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What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

Peoria, Illinois
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What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

I've Googled it, went to the Pebble Beach website and read the entry for it on TA, but I guess I'm just unclear of what *exactly* are the points of interest on the drive. We're debating whether or not to do it. From what I understand, a big point of interest is the Lone Cypress. It would be neat to see this--I'm assuming paying to get in the drive is the only way to see it?

My husband and I do golf, so pretty golf courses are interesting to us, but beyond that, is it just big houses and wealthy people? I don't mean to downplay it, but we'd be more interested in seeing beautiful views of the coastline, the ocean, nice beaches, etc. We will be in Carmel for 2.5 days. One day we planned to hike at Point Lobos all morning and do the Aquarium in the afternoon. The next day we're driving to Big Sur and hiking/exploring there.

Do you think we'll see enough of the coast doing those activities and should just do the drive if we've got extra time, or is it something that we should fit in somehow? Also, are the views nice in the evening if we decided to do the drive after dark, or do you really need to go during daylight to appreciate it?

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

There is nothing to see on the 17 Mile Drive after dark. Yes, you have to pay for the drive to see the Lone Cypress Tree, Pebble Beach, etc.

Since there is far more interesting scenery in Point Lobos and Big Sur, only do the 17 Mile Drive if you have extra time after exploring the other places.

Be sure to visit Carmel Beach. It's one of the prettiest beaches in California.

Limerick...
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2. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

We did it on bicycles.

Beautiful homes yes beautiful scenery even more so.

Hwy. runs parallel to ocean we can't get enough.

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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3. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

I think that 17-Mile Drive is worth doing at least once. Yes, you will see some mansions along the coast, but you will also see some very nice views, seal rock and bird rock (bring binoculars), the Lone Cypress, a gorgeous stand of Cypress trees, etc. Are there better ocean views elsewhere? Yes, at Point Lobos, for example. If I were choosing between the two, I'd choose Point Lobos. But since you like golf courses, Pebble Beach is a great place to drive through. If you time it properly, you can have a meal at either the Lodge or at Spanish Bay Resort and get your $10 gate fee back. The restaurants are quite good. http://www.pebblebeach.com/dining

So. Cal
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4. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

**My husband and I do golf, so pretty golf courses are interesting to us,**

Then I would *think* you would really enjoy it. One of my favorite travel memories is walking barefoot on Old Course at St. Andrews. Every time I watch a tournament I'm flooded with those happy memories in a split second. Pebble Beach isn't Old Course, but it IS renowned! Why wouldn't you see it while you're right there? The 17-mile drive is a 'tourist' attraction for a reason and you're a tourist. :) When you visit Paris, you take the 'tourist" ride up to the top of the Eiffel tower, right?

Maybe you'll find it over-rated, but I'd rather have that experience then regret I didn't do it.

Peoria, Illinois
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5. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

Thanks for all the input! I think we will prioritize Point Lobos, Carmel Beach, and the Big Sur sights, but if we do have 1.5-2 hours of free time, we'll do the drive. Our 4 days in SF will be rushed and busy, so we don't want to rush ourselves in Carmel.

Monterey Peninsula...
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6. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

There are a few interesting sights along 17 Mile Drive that don't get a lot of attention.

One of my favorites is a place called "The Restless Sea" on the north side of Point Joe which is at the southern end of Spanish Bay. Here the waves do something very unusual. Instead of coming in from one direction, they come in from two directions North and West, so they intersect at right angles to each other. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. It's pretty interesting to watch.

Cypress Point has some dramatic views. A scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie Vertigo was filmed there. Pescadero Point at the north end of Carmel Bay has a lot of dramatic twisted cypress trees (including the "ghost tree") and spectacular views of Carmel Bay. There's also a wonderful historic mansion there. Scenes from the movie A Summer Place were filmed there.

Up in the hills 17 Mile Drive winds through the Monterey Pine forests along the Peninsula's ridgeline providing views of Monterey and an overview of Pebble Beach.

Is it worth the price of admission? Yes. Should it be a priority? Maybe, but that depends entirely on your interests.

-Mr. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

Edited: 7:13 pm, June 06, 2012
7. Re: What exactly is on 17 Mile drive?

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