The Beautiful 17-Mile Drive

The Lone Cypress

The Lone Cypress

We just got back from a 5-day trip to Monterey California. We had beautiful weather, sunny, cool and breezy, and all the flowers were in bloom making for a wonderful time to visit the area. One of the many things we made sure to include in our stay was a day spent seeing the beautiful, world famous drive called 17-Mile Drive.

The road, which is actually called 17-Mile Drive, is a loop that winds around the Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove areas of the Monterey peninsula with more than half of it hugging the coast for some spectacular views and scenery. Whether the road is actually 17 miles long or not, I don’t know, but I’ll take their word for it.

The Pebble Beach Corporation owns the majority of the 17-Mile Drive and the road passes famous sights such as The Lone Cypress (see picture above), Seal Rock, Bird Rock and China Rock, lots of beautiful coastline, a few restaurants, mansions, at least four golf courses (including the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course), and the Del Monte forest. Along the route there are several places you can park to see the sights, and picnic areas if you want to eat some lunch while you’re there.

There are five gates, entry points to the drive along the eastern and southern sides of the Monterey peninsula. We entered on the southern side, the Carmel Gate. The cost to enter the drive is $10.

To help you navigate the drive, they give you a map when you enter and they’ve also painted a red-striped line down the middle of the road along the route. The map shows all the points of interest, entry gates, public restrooms, picnic areas, golf courses, restaurants, etc. It took us just under three hours to do the whole loop but you could easily spend much more time if you wanted.

Closeup of Bird Rock (lots of birds and lots of seals too)

Closeup of Bird Rock (lots of birds and lots of seals too)

China Rock

China Rock

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All the squirrels are very friendly. They'll walk right up to you.

All the squirrels are very friendly. They’ll walk right up to you.

All images copyright © 2014 Eric T. Christensen

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