on March 3, 2008
A MUST-do (!!!) in Monterey is this fabulous scenic drive that takes you from Monterey to Carmel winding thru Pebble Beach, the Del Monte Forest, and most of the way, having the fabulous coastal and surf views.For this experience, we rented a car for the day (about $35 ++ from Enterprise). I am not sure about other car rental companies, but Enterprise delivered the rental to our hotel where we finalized and signed the paperwork. There was however, a 2 hour wait from the time we called so I’d suggest one make prior arrangements at least a day before. (The car return was to the Enterprise office.)From downtown Monterey, the 17-Mile Drive starts by the Pacific Grove Gate but the scenic view starts as you drive out of Monterey.Take advantage of all the beautiful ocean front stops along the way. There are many byways and car stops for scenic viewing.A fee of $9/vehicle is paid prior to entering the 17-Mile Drive. The receipt issued stated the fee is Refundable with purchase over $25 on Pebble Beach rounds and restaurants. Upon payment of entrance fee, one get the 17-Mile Drive brochure that has a map that shows the points of interest within the 17-mile drive.Some points NOT to be missed are:• Shepherd’s Knoll where the grand view of Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz mountains• Spanish Bay is a scenic picnic stop or if one has enough time, take a quick stroll along the shoreline• Bird Rock is just breath-taking when one realizes the multitude of shorebirds, seals and sea lions on it• Lone Cypress will almost seem familiar to everyone as it’s one picture that has been seen in many movies, postcards, etc.Within the 17-mile stretch are the Golf courses with restaurants but expect a little bit more in terms of price. One can opt to return using the same route (have your receipt ready as proof) OR as we were told take another scenic route via Highway 1. I strongly suggest alloting a whole day for this trip as not only will you have enough time to see all the points of interest within the 17-mile drive but also spend time and tour Carmel.
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