17 Mile Drive – Is It Worth To See It?

A road trip in California wouldn’t be complete without driving along the famous 17 Mile Drive.

For more than 100 yerars the 17 Mile Drive is one of the most popular coastal roads in California and the whole world. This route was originally created from the Pacific Improvement Company for tourists of the hotel Del Monte. It quickly turned out to be popular among other visitors. In 1919 the housing estate Pebble Beach was built for people who wanted to wake up with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.

The 17 Mile Drive

Imagine your eyes are closed. You feel a fresh breeze and inhale salty air. Your bare feet are touching wet, cool sand. Everything is in different shades of grey. The sand, the sea, the air.  It´s August at the Pacific in California. Along the shore are long streaks of seaweed, seashells, while the waves are crushing in.

The perfect time for a road trip in the U.S.

California 17 Mile DriveThe first time I was enjoying the 17 Mile Drive was when I was visiting my aunt in California. I was 14 by that time and she took a day off, driving with me to Monterey and along the 17 Mile Drive.

It was the first scenic route along the sea I ever took. (I am from the mountain region in Austria and we don’t have an ocean). So I was very impressed by the rough ocean and nature.

When I came back with my friend, doing a 7 week long road trip in California in the summer, I wanted to show here the beautiful route again.

Even though the 17 Mile Drive is not that long there are many places to stop and enjoy the view.

As I always remember the ocean and the drive along it there are parts of the 17 Mile Drive where you pass along woods and have a splendid view from the Huckleberry Hill.

The best places along the 17 Mile Drive

Pebble Beach

The famous Pebble Beach golf course is one of the reasons golfers come from all over the world. It offers spectacular views and is not an easy one to play. The constant wind from the Pacific Ocean makes it a real challenge.

Even if you are not here for playing golf it’s still fun watching the golf players next to the ocean:

17 Mile Drive California

The Lone Cypress

You don’t want to miss the Lone Cypress – the famous symbol of the 17 Mile Drive. This tree is more than 250 years old and stands strong again the wind and the current. This is also the most famous place along the scenic drive.

Lone Cypress 17 Mile Drive California

Seals and Sea Lions

Along the route you will see places where sea lions take a nap or are diving into the ocean. You can spot them from the Fanshell Beach Overlook or from the Seal Rock Picknick area.
17 Mile Drive California Being at the sea doesn´t always mean lying under palm trees looking into blue sky and jumping into warm water. A grey sky and  sea too cold to jump in can be as beautiful.

Ghost Trees at Pescadero Point

Besides the Lone Cypress, the ghost trees at Pescadero Point are a popular stop to take pictures.

scenic route California

17 Mile Drive

There are more places to stop. It would be a crime to just drive along without stopping and letting the beauty sink in. Because it is windy and can be chilly don’t forget to bring a jacket or proper clothes with you.

Things To See And Do Close By

Close to the 17 Mile Drive is Monterey which is often the starting point for driving along the scenic drive.

Monterey is especially famous for its Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Old Fisherman’s Wharf and loads of  possibilities to do souvenir shopping.

Monterey County is also know as a wine region and you can spend the afternoon sampling wines and enjoying the beautiful countryside.

And if you have more time and enjoy hiking there are plenty of parks, like the Pinnacles National Park, close by.

Is the 17 Mile Drive worth to see? Definitely. If you are close by or doing a road trip in California I can highly recommend taking the time and driving along this scenic route.

47 thoughts on “17 Mile Drive – Is It Worth To See It?”

  1. I’d love to see those sea lions, such a fun activity. I never turn down a chance to spend time near the sea, no matter the weather, so I’d say it’s worth it to see it.

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  2. I took a road trip out west about 9 years ago and drove along this same stretch of highway. This part of California is absolutely gorgeous! Well, most of California is… I really need to get back there!

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    • I liked the Coast along California too. Especially the Highway 1 offers some spectacular views along the way. Altough it takes you longer to get from A to B it´s worth it.

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  3. How funny I just posted about Monterey too! I didn’t get a chance to visit 17mile but drove all the way down to Big Sur. The entire central coastline is stunning, isn’t it?

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  4. Aww the sea lions! I’d love to see that. I like seeing beaches that aren’t white sand turquoise waters. It feels more pristine actually!

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    • They are funny little fellows. I really like beaches like them a lot but I love white sand and turquoise waters too like the ones in the Caribbean or the Maldives…

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  5. We both love driving and road tripping, and have an huge endless bucketlist in this category alone, and 17 mile drive is one I’m dying to see and experience! I loved the photo of sea lions lazing around…so beautiful!

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  6. Wow, those sea lions! There are so many of them..!

    I didn’t understand the question at the beginning? Do you mean to see that beach in California? Also the title didn’t tell me what you were going to see…

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    • The 17 Mile Drive is a famous road close to Monterey where you drive along beaches, along the Pebble Beach Golf Course, where you see the Lone Cypress and sea lions.

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  7. I love the 17-mile drive, it’s beautiful. I’ve taken a couple pics in front of that famous Lone Cypress and think it’s one of the prettiest views I’ve seen.

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  8. Of course it’s worth seeing. Except for the golf course(s). They’re a terrible desecration of what were beautiful landscapes.

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  9. I think it’s worth the experience alone, and if I happened to not like it, well at least I have the experience of having seen it. And maybe I’d have learned something new along the way?

    Love to see the sea lions also–big fan of wildlife 🙂

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    • The are. It´s always a great idea to drive along the Coast if you have enough time. I did it in Croatia too. Took a long time to get to Dubrovnik but it was worth it.

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  10. I absolutely love this area and growing up Monterey was one of my favorite places to visit. The drive is beautiful although a bit scary at night the first time you drive it! A grey coast can and is gorgeous too especially if there are sea lions!

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  11. Thanks so much for linking up with us this week for #WeekendWanderlust!

    Ah the 17 Mile Drive!! We did this very same drive last year on our visit to San Francisco and I have to admit going into this we were a little skeptical especially when we knew there was a cost attached to the drive. But…and that’s a big BUT, we LOVED our experience along that stretch of the Monterey Peninsula and would highly recommend this to anyone visiting this part of California.

    As an avid golf fan, I enjoyed my time exploring Pebble Beach but the rest of the drive was really cool especially seeing the Lone Cypress and the sea lions. The conditions were not all that favorable for us either especially when we wanted to take some pictures but we were able to battle through despite the weather and really had a great time there.

    So yes, for us it is definitely worth it!

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    • Good to hear you think it´s worth it, Chris. Altough the weather can be sometimes not picture-friendly it adds something mystical to the place. I like it. 🙂

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