A vacation doesn’t have to be a long, meticulously planned trip. If you find yourself with a day or two to spare, a short self-guided tour might be just the thing to get you out of your head and into the beauty of nature. The Pacific Grove 17-Mile Drive tour in Monterey, California, is an excellent choice for a quick casual getaway.
What is the 17-mile drive?
17-Mile Drive is a scenic road that runs along the California coast, passing through the Pebble Beach and the Del Monte Forest. From majestic mountain ranges to charming small towns; from captivating coastlines to iconic cities; the 17- Mile Drive Tour is full of diverse attractions and experiences awaiting discovery. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, exploring history or culture, or just relaxing with stunning views – there is something for everyone along this amazing tour!
Below are some of the reasons that let anyone admire this tour.
Photo fun at Crocker Cypress Grove
This short day trip is great whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or flying solo. The whole drive takes less than an hour, well, depending on whether you stop for photos and picnics! The drive offers incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, rocky beaches, and million-dollar homes. It’s also a great place to take photos. I’m sure you’ll want to leave the car for a few scenic vistas.
The Crocker Cypress Grove, a fairy-tale forest of temperate cypress trees where you can see the rocky coastline of California. This location is home to the Lone Cypress, a 250-year-old tree that grows on the edge of a cliff. The cypress’s roots are embedded in a granite outcrop right over the Pacific Ocean. Its impressive tenacity makes it the most photographed tree in the United States. Cypress Point is a fascinating stop on the 17 Mile Drive. In the same way that the pyramids and the Eiffel Tower are iconic symbols of their respective countries, so too is this tree of the Monterey Peninsula.
Fishy behavior at Monterey Bay Aquarium
Pacific Grove is so closely intertwined with the ocean; it’s no wonder marine wildlife is everywhere! Before tourism took the coast by storm, the local economy hinged on fish. You can still see this in the street of historic sardine factories known as Cannery Row, as well as the still-operational Fisherman’s Wharf. Local seafood is always in season!
If you’d instead look at fish than eat them, the most exotic and exciting marine life can be found at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I also recommend stopping by Asilomar Beach. You can peer into its famous tide pools to get a closer look at crabs, urchins, and sea stars.
One of the most popular activities in the area is golfing. This looping road of 17-mile drive provides panoramic vistas of the coastline and some of the world’s most famous golf courses.
Pebble Beach is famous for its golf courses, including the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The course features 18 holes, with a par of 72. It is open year-round and offers a pro shop, practice facilities, and a restaurant. During the course of its history, Pebble Beach has hosted seven major championships. These tournaments have included the U.S. Amateur, the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, the Masters, the Champions Tour First Tee Open, and the U.S. Women’s Open. There are other golf courses you can play on like Spyglass Hill Golf Course and The Links at Spanish Bay. These are also world renowned golf courses, each with its unique features.
Rock and roll
Like any self-respecting coastal town, the 17-mile drive tour features its share of excellent geological features created by saltwater erosion over centuries.
A crowd favorite is The Kissing Rock, two massive granite boulders that have fused to resemble a couple of mid-smooch.
Can’t get enough wildlife? Park near Seal Rock and Bird Rock, which host colonies of pelicans, cormorants, gulls, seals, and sea lions year-round.
You’ll even find remarkable rocks below the waves. At Point Joe, what looks like smooth sailing is an underwater rock formation. Over the past 400 years, the hidden formation has caused numerous shipwrecks.
The mild climate keeps the greens green, even in winter. There are several shops and restaurants along the drive, offering a range of options from souvenirs to high-end dining. Carmel Valley Village has many art galleries and shops. Additionally, there are plenty of wine tasting spots.
Doesn’t the 17-Mile Drive tour sound like a great way to spend the day? Explore breathtaking views and discover the amazing sites of Mile Drive Tour. Once you purchase your tour, it is available to start any time. That way, you can treat yourself to a bite-sized vacation next time you have a spare weekend!
If you like the tour, I recommend subscribing to Action+, which includes all of our tours in a single, year-long package. Travel all year and take our self-guided tours with you wherever you go!