Many people know about Big Sur in California. Not as many know about the 17 Mile Drive. It’s an area just north of the famous Big Sur drive, located after Carmel but before Monterey. It’s 17 miles (big shocker!) of coastal driving and picture taking. Super straight forward, but still worth the moments it will take to experience it.
The 17 Mile Drive passes through the extravagant gated community of Pebble Beach. The road serves as the main access road for the area, so non-residents have to pay a $10 entrance fee per vehicle to drive the 17 Mile loop. At the entrance, tourists receive a map to help guide them and point out some noteworthy stops. The drive passes from inland towards the coast. The beaches along the way are gorgeous and it almost seems like the water becomes a darker shade of blue! It’s all very California. There are rocky beaches and white sand beaches that are accented with fabulous golf courses and multi-million dollar homes. (Sorry, I didn’t have pictures of the homes… they were too beautiful for my camera to capture. 😛 But we’re here to focus on the drive anyways, right?!)
This drive won’t make you feel at one with nature… There are many of tourists and residents alike on the road. The hills are also alive with gorgeous homes and the trails are well paved. However, it’s still gorgeous. How gorgeous? One of the most popular attractions is the “Lone Cypress” which is referred to as the most photographed tree in North America. Even though it’s being held up with cables, it’s still iconic and beautiful to behold. It’s a wonderful combination of man and nature that’s truly worth seeing.
The 17 Mile Drive can be completed in about 25 minutes without stopping or it can be an average of 1 hour if you stop at all the special spots. I recommend that you take even more time if you can spare it. The rocks make a great location to sit and listen to the crashing waves. I have yet to go to Big Sur, but it has a lot to live up to!