How To Make The Most Of 17-Mile Drive: Greatest Stops & Skilled Suggestions


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Wish to discover some of the picturesque areas in Central California? Take a highway journey alongside the 17-Mile Drive! You will notice the very best the Monterey Peninsula – certainly one of California’s most iconic locations, situated simply south of San Francisco on the northern fringe of the Huge Sur shoreline. The 17-Mile Drive is an ideal day-long highway journey, providing putting ocean vistas together with a few of the hottest golf programs on the planet. 

17 mile drive monterey bay sunset

On this complete article, we’ll stroll you thru all the things you should know in regards to the 17-Mile Drive, together with the very best stops for photographs, the very best time to go to, tips on how to get there, and the place to cease for meals. Let’s dive in!

Is the 17-Mile Drive Value It?

Earlier than occurring to listing the 17-Mile Drive greatest stops, let’s reply two crucial questions: What’s 17-Mile Drive and is that this drive value your time?

17-Mile Drive is a privately owned scenic highway that hugs the coast of Monterey Peninsula. Because the identify suggests, the highway is seventeen miles lengthy, winding via the gated group of Pebble Seashore. 

17-mile drive in monterey peninsula

Again in 1881 when it was first constructed, the 17-Mile Drive was meant to take friends from Lodge Del Monte to the picnic grounds alongside the shoreline of Pacific Grove, Pebble seaside, and Carmel.

As we speak, non-residents will pay a toll to enter and benefit from the stunning vistas.

pescadero point on 17 mile drive near pebble beach

Should you love the ocean, golf, or each, then you should put aside time to see the 17-Mile Drive. This idyllic stretch of shoreline takes you thru a variety of landscapes, from dramatic coastal cliffs, white-sand seashores, and mystical forests, to well-groomed golf programs. You’ll additionally get a glimpse of luxurious mansions as you go by. Some wildlife like deer, sea lions and harbour seals may additionally make a visitor look!  

It is among the greatest routes we’ve pushed in North America! The perfect half? It solely takes just a few hours to see all of it!

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Every part You Want To Know In regards to the 17-Mile Drive in Monterey

The place are the doorway gates for the 17-Mile Drive?

You may entry the 17-Mile Drive via 5 gates:

  • Pacific Grove Gate: One of the vital widespread entry factors in the event you’re coming from Monterey or Pacific Grove. To reach at this gate, comply with the highway via Pacific Grove, simply south of Sundown Drive.
  • Nation Membership Gate: One other widespread entrance for the 17-Mile Drive. This gate is situated on Forest Lodge Highway, simply off Congress Avenue.
  • S.F.B. Morse Gate: This gate will be accessed from Morse Drive. It’s proper off Freeway 68, also referred to as Holman Freeway.
  • Freeway 1 Gate: This 17-Mile Drive entrance is off of exit 399A. Take the second exit out of the roundabout, and comply with the indicators to Pebble Seashore.
  • Carmel Gate: The south gate into Pebble Seashore and the closest gate in the event you’re coming from Carmel-by-the-Sea. The doorway is situated on San Antonio Avenue.

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How do you get to the 17-Mile Drive?

Should you’re coming from out-of-town or have by no means been to Monterey earlier than, listed here are extra particular instructions that will help you discover the 17-Mile Drive entrance:

Driving Instructions from San Francisco: Navigate your approach to Freeway 17 in Los Gatos heading towards Santa Cruz. Simply north of Santa Cruz, take exit 1B. Proceed on Freeway 1 towards Monterey for 68 km (42 miles) till you attain exit 399A. The Freeway 1 Gate is the second exit out of the visitors circle. Drive time is roughly 2.5 hours.

Driving Instructions from San Jose: The Freeway 1 Gate is the very best entrance level. From San Jose, take 101 south to exit 336 (towards Monterey/Peninsula). You’ll be on Freeway 156, which turns into Freeway 1. Then comply with the instructions above to search out Freeway 1 Gate.

Driving Instructions from Monterey: The Pacific Grove Gate is about 6.5 km (4 miles) from Monterey. To get to the gate, make your means via Pacific Grove on Pine Avenue till you attain Sundown Drive.

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How a lot is the 17-Mile Drive entrance price?

Admission to the 17-Mile Drive is $11.25 per automobile. You may discover it totally free if you’re on bikes, strolling, or staying in a single day at one of many 17-Mile Drive accommodations akin to The Inn at Spanish Bay, Casa Palmero, and The Lodge at Pebble Seashore.

Should you’re a foodie, you may have your entrance price reimbursed in the event you spend $35 or extra at any Pebble Seashore Resorts eating places (excluding Pebble Seashore Market).

What are the 17-Mile Drive hours?

