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A Quick Guide to the 17 Mile Drive in Monterey

Visiting Monterey and want to do the 17 Mile Drive? Here’s what you need to know.

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!

Guide to the Beautiful and Famous 17 Mile Drive Monterey County //

Special thanks to See Monterey for sponoring this post. All opinions are always our own. This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

Last Updated: February 27, 2024

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:

See More: 15 Amazing Things to Do in Monterey CA

Best Stops Along the 17 Mile Drive

Huckleberry Hill

Huckleberry Hill on the Beautiful and Famous 17 Mile Drive, Monterey California //
Links at Spanish Bay (A Guide to the Beautiful 17 Mile Drive Monterey California) //

The Restless Sea

The Restless Sea, World Famous 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach California //

Point Joe

Point Joe 17 Mile Drive Monterey California //

China Rock

Bird Rock

Bird Rock, 17 Mile Drive Pebble Beach California //
Bird Rock (Photo Guide to the Scenic 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach California //

Seal Rock Picnic Area

Harbor Seals on Seal Rock (+ Photo Guide to the Scenic 17 Mile Drive Monterey California) //

Crocker Grove (Left) + The Ghost Tree (Right)

The Lone Cypress

The Lone Cypress Pebble Beach California (+ Photo Guide to the World-renowned 17 Mile Drive) //

17 Mile Drive Monterey Map

17 Mile Drive Monterey Attractions

  1. Shepherds Knoll
  2. Huckleberry Hill (* if you want to hike the trail)
  3. Poppy Hills Golf Course
  4. Inn and Links at Spanish Bay
  5. Spanish Bay*
  6. The Restless Sea*
  7. Point Joe*
  8. China Rock
  9. Bird Rock Hunt Course + Bird Rock*
  10. Harbor Seals / Seal Rock Picnic Area*
  11. Fanshell Overlook* (closed around April-June to protect harbor seals)
  12. Cypress Point Lookout*
  13. The Crocker Grove
  14. The Lone Cypress*
  15. The Ghost Tree
  16. Pescadero Point
  17. The Lodge at Pebble Beach
  18. Peter Hay Par-3 Golf Course
  19. 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.

Where to Stay in Monterey CA

Tips for Your Scenic 17 Mile Drive

  • There are 5 entrances. We entered through the Highway 1 Gate.
  • The toll is $12 (as of 2024) unless you’re a resident or guest of a hotel.
  • If you eat at one of the restaurants (excluding Pebble Beach Market) and spend more than $35, 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!).

Planning Checklist

What is the most scenic drive you’ve done?

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Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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