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Famous 17-Mile Drive in California (Including Pebble Beach and Seacoast)

California is a state full of natural wonders including many state & national parks. See sites in San Francisco & many other areas visited.

17-Mile Drive in California

See pictures and videos taken along the famous 17-Mile Drive, which includes such notable places as Pebble Beach golf course and the iconic Lone Cypress Tree. A dear friend of mine and I spent a beautiful portion of one day on a vacation trip to California taking in these sites many years ago.

Long before I ever personally gazed upon the dunes covered with flowering ice plants in California, I had seen some beautiful slides taken of this prolific ground-cover taken by my husband long before I knew him. As a youngster, he enjoyed a trip to California with his mother and had taken the slides, which I got to view after we were married.

These succulent plants seem to thrive in the moderate climate of the salty coastline in Monterrey and Carmel, as well as the 17-Mile Drive. It is an invasive species of plant life that quickly spreads and chokes out other endemic species of plants. Ice plants do, however, protect against beach erosion, and provide a colorful palate of color pleasing to the eye!

As my friend and I traveled along this scenic tour, we often stopped our car and got out to enjoy the beauty of the different areas. Part of the circuitous route is along the coastline, where one passes world-class golf courses, among other things, and then the tour heads inland. There is a fee to travel this route, but we thought it well worth the money to enjoy, if ever so briefly, these magnificent views. Nine dollars was the charge that we incurred some years ago.

At one point we saw a posted sign which had the following on it:

"MARINE LIFE SANCTUARY

FISHING BY HOOK AND LINE PERMITTED ONLY

ALL MARINE ANIMALS AND PLANTS PROTECTED

CITY OF PACIFIC GROVE MUNI CODE, CHAPTER 1404"

Many free-roaming deer were present, and one can get quite close to them. The deer are used to seeing a regular parade of tourists traveling through these parts. Perhaps they know that they are safe in this sanctuary area? The Pacific Ocean views are lovely all along this drive.

Golfing Mecca

We were to pass four golf courses on 17-Mile Drive. Some people dream of getting to play these courses, and whether one is a golfer or not, most people have heard of Pebble Beach.

The photos below show some views of the first one we saw: the Spanish Bay Golf Links. It is reminiscent of some of the classic links found in Scotland, and one can view the Pacific Ocean while spending the day on these manicured grounds.

Others we passed include Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Poppy Hills Golf Course.

Besides the golf, there are luxurious resorts here if one has the money to stay and be pampered. Multi-million dollar mansions also dot the landscape throughout this alluring area in addition to the golfing resorts.

Bird Rock

Bird Rock gets its name with good reason. One can hear the sounds of the many birds calling this rock home even over the ocean waves' noise.

Bird Rock is also the haven for the numerous sea lions and harbor seals who frequent these salty waters. We could see the dark shapes on the distant Bird Rock as some of them were sunning themselves. Also photographed were some seals resting on some rocks closer to shore.

Crocker Grover sign - 17 Mile Drive

Crocker Grover sign - 17 Mile Drive

The Crocker Grove

Thirteen acres of native pine trees, as well as cypress trees, comprise the Crocker Grove. I took a picture of a sign in this area, which stated the following:

In this grove are the oldest Monterey cypress trees - some nearly 300 years old. These trees occur naturally only here and at Pt. Lobos south of Carmel; all others have been planted. The grove, named for a founding family of this area, became a nature reserve in 1952.

Thus, these magnificent trees have been in place longer than the United States has been a country!

The Lone Cypress

Drum roll, please! Now for the most familiar landmark of 17-Mile Scenic Drive and the Pebble Beach Company: The Lone Cypress. It is over 250 years old. Hesperocyparis macrocarpa is the official name of this species of an evergreen cypress tree that grows along this coastal area. It is commonly called Monterey Cypress.

Windswept in appearance because of the strong winds the Lone Cypress is probably the most photographed iconic tree in this area. Seemingly clinging to life on an outcropping of bare rock, photographers, artists, and vacationers flock to this site.

To view this area from a drone perspective, the video below starts in Monterey's cannery row and heads south to overlook parts of the 17-mile drive. Enjoy!

