one of my mother’s requests for our trip was to drive along pebble beach’s famous 17-mile drive, so that is exactly what we did on the morning we left monterey.
pebble beach is most well-known for its namesake golf course which has been the home of past u s open tournaments, but it is also home to three other courses, great birdwatching, a famous cypress tree, and winding roads along a beautiful coastline.
we drove up to the gates, paid our $10.25 for our car to enter, and were given a map with detailed descriptions of each stop along the road. my mother served as navigator, reading ahead so that we could decide which places to pass through and which ones to stop at and have a wander. some of the stops are viewpoints, some are golf courses, and some offer walking trails if you want to stretch your legs. and in between are gorgeous homes with jaw-dropping views.
it was foggy on the day we visited, so many of the long-distance views were unavailable to us, but we enjoyed our drive nonetheless. i think my favorite stop was the inn at spanish bay, where all three of us went for a stroll along the boardwalk. if it had been a little warmer – or if my father had packed a sweater as i had instructed him to do – we may have walked a little farther, but i thoroughly enjoyed our jaunt; it reminded me a lot of my walks along the galle fort wall almost exactly two years ago.
our other major stop was the lodge at pebble beach, home to a few restaurants, a putting green, a number of shops, and the 18th hole fairway and green. my mother and i gave my father ample time to peruse – and finally purchase a sweater – and then we took in the views of the green before winding up our drive and heading out.
all told we spent around 2 hours making our way around pebble beach, including our stops, and were on our way up to santa cruz before noon.
things to keep in mind:
- entrance to pebble beach is $10.25 per car, payable only in cash. you can get that redeemed if you spend $35 or more at any Pebble Beach Resort restaurant, and it is also waived for any overnight guests at one of the three hotels within the gates.
- the road is well-marked, but the map they provide is extremely helpful. we were able to read ahead and decide where we wanted to stop which allowed us to get the most out of our visit.
- there is also an app available, which you can download ahead of time and use to plan your visit.
- the drive is a loop, so you won’t ever double back on yourself or see the same view twice.
- remember that people live in pebble beach and it is their home; be respectful of private property as you drive.