The 17 Mile Drive is a toll road that loops around and winds its way through coastline, golf courses and large estates. There are several gates you can access the 17 Mile Drive from, but, honestly, you'll find better scenery in Point Lobos between Carmel by the Sea and the Tickle Pink Inn. If you're going to pay to see good scenery, then make it worth your while and opt for Point Lobos instead.
Carmel by the Sea has lots of fun shops and Carmel Beach at the end of Ocean Ave is the prettiest beach in the area.
You can also take in the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row.
The Monterey Peninsula has an abundance of fine dining. You could enjoy a formal meal at Pacific's Edge at the Highlands Inn next door to Tickle Pink or opt for something in Carmel by the Sea or Monterey.
A few additional dining options:
Carmel by the Sea: Grasing's, Anton & Michel, Il Fornaio, Rio Grill off Carmel Valley Road
Monterey: Montrio Bistro, Tarpy's Roadhouse off Highway 85 toward Salinas, The Sardine Factory, Massaro & Santos on the Coast Guard pier
Pacific Grove: Fandango, Max's Grill, Red House Cafe, Pepper's Mexicali Cafe