The Seventeen Mile Drive is one of the prettiest stretches of road in the country. You may enter at a number of gates where each car has to pay a nominal fee. While it would be easy to whiz through the area, the Seventeen Mile Drive should be savored like a fine wine. Visitors will find areas to pull over and park as they explore. Many picnic tables also line the way, so bringing lunch can be a nice diversion, especially with children. Following are a few highlights:
Moss Beach is famous for the variety of sea moss that swirls in the waters. Point Joe is within easy walking distance of Moss Beach. This craggy area caused many a shipwreck in the late nineteenth century.
If you'd like, keep walking an easy nature trail to Bird Rock, or hop back in the car and drive. There are telescopes here with which you can scan the sea for seals and whales.
You need to drive to Cypress Point Lookout, which is a turn-off from the main road. Everyone will appreciate the fortitude of the cyprus trees that grow along the coast. The Lone Cypress is immediately recognizable on an outcrop. It is the Pebble Beach logo.
When the main road turns away from the coast, you will come across the Lodge. If you haven't already eaten at a picnic table along the way, you can stop here to eat, shop, and further explore the area.
Behind the Lodge is Stillwater Cove, a section of beach that is covered in the gray, green, pink, and blue pebbles from which Pebble Beach got its name.
While swimming at the beaches along the 17 mile drive is not appropriate in the swift, cold waters, a walk to view wildlife is always fun. Some water sports are available for the truly athletic-- surfing and kayaking--but bring a wetsuit! The water is freezing. Golf is the main sport of the area, but horseback riding is a great diversion, too.
Next stop, CARMEL!