The 17-Mile Drive is a well-known part of the Monterey peninsula and also is one of the most famous drives in the world. During our RV adventure this past summer, we were able to finally experience it for ourselves. I’ve been saving my photos to post later, but since See Monterey is launching round 2 of their campaign (have you seen our post for round 1?), I thought it was meant to be.
On the drive, you get to see world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links (if you’re into that sort of thing), Pebble Beach, and the famous Lone Cypress (what is it about lone trees that are so appealing?). The Lone Cypress is the icon of Pebble Beach and we had seen so many photos of it that we wanted our own chance to photograph it!
WHAT THE DRIVE IS LIKE
My only knowledge of the place was that it’s a beautiful drive and the Lone Cypress is there. I knew there was a fee, but I did not expect to be driving through a gated neighborhood with world renowned golf courses. From the gate, we received a brochure highlighting all the attractions you drive by. Here are some photos from our drive:
The Restless Sea
Seal Rock Picnic Area
Crocker Grove (left) + The Ghost Tree (right)
The Lone Cypress
17 MILE DRIVE MONTEREY MAP
17 MILE DRIVE MONTEREY ATTRACTIONS
- Shepherds Knoll
- Huckleberry Hill (* if you want to hike the trail)
- Poppy Hills Golf Course
- Inn and Links at Spanish Bay
- Spanish Bay*
- The Restless Sea*
- Point Joe*
- China Rock
- Bird Rock Hunt Course + Bird Rock*
- Harbor Seals / Seal Rock Picnic Area*
- Fanshell Overlook* (closed around April-June to protect harbor seals)
- Cypress Point Lookout*
- The Crocker Grove
- The Lone Cypress*
- The Ghost Tree
- Pescadero Point
- The Lodge at Pebble Beach
- Peter Hay Par-3 Golf Course
- Pebble Beach Equestrian Center
The landmarks are all in close proximity to each other and not all of them were worth a stop. We starred the ones we thought were worthwhile.
TIPS FOR YOUR SCENIC 17 MILE DRIVE
- There are 5 entrances. We entered through the Highway 1 Gate.
- The toll is $9.75 (as of June 2016) unless you’re a resident or guest of a hotel.
- If you eat at one of the restaurants and spend more than $30, you can get your entry fee reimbursed.
- It’s open 24/7 (anyone try astrophotography here?).
- Check the webcams for weather. Fall and Spring are the best seasons to go. The weather is clearer. June gave us some gloomy weather.
- Fanshell Overlook is closed during April-June to protect the harbor seals.
- Bring your long lenses if you want to photograph the birds and seals.
- If you bike, it’s free to walk or bike the 17-mile drive.
- Make sure there aren’t any major golf tournaments.
Even though I prefer the views of the Hwy 1 Drive through Big Sur to this one, it’s still a beautiful area and I’m glad I got to shoot the iconic Lone Cypress photo. Since it was a cloudy day, I may have to go back when there’s sunnier weather for another chance at sunset (or perhaps some astrophotography!).
MONTEREY FAMILY PACKAGE GIVEAWAY
I’m so excited that See Monterey is giving away these tickets so you can experience more of what Monterey has to offer. The package includes:
- 4 tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- 4 tickets to the MY Museum
To enter the giveaway, visit See Monterey here. If you need more info on the area, you can download a free visitor’s guide here (link is at the bottom).
Did you enjoy this post? We’d love for you to pin it for later.
Do you have any questions about this drive? If you’ve done the drive, what were your fave stops?
ESTHER + JACOB
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.