17-Mile Drive is one of the most famous scenic drives in the world. It passes through the gated community of Pebble Beach. Access to this exclusive neighborhood is available at five guard gates in Carmel or Pacific Grove where a fee is charged ($10 as of January 2016). The receipt you receive is a voucher to be used like money. Present it to any of the shops or restaurants along the route when you make a purchase and the entry fee on the voucher is credited to your bill.
As you pass through the shady entry gates of 17-Mile Drive (see our 17-Mile Drive map with points of interest), you are also given a brochure with extensive information and a map that makes a “can’t fail” excursion. Just follow the dashed red line on the roadway and neatly posted signs along the route. Popular with tour groups traveling via bus, you can drive your car along the route and see the same people departing the bus in front of you time and again.
There are approximately 20 stops along the well-marked route, each with a landmark of interest and paved parking for your vehicle. From the trademark Lone Cypress Tree to the Restless Sea, Seal Rock to Spanish Bay and Fanshell Overlook, if the names of these places don’t evoke emotion to the active imagination, the sights, sounds and smells should do the trick. Daylight hours are perfect guarantees to get stunning photos – but don’t miss the opportunity to capture an amazing sunset. A blazing, golden sun falling into the ocean behind the Lone Cypress is one of California’s most romantic scenic views to be experienced.
The 17-mile drive is a two lane road which has seen many years of activity. It was once a trail in which covered wagons carried guests from a hotel to picnic grounds along Pebble Beach over 100 years ago. Though a century has passed, some things are timeless in this enchanted forest. Today, tourists continue to enjoy the crashing waves that hit rugged rocks below vistas where pine trees frame each photo perfectly. Picnics are still “in” at the Seal Rock Creek Beach Picnic Area. And golf continues to be the number one sport here for over 80 years.
The public courses include Poppy Hills, home of the Northern California Golf Association, the Links at Spanish Bay which is accessible when you stay at the Inn, Spyglass Hill which was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Peter Hay Par-3 Course and famous Pebble Beach Golf Links with The Lodge, shops and dining.
Related: 17-Mile Drive Points of Interest Map
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