay the entire day here.
All in all it is really worth it visiting this road with these beautiful views!