Noted as one of the most scenic drives in the world, the 17-Mile Drive allows visitors to explore the spectacular scenery of the Pacific Coast. The famous coastal drive runs through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach with breathtaking views of the rugged Pacific coastline and the magnificent Del Monte Forest.
Looking for another breathtaking California road trip? Check out this Road Trip Along California’s Highway One.
The 17-Mile Drive opened in 1881, although the route has changed over the years, the length of the drive has remained 17 miles. The world-famous drive and Pebble Beach Resorts have been visited by almost 8 million vehicles since 1990! With remarkable coastline vistas and famous landmarks such as the Lodge at Pebble Beach, world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links, Point Joe, Spanish Bay, Fanshell Overlook and the Lone Cypress, the 17-Mile Drive shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Monterey County!
We started the coastal drive from our hotel on Cannery Row, InterContinental The Clement Monterey, and drove along Ocean View Boulevard passing by Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove and followed the coastline to Sunset Drive/17-Mile Drive. Visitors are required to stop at the 17-Mile Drive Toll Gate to pay the $10 (per car load) toll and will receive a map of the 17-Mile Drive points of interest. To make sure motorists stay on track, a red-dashed line leads visitors along the coastal drive. Whether you have the entire day to explore all the famous landmarks including Pebble Beach to visit the shops and restaurants, or just have a few hours to see the highlights of the drive, either way, visitors will be delighted with the easy scenic drive and stunning coastal views!
We spent our time driving leisurely along the coastline, stopping at almost every vista point to watch the waves crash into the shoreline and to spot sea otters, seals or sea lions frolicking in the ocean. Somewhere along the drive, we stopped to photograph the rocky shore and discovered a harbor seal giving her pup a swim lesson in one of the quiet coastal bays! With a chain-link fence surrounding the area to protect the seals and their newborn young, I was able to photograph the beautiful sea creatures in their natural habitat undisturbed! Watching wildlife thrive in their natural habitat is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and makes you realize how important it is to protect the beautiful world we live in!
Although the coastal vistas are spectacular and watching the wildlife frolic freely in their natural habitat is an amazing sight to see, the most enduring landmark along the 17-Mile Drive is the Lone Cypress. The Monterey Cypress is native to only two areas, Point Lobos headland and the headlands at Cypress Point along the 17-Mile Drive. Having endured over 250 years atop the rocky cliffs, the unique Monterey Cypress tree has become the iconic symbol of Pebble Beach.
With so many photographs that captured the beauty of the Pacific coastline, please enjoy the short slideshow of the spectacular 17-Mile Drive!
The scenic 17-Mile Drive highlights the beauty of Monterey County, making you want to stay forever, to drive the winding roads and to never stop viewing the astoundingly gorgeous landscapes!
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