While taking our trip up the coast, we had to stop and drive the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. The is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The famous coastal landmark runs through to , from the dramatic Pacific coastline to the majestic The drive passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic vistas and landmarks.
It began as a carriage road for guests at Monterey’s Hotel del Monte in the early 1880s, and since then has been lauded for its magnificent scenery. The drive now serves as the main road through the gated community of Pebble Beach. There are 5 entrances, with the most convenient being the entrance off of Highway 1. The drive from the Highway 1 Gate and the Carmel Gate is approximately 17 miles. There is a $10 fee to enter the community, which gives you access to the area and a map to follow along. The fee can be reimbursed if you dine at one of the restaurants within the area. The route is easy to follow, as the points of interest are clearly marked. There is also red painted dashes to help you follow the route. You can also follow the Interactive Map.
There are 21 points of interest along the drive, and they showcase the majestic beauty this part of California has to offer.
Inn at Spanish Bay
The Inn at Spanish Bay is a five star resort, beautifully sited next to rolling sand dunes and in the middle of a Scottish-style links golf course. An interesting note about the Links at Spanish Bay, is they have a bagpiper close the course every evening.
Across from the Inn is Spanish Bay. Spanish Bay was once the landing point for the Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola. It’s also famous because of its surf. It is a right beach break, and while waves are reportedly best from September to March, they can be found year-round. This is also a great picnic spot as well as a great place to walk along the shore.
In between Spanish Bay and Point Joe is an area where the ocean always seems restless. The turbulence from the rocky underwater terrain keeps the ocean in a constant tumbling motion. There are some great views of the restless sea from Point Joe.
When explorers first came to this part of the California coast, they often mistook Spanish Bay for the Monterey Bay, its bigger counterpart in the north. Many of them met disaster on the rocks as they tried to make their way to shore.