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 11, 2020:

Hi Dale,

With your love of the sea, a good portion of this scenic 17-mile drive is along the coast. I hope that you and your wife get to take this drive someday in the not too distant future. It will paint those images in your memory for a long time!

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on August 11, 2020:

Peggy, my wife and I are BIG fans of this kind of activity so you can be sure that we are definitely going to get out there! Thanks for sharing this!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2020:

Hi Devika,

There is so much beauty packed into this 17 mile drive. I hope that you get to see it someday for yourself.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 07, 2020:

This sounds amazing! I haven't been and wish to someday. Beautiful place and sounds a great adventure.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 01, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

Yes, the fee to travel that 17 miles was definitely worth the price. Lucky are the people who get to enjoy that magnificent scenery all the time because they live there.

C E Clark from North Texas on August 01, 2020:

Seems like it was a well spent $9 with such interesting and beautiful views to be seen. The ice plants are one of my favorite colors. You always have such great photos in your articles!

Posting this on AH & FB.

Hope all is well down there. We're not out of the woods yest, so stay safe!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2020:

Hi Denise,

What a lovely place to honeymoon! That 17 Mile Drive has such stunning scenery!

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on July 29, 2020:

I live in California and have been on the 17 mile drive at least three times. The first time was on my honeymoon. We stayed in Monterey and walked the beaches and went to museums and art galleries in Carmel. It is quite the artists' community there. Thanks for the memories.

Blessings,

Denise

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2012:

Hi Charlu,

Glad to know that you liked the pictures that I took of that famous 17 mile drive in California. It truly is a gorgeous area! Hope you get to see it for yourself someday. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Charlu from Florida on March 25, 2012:

It' funny how I grew up on the beach (south Fl)and they look nothing alike, except the water of course. This trip is gonna have to go on my bucket list between the Iceland flowers that pop and the deer on the beach it's got my name all over it. All the ups as usual.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2011:

Hi Eiddwen,

Thanks for viewing and commenting on this special part of California...the 17 Mile Drive. It is rather famous and certainly has spectacular scenery! Always enjoy your visits and comments. :)

Eiddwen from Wales on July 15, 2011:

Hi peggy,

I wish I had the time today to go thorugh many more of your beautiful hubs.

Sadly I have lots of things to do, but I promise I will be back over next few days.

I push all buttons on yor hubs even if I don't say it !!

Take care

Eiddwen.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2011:

Hello GBond,

Oh...playing Pebble Beach is a dream for most golfers. Lucky you! How did you do? The 17 mile drive is beautiful. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

GBond from Indiana on April 19, 2011:

I played there and went on the 17 mile drive- fantastic.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 08, 2010:

Hello ParadiseForever,

So happy to hear that you enjoyed the pictures of California's famous 17 mile drive. Yes...I've already written a hub about the Grand Canyon as well as other national parks. Have more to write! I just love visiting natural and scenic areas. Thanks for your interest.

ParadiseForever from Chennai, India. on October 07, 2010:

Wonderful pictures speaks! The round trip of 17-Miles Drive is very very fantastic. Are you planning to write anything about Grand Canyon? I am waiting to read it in the hope of viewing GC in rare pictures. I have no words to express my happiness after reading every hub of you here. Great writing! Keep writing!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 24, 2010:

Hi susanf,

Hope you get to see the 17 Mile Drive in California someday for yourself. Thanks for reading and commenting.

susanf on February 24, 2010:

hi people i wish i cound come

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2009:

Hi James,

In that case, I am happy to have introduced you to this scenic 17 Mile Drive in California. As much as I have seen of California...there is still much more to see. Thanks for your comment.

James A Watkins from Chicago on December 02, 2009:

Thank you for the fine photos and information about the 17-mile-drive. I've been to California a couple times but missed this scenic cruise. I enjoyed this page a lot.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 24, 2009:

Oh Dohn...you are in for a treat! So many gorgeous places out West! Happy to hear that you liked the photos of the famous 17 mile drive in California. That lone cypress tree is the most photographed object of all. Thanks for the comment.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on November 23, 2009:

The only place I've been to in the West is the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. However, that will change next year! I can't wait. Thanks for a very scenic hub! I really enjoyed the pictures, especially the Lone Cypress Tree.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 23, 2009:

Hello Dolores,

Driving the entire coastline would be fantastic! I've only seen bits and pieces. Glad you liked this about the 17 mile drive and thanks for the nice comment.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 23, 2009:

Yet another dream trip. I have visited southern CA and loved it there. Someday, I'd like to do the whole coast. What a fantastic state. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 22, 2009:

Hi Candie,

The famous 17 mile drive of California would have been even more dazzling had you been along, Candie! :) Thank YOU for the comment.

