Friday, October 31, 2008

17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach and Drive to Big Sur, California

Today we decided to drive the famous 17-Mile Drive which is a loop route through the hills and coastline of Pebble Beach. Instead of taking Hwy 1 south directly from Monterey to Pebble Beach, we chose to meander through the town of Pacific Grove along the coastline on Ocean View Blvd. This road takes you through neighborhoods of beautiful homes and picturesque views of the ragged rocked bay. Along the way there are many parks and turn-outs for photo-ops and for places to explore. The homes in this area have a Victorian and Art Deco style which were fun to see. Eventually this road will take you around the peninsula, turn into Sunset Drive and will connect with 17-Mile Drive. All along this route is a great dirt walking/biking path. This is a great place to take a walk.

To enter the 17-Mile Drive there is a $9.25 fee (free for bicyclists) and you are provided a brochure that contains a map of the route and points of interest along the way. The first 4 miles of the famous 17-Mile Drive winds along the coastline and the golf courses of The Links at Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill. The houses now are very large and opulent, with equally sized grounds. Most face the ocean and have a view across one or more holes of the numerous golf courses. There continues to be small parks where you can pull-off to take pictures of the ocean and rugged coastline. Like Cypress Point Lookout where there is the view of the famous lone cypress tree that is used as the Pebble Beach symbol.

Next the drive becomes very forested so clear views of the homes and coastline was difficult. However, the homes in this area were the largest and most spectacular of them all. We kept waiting to see someone famous driving by. Continuing on this road you will arrive at the Pebble Beach Golf Links course. If you are a golfer then stopping and walking around the Pebble Beach Golf Course lodge and shops is a must. From the back of the lodge you can look out onto the 18th hole with the ocean as the backdrop-very spectacular. There are several high-end pro shops and boutiques. Across the road is a small market that makes very nice reasonably priced sandwiches and more. After spending some time at Pebble Beach, as you continue your drive, you eventually come to the intersection of Hwy 68. Here you can continue the loop drive which takes you into the interior of Pebble Beach peninsula or take Hwy 68 back to Pacific Grove or Hwy 1 back to Monterey. To be quite honest, for all that we've heard about the 17-mile drive, we were disappointed, and in fact found the homes more interesting and charming in Carmel. In our opinion, it was not worth the entrance fee.

Next we took the 26 mile drive down Hwy 1 to Big Sur. At times the road takes you along the steep hillsides of the coastline providing grand open views of the cliffs, rocks and surf below. Other times of the drive you are inland and looking across large pastures to get views of the ocean. This wasn't our favorite highway to drive for California ocean views but it was okay. We didn't feel like the views lived up to the reputation of Big Sur.

In sum, if you're looking for a nice drive of some beautiful scenery and equally beautiful homes, go to Carmel.


Anonymous said...

i think tom's been to all those places...he used to live in monterey (sp) for a while. did brad play golf??


Suzanne and Brad said...

No, no golf for Brad :-(

Maybe next time......

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