17 Mile Drive, California.
If you ever find yourself driving near Monterey and/or Carmel, California, stop everything and find the signs that point you towards the 17-Mile Drive. This gorgeous stretch of scenic road leads you through the Del Monte Forest to the Pacific coastline with several sights and stops in-between.
If you go slowly, as I did, it can make for a beautiful day-trip. Otherwise, plan on at least two-three hours for stops and photos. If you’re pressed for time, it’s still worth paying the toll (about $10) and driving through.
The 17-Mile Drive isn’t just stunning scenery, the famed Pebble Beach golf course and The Lone Cypress tree. It’s also a wealthy neighborhood, dotted with mansions, several golf courses, and plenty of residents zipping by in their Lamborghinis.
As beautiful as it was, I couldn’t help feeling I had just paid the toll (residents don’t pay) to see how the other half (err, 1%, isn’t it?!) lives. As a budding photographer, the landscape was perfect for practice, but if you’re not into taking photos, you may not get the same experience out of it as I did.
Or maybe you will. It was seriously beautiful.
I’ll let you decide:
- Entry fee (per-car) of about $10 USD includes a map and descriptions/history of 20+ points of interest.
- Motorcycles are NOT allowed entry.
- Some of the coastline is closed April 1st-June 1st for seal pupping season.