The 17-Mile Drive is open to the general public from dawn to sundown year-round. The gates are manned 24 hours a day.

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Are you able to bike the 17-Mile Drive?

You completely can! In truth, it’s the easiest way to tour this scenic highway! Whether or not you’re bringing your personal or renting an electrical bike, you’re assured to have a beautiful time.

Listed here are just a few locations that provide bike leases within the space:

  • Journey by The Sea: Has 5 places all through the Monterey Peninsula. Conventional and e-bike leases can be found.
  • Huge Sur Adventures: Has outlets in Cannery Row, 17-Mile Drive, and Carmel, with a variety of electrical and commonplace bikes for rent.
couple biking sunset silhouette

Feeling overwhelmed by all of the planning and coordinating? Head out on this guided ebike tour with knowledgeable main the way in which to all of the scenic viewpoints alongside the well-known 17-Mile Drive!

Notice: there are solely two public restrooms on 17-Mile Drive: one at Chicken Rock, the opposite one at Pebble Seashore Customer Heart. Others are situated contained in the eating places or on the golf programs for purchasers solely. We advocate making a relaxation cease earlier than beginning the 17-Mile Drive to keep away from speeding via for lavatory breaks. 

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The Greatest Photograph Stops on the 17-Mile Drive

lone cypress lookout point on monterey bay 17 mile drive

There are 21 factors of curiosity in the course of the 17 miles, however out of all these choices, which of them are literally value stopping? 

We did you a favour and handpicked the very best stops on the 17-Mile Drive, going from north to south:

  • Spanish Bay: This iconic landmark encompasses a white sandy seaside backed by sand dunes and a beautiful golf course named The Hyperlinks at Spanish Bay. It presents gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean as you stroll the boardwalk alongside the seashore.
spanish bay monterey bay sunset
  • Level Joe: You’ll begin seeing distinctive rock formations from this level ahead. Apparently, this rocky space is notorious for quite a few shipwrecks because it was typically mistaken as the doorway to the Monterey Bay Harbour within the early days. As an alternative of shipwrecks, as we speak we’re blessed with an impeccable view of the Monterey Peninsula Nation Membership’s golf course!
  • China Rock: This was a web site of a small Chinese language fishing village within the late 1800s. You may climb the rocks for a scenic view of the rocky shore.
  • Chicken Rock: certainly one of our favorite locations for viewing wildlife! Birds, harbour seals and sea lions are sometimes noticed right here. Brandt’s cormorants nest within the spring, and brown pelicans roost in the summertime. From November via March, you may catch a glimpse of the gray whales migrating south!
bird rock at sunset on 17 mile drive
  • Seal Rock: You’ll discover a tucked-away seaside on the mouth of the Seal Rock Creek. It’s a excellent spot for picnic and a bit of tide pool exploration. A brief stroll on the broadwalk will lead you to a fairytale-like cottage often known as the Gingerbread Home.
  • Fanshell Overlook: A implausible spot to soak up the views of uninterrupted coastlines and to watch harbour seals! In truth, this is among the main pupping habitats for harbour seals! Through the pupping season (April-June), this part is closed to provide them some peace and quiet.
  • Cypress Level Lookout: A spectacular spot to catch sunsets complemented with sweeping shoreline and the Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress bushes within the distance. The opposite aspect of the highway is populated with spectacular mansions. This overlook is closed from April to June to guard harbour seals.
  • The Lone Cypress: Essentially the most well-known cease alongside the 17-Mile Drive, aka the Halfway Level on the unique 17-Mile Drive route. It has been standing atop a rocky cliff for over 250 years, surviving via many storms! In case you haven’t realised, this iconic tree can be the official image of the Pebble Seashore Resorts.
the lone cypress, a stop on 17-mile drive
  • Pescadero Level: This southend cease close to Pebble Seashore seems out to Carmel Bay and Stillwater Cove. Right here, a small grove of Monterey cypress clings boldly to the cliff rock. Some are naked, bleached, and twisted, incomes them the identify Ghost Bushes. 
  • Pebble Seashore Golf Hyperlinks: Even in the event you don’t play golf, it’s value stopping by the world-famous Pebble Seashore Golf Hyperlinks. This 18-hole course is among the most iconic venues for golf championships! You may admire it from The Lodge at Pebble Seashore. And throughout from the primary tee  is The Hay, a brand new nine-hole quick course designed by Tiger Woods and his TGR Design group!
pescadero point plants on 17 mile drive

Bonus: if you’re close to The Hyperlinks at Spanish Bay round sundown, cease by for a bagpiper efficiency. The custom has began to enrich the Scottish-style golf course. The bagpiper performs at sundown each day to provide the gang an opportunity to reimagine the Pacific because the Scottish Highlands. Click on right here to search out the precise efficiency occasions and site. 

