Carmel’s 17-Mile Drive

Carmel’s 17-Mile DriveThis is the drive that takes you past famous Pebble Beach and more luxurious houses than you can shake a stick at.  It is, of course, a golfer’s dream.  But it is so much more.

You enter on a private road off highway one and there you will pay a toll of $10.  You feel kind of nuts for handing someone $10 for a rather short stretch of highway.  You won’t feel that way for long.  This is one gorgeous stretch of road.  It is the stuff of oooh’s and aaaah’s.

Not only is it the only way to get to Pebble Beach, it is the only access to Lone Cypress.  This is the tree, and area, that’s you’ve seen many times in paintings and photos.  It is the place that makes you wish you could paint.

There is a grove of eucalyptus that looks as if it came straight out of a fantasy book.  When the fog hands between the trees, you wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a fairy ring of trees or elves popping up to take a peek at you.  Get out the car here and walk through the grove.

Probably the best time to drive this is early morning or at sunset.  And, between those, choose sunset.  The sunsets are like no others in Monterey Bay.  The pinks and oranges in the sky are fluid and take shape.  The sun seems to melt into the liquid-silver blue ocean.  It is, without a doubt, breathtaking.

When you enter the gate, you’ll receive a map of the area.  Take a picnic.  Mostly, take your time.  The best picnic spots are between Point Joe and Seal Rock, but there is not one place that wouldn’t be perfect for some wine and lunch or an early dinner.

Be amazed at how many ways nature has of pleasing us.


Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Wine Country.  Join her at for wine-country mysteries, classes, and the untamed west.

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