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on November 22, 2009:

Ah Peggy! I do love traveling with you! Thank you!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 22, 2009:

Hello emievil,

So happy that you could enjoy my photos of the famous 17 mile drive in California. Even though you did not get to see it in person, it sounds as though you had fun doing what you did get to see in San Jose and also Monterey. Only so much time! Right? Always more to see... Thanks for the comment.

emievil from Philippines on November 22, 2009:

Great hub Peggy. I love your pics. The 17 mile drive was actually one of the places I wanted to visit when I stayed in San Jose, California for 3 months. As it was, I only managed to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now, reading your hub, I'm sad that I didn't push through with my original plan to visit this famous place. But hey, your hub is a great substitute to seeing the real place. Thank you for this hub and for sharing your pictures with us.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 21, 2009:

Hello myownworld,

Happy to hear you liked this journey along the famous 17 mile drive in California. The animals in the wild always add interest. Thanks for your nice comment.

myownworld from uk on November 21, 2009:

another lovely journey that we shared with you through your hubs! I love how you include little details about the animals u see along the way too. thank you for the treat! x

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 20, 2009:

Hello loveroflife,

That is quite a story about your friend golfing at Pebble Beach and how they handled the earthquake tremors. Ha! Glad you liked the photos of the 17 mile drive. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 20, 2009:

Hi Hello, hello,

Our trip was wonderful indeed and the 17 mile drive was worth the effort to see. So very beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

loveroflife on November 20, 2009:

Several years ago a friend of mine had just finished a round of golf at Pebble Beach when an earthquake struck. He, the rest of his foursome, and the other patrons of the "nineteen hole" calmly picked up their drinks, walked to the middle of the eighteenth green, and waited for the tremors to cease. The pictures are beautiful.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 20, 2009:

That must have be lovely experience. Thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 19, 2009:

Hi agusfanani,

So happy to hear that you enjoyed visiting the famous 17 mile drive in California by reading this hub. Nice to be able to share this with you. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 19, 2009:

Hi Paul,

Attending a U.S. open at Pebble Beach must have been fun. Probably encouraged your desire to play the course yourself even more. May your dream come true! Thanks for visiting this hub about the 17 mile drive and leaving your comment.

agusfanani from Indonesia on November 19, 2009:

Another beautiful story you've told us. You've written your hub in a such way that made me imagine traveling to those places myself. Thank you for giving me another imaginary trip to America.

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on November 19, 2009:

I've been there several times. Loved seeing the pictures. Someday I'm going to play golf there, although I've attended a US Open there - not quite as good as playing, but Pebble Beach is amazing. That's for sure.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 19, 2009:

Hi Tatjana-Miheala,

Happy that you liked these pictures that I took along the 17 mile drive. So you too have iceplant. It is so pretty! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Tatjana-Mihaela from Zadar, CROATIA on November 19, 2009:

Wow, beautiful photos! BTW, we have iceplant here on the seaside as well.

It was pleasure looking your astonishing pics. Thank you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 19, 2009:

Hi Pete,

What is Bubba Gumps? We were staying in Monterey also, did the 17 mile drive and also stopped in Carmel. Great trip and as you say, well worth it. Thanks for the comment.

Pete Maida on November 19, 2009:

That is a wonderful drive. I have been there a few times. We stopped at Bubba Gumps in Monterey, I like that. We also wandered around through Carmel. It is a trip worth doing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 19, 2009:

Hi Hmrjmr1,

Just keep your eye on the ball and not the gorgeous scenery and you'll do OK. :) That scenery along the 17 mile drive is stupendous! Thanks for the comment and hope you get there as you wish.

Hmrjmr1 from Georgia, USA on November 19, 2009:

One Day I will get there and play!