Things to do · Pacific Coast
February 04, 2020 Words: Stephen Milioti

The 17-Mile Drive

Let us be your guide along one of California’s — and the entire country’s — most scenic roads

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Winding through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California, the 17-Mile Drive is of the most scenic roads not just on the West Coast but in the entire U.S. It’s the main road through the ultra-luxurious gated community of Pebble Beach, and nonresidents have to pay a toll in order to drive it. With Seabourn as your guide, you’ll get a better-than-bird’s-eye view of this fabled road and all of its biggest attractions — and wind up with a treasured memory of a spectacular locale. Below are just a few of the highlights of our excursion.

Explore the Iconic Coastline

Shortly after starting the drive, you’ll get a look at Spanish Bay Beach, which is a beautiful place to experience the peninsula’s natural rocky coastline, unobstructed views of the Pacific, and the area’s famed cypress trees (more later on a particularly famous example of those).

Relax in Carmel-by-the-Sea

A European-style village full of designer boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, unique restaurants and quaint architecture, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a laid-back yet luxurious spot to spend an afternoon. A lot of the best spots are clustered around the town’s main pulse, Ocean Avenue — but past those manicured city blocks lies nature at its most breathtaking, from lush little gardens to panoramic ocean views.

See Bird Rock & Lone Cypress

One of the most famous stops along 17-Mile Drive, this rock is certainly aptly named: it's often hard to see the rock itself, with so many types of birds, from pelicans to cormorants, jockeying for space. (Sea lions enjoy sunbathing there, too.) Nearby sits the Lone Cypress, which, for more than 250 years, has been regally sitting atop its rocky pedestal overlooking the Pacific. It’s the 17-Mile Drive’s most iconic — and moving — feature.

Visit the Pebble Beach Golf Links

Get an insider look (and a photo op!) at one of the country’s most famous golf courses. Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, the course makes California’s rugged coastline its home, with spectacular vistas and sloping greens. Since 1919, the biggest names in the sport have teed up there, and over the years it has been the site of many prestigious tournaments (including six U.S. Opens as of 2019).

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