The 17-Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula
Monterey Peninsula Sightseeing Attraction
17-Mile Drive is one of California’s best scenic roads that runs through Pebble Beach , Carmel, Pacific Grove and Spanish Bay on the Monterey Peninsula which hugs the Pacific Ocean.
Some may say that 17-Mile Drive is “just a road.” Most visitors to the lush Northern California coast wouldn’t even think twice about this astonishing locale when they saw it on a map. Nestled between the upscale communities of Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea and unmarked on maps it is understandably an easy location to miss, but those in the know (like you!) have now been let in on the secret of knowing exactly where to look to discover this hidden gem of California’s incredible coastline. It’s understandable that most people wouldn’t even think twice about this stretch of peaceful roadway that twists and turns throughout the beautiful and serene town of Pebble Beach; technically it is “just a road” – but it isn’t just any road. Winding past 17 miles of otherwise-inaccessible beaches, biking and hiking paths, golf courses, and some of the most jaw-dropping real estate you can find, this is truly not a site to be missed.
The historic 17-Mile drive is a kind of highway fortress. The residents of Pebble Beach wanted to share their incredible sites with the world, but, being environmentally-conscious, wanted to find a way not to completely destroy the feeling of a natural oasis they had been working so hard to preserve. Their solution was to make the drive a part of their gated community, so that visitors to the stretch have to pay a modest fee to be privy to its wonders. This is a small price to pay
considering the incredible number of activities you can partake in once past the ornate iron gate and security guard. Once you have entered the gate, be ready for quite a trip. You will pass through 21 stops on your way around the drive, being able to stop at as many or as few as you want.
Top things to see along 17-Mile Drive
The stops occur in the following order:
- Shepherd’s Knoll
- Huckleberry Hill
- Poppy Hills Golf Course
- The Inn & Links at Spanish Bay
- Spanish Bay
- The Restless Sea
- Point Joe
- China Rock
- Bird Rock Hunt Course
- Bird Rock
- Seal Rock Picnic Area
- Spyglass Hill Golf Course
- Fanshell Overlook
- Cypress Point lookout
- Crocker Grove
- The Lone Cypress
- The Ghost Tree
- Pescadero Point
- The Lodge at Pebble Beach
- Peter Hay Par-3 Golf Course and 100th Open 2000
- Pebble Beach Monument
- Pebble Beach Equestrian Center
Most of the route travels through natural vistas, giving visitors an unspoiled taste of the unique California plants and wildlife during their entire trip through this rare treat. Thanks to the protection afforded to the area by its residents, Pebble Beach is a wonderful opportunity to spot some of Northern California’s most exquisite natural animals in their native habitats. Make it a game! Have your whole family keep their eye out for animals and see who can spot the most.
The fan-favorite Seagull can be spotted abound here, as they all have their roosts close to the ocean and often wander in flocks throughout the Pebble Beach area.
Seagulls and many other kinds of birds can always be spotted on their favorite spot called Bird Rock, which you get a great vista of from one of the spots on the tour. Hundreds of birds have made this a favorite hangout, so be sure not to miss them all hanging out scattered all over the perches on this spot.
Crocker Grove is also a very peaceful spot to stop on your tour. Home to one of only two natural Monterey Cypress groves in the world, this tree is surely an incredibly rare site that should not be missed by the naturally minded visitor! The Lone Cypress is also an amazing site that serves as a testament to the endurance of the natural world. Holding its perch at the top of a craggy rock peak where no other trees stand for more than 250 years now, this is truly a majestic site to behold. The Lone Cypress can also be spotted on many of Pebble Beach’s promotional items and signs; one example of this is that the tree’s signature shape is featured in Pebble Beach Golf Course’s logo.
Also be sure not to miss the exquisite houses that line the beginning of 17-Mile Drive’s more residential stretch. The Pebble Beach community is a very affluent one, and one of the treats of driving down this gated community is being able to gaze on their enormous abodes. All kinds of ornate architecture are hidden behind large gates and majestic trees, which are all part of the 17-Mile Drive experience.