17-mile drive is famous for its views of the rugged California coast, world-class golf courses, multi-million dollar homes and the quintessential Lone Cypress tree. Located just a few minutes south of Monterey, 17-mile drive is the perfect spot to kick off a drive along the California coast. You can enter the drive at either the gate in Pacific Grove or the southern gate in Carmel for a $10.00 entrance fee (no motorcycles allowed.) If you want to end up back in Monterey or Pacific Grove, you can take an inland loop back to your starting point.
When you pay your entrance fee, you’ll also receive a map that highlights many of the main points of interest along the drive including Point Joe, Spanish Bay, the Fanshell where harbor seals return each spring to give birth, and the famous Lone Cypress, which is now chained onto the rock outcropping to maintain its position. Each stop along the way offers beautiful views of the rocky coast, interspersed with amazing golf courses and wind-bent trees.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you visit 17-mile drive. First, there is a reason why those trees are bent nearly in half, it is very windy! You’ll want to dress in layers because the temperature can vary and the wind makes it feel even colder. Second, while you can still get great views of the seals, keep in mind that it will be from behind a fence that is put there to protect the seal pups from human intruders. Other than that just take your time, bring your camera, and enjoy the amazing views — I know we did!
If that isn’t enough to convince you to make a visit to 17-mile drive, here are some pictures to fuel your wanderlust.
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