There you might have it! Under is a map of all of the 17-Mile Drive stopping factors together with the doorway gates. You too can click on right here for a PDF map of the 17-Mile Drive

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Skilled Suggestions for Planning An Epic 17-Mile Drive

The place is the very best start line for the 17-Mile Drive?

You can begin at any of the 5 17-Mile Drive gates talked about above. Whereas most individuals start on the north gate (Pacific Grove) and head south (Carmel), you may also begin from the south and head north. The route is a two-lane highway that permits you to drive both northbound or southbound. 

Professional-tip: most pull-over factors are by the coast so it’s simpler to entry them if you’re going southbound. Northbound visitors is much less congested although —one thing value contemplating in the event you’re visiting throughout peak season (June-September). Additionally, if you wish to watch the bagpiper, you’d wish to finish your journey at Spanish Bay.

How a lot time is adequate to tour the 17-Mile Drive?

If you wish to pull over and cease for photographs, you must give your self three to 4 hours to finish the drive. Add in additional time in the event you plan to cease for meals.

Wish to discover past 17-Mile Drive? Uncover the close by fairytale city, Carmel-by-the-Sea, on a fast 2-hour guided tour!

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The place to eat alongside the 17-Mile Drive?

The 2 foremost locations to seize a chunk are at The Inn at Spanish Bay (north finish) and The Lodge at Pebble Seashore (south finish). Each supply an thrilling array of eating choices to offer a memorable seaside expertise.

At The Inn at Spanish Bay, your choices embody Hawaiian fusion (Roy’s at Pebble Seashore), northern Italian (Peppoli at Pebble Seashore), sports activities bar fare (Sticks, Traps), and wine-tasting and small bites (Stave Wine Cellar at Spanish Bay).

On the Lodge at Pebble Seashore, there’s a steakhouse (The Faucet Room), an off-the-cuff restaurant with Mexican-inspired menu (Hay’s Place), a seafood restaurant with phenomenal view (Stillwater Bar & Grill), an eatery with wood-fired and artisanal specialities (The Bench), and a restaurant for a hearty home-style breakfast/lunch (Gallery Cafe). 

Bear in mind: You may reimburse your gate price whenever you spend greater than $35 at any of the eating places. You are able to do so by presenting your gate receipt to the server.

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The place to picnic alongside the 17-Mile Drive?

Trying to picnic alongside the 17-Mile Drive? You may cease by Pebble Seashore Market proper outdoors The Lodge at Pebble Seashore for made-to-order sandwiches and gourmand snacks to pair with the putting surroundings. You too can deliver your personal meals, however not alcohol—it’s prohibited on the seaside.

Spanish Bay and Seal Rock are the 2 picnic areas which might be geared up with picnic tables and benches.

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When is the very best time to go to the 17-Mile Drive?

Though the world enjoys reasonable temperature all yr spherical, the very best months to benefit from the 17-Mile Drive are in autumn (September-November) as there tends to be none or little or no fog. Through the spring particularly, the fog can get thick and take many of the day to burn off.

Attempt to keep away from the drive in the course of the Pebble Seashore Professional-Am golf event every February, the Pebble Seashore Meals and Wine Competition in April and the Concours auto present in August.

As for the very best time of the day, we advocate beginning the drive in mid-afternoon so that you keep away from the tour bus crowds. Bonus: you may see the sundown as you make your means via the world!

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What to deliver for the 17-Mile Drive?

  • A light-weight mirrorless digital camera or a GoPro – one thing straightforward to deliver round!
  • Binoculars (non-compulsory) – excessive probabilities to see wildlife!
  • Water bottle – insulated stainless-steel could be greatest to maintain your water chilly or heat!
  • Snacks – for picnicking alongside the way in which
  • A light-weight jacket or windbreaker – it may be cool and windy!
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sun shades

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Options to the 17-Mile Drive

The 17-Mile Drive is magnificent, however in the event you don’t have time to drive your complete course, listed here are another choices with equally nice surroundings:

  • Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard: This scenic roadway begins at Monterey Bay Aquarium within the east and wraps round Level Pinos Lighthouse earlier than merging with Sundown Drive. The seaside drive presents a entrance row seat for wildlife viewing and unforgettable sunsets! By automobile, it takes roughly 10 minutes to achieve from one finish to a different.
lovers point park monterey
  • Level Lobos State Park: This California state park presents a community of mountain climbing trails which stretches 8 km (5 miles) lengthy by the shoreline, with loads of alternatives to view seabirds, observe marine life, and admire the distinctive seascape. You may simply spend half a day right here soaking in nature!
point lobos state natural reserve in central california, near big sur

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