Last year , around March we paid a visit to my sister’s family who are based in Bay Area, California. This was my first visit to this beautiful state ( though been to LA and Las Vegas in west coast before) and became enamoured of its beauty and aura. Having covered all the known touristy places in California in the first few days, we decided to go for two-day trip to the neighbourhood towns Carmel and Solvang via taking the scenic 17 mile drive .
What is 17 mile drive?
It’s a 17 mile long scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California. The road runs along the beautiful Pacific coastline, offering picturesque views as one travels the winding roads which also nestle golf courses, luxury mansions and other scenic attractions . Throughout the entire drive one can stop at various designated and marked points to soak in the beautiful nature , the highlight being the blue waters passionately kissing the rocky California shoreline.
We entered the DRIVE at Monterey , through the north end of the pacific grove ( there are total 5 gates to access 17 mile drive) . After paying the entrance fee of 10.25 dollars and collecting the map at the gate , we were all set to explore the drive on a balmy March day. The entire drive can be explored at a leisure pace, wherein we stopped at many scenic points as mentioned in the map.
Points to explore:
Bird Rock: Here you can see ( with binoculars) hundred of birds roosting at a distant rock. And other than birds, sea lions, seals, gulls and pelicans ; all hang out at this place. One can also time the visit to this point at sunset , which makes the rugged coastline looks more beautiful.
Pic courtsey: Wikimedia Commons.
Lone Cypress on Pebble beach: It is one of the most Instagram worthy spot as this lone standing tree overlooking the pacific ocean, makes a beautiful backdrop. It is said the tree has withstood storms and winds for more than 200 years.
Seal rock: With white sand beach, this makes a great picnic point too. A lovely spot to stretch your legs and soak in the spectacular scenes which the place has to offer.
Ghost tree: Evoking image of the ghost, Ghost tree is a twisted, white bleached Cypress tree standing next to a sign marker along the road at Pescadero Point
Point Joe: This is another interesting point to view the awe-inspiring Pacific ocean. As the legend goes, A Chinese man named Joe used to live here, making a living by selling trinkets to the visitors. But No one knows if Point Joe was named after Joe, or if Joe was named after the point.
I would also recommend the visit to Pebble beach visitor center where you can you can stop to grab a quick snack or shop for a souvenir.
Three more lovely pictures from the trip:
Other than the above mentioned , you can park the car at various designated points to look at the surrounding vistas; with sea sometimes calm at a few places, while crashing violently against the rocks at other places.