Saturday, 25 February 2012

An Amazing 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach - California

One afternoon break in the office, Pacita and myself are exchanging our travel stories and the topic is about her trip to the United States.  "It's exciting! The 17-Mile of the Pebble Beach in California is just amazing," she says.

I, myself,  have only a couple of trips in this neighbouring country and I want to have this journey my next. I find her story interesting so I want to give you a brief history of this widely recognized and the most scenic drives in the world. Who knows, after reading this, you will start planning and creating your own Pebble Beach experience.
Photo Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resorts
The following are just some of the most important information to start with.  I will give you site references at the end of this story so that it can assist you find your way. 

History tells us that before the automobile had become a way of life, 17-Mile Drive was navigated by horse-drawn carriages from the famous Hotel Del Monte, now the site of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

It was 1881 and excursions through the Del Monte Forest and along its spectacular coastline usually ended up at a picnic spot at Pebble Beach.  

The following Points of Interest are detailed below to help you plan your trip.  
  • Shepherd's Knoll - This vista point gives a grand view of Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz mountains.
  • Huckleberry Hill - Named for the abundance of native huckleberry bushes, this is one of the highest elevations in the forest.
  • Poppy Hills of Golf Course - It is the home of the Northern California Golf Association and one of the three courses in play during the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. All facilities are open to the public.
  • The Inn & Links at Spanish Bay - Established in 1987 by Pebble Beach Company, this world-famous, five-star resort and Scottish-style links course is a mecca for golf enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Spanish Bay - A scenic picnic stop, this is also a pleasant location for a stroll around  the shoreline.
  • The Restless Sea - Take note of the unique offshore turbulence generated by the submerged terrain off Point Joe from this vista point.
  • Point Joe - Early mariners often crashed upon these rocks after mistakenly setting their course for this point, believing that it was the entrance to Monterey Bay.
  • China Rock - Here and at Point Joe, Chinese fisherman built lean-tos against the rocks for their homes in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • Bird Rock Hunt Course - This longtime site of the once popular equestrian hunt and steeplechase competitions was also used in the 1920s  by the 11th Cavalry for riding and saber practice.
  • Bird Rock - This stately landmark is home to the countless shorebirds and groups of harbour seals and sea lions.
  • Seal Rock Picnic Area - Relax and picnic here, surrounded by a vibrant mix of marine and bird life.
  • Spyglass Hill Golf Course - This golf course takes its name from the classic tale 'Treasure Island', inspired by the wonders of the peninsula's forest and sea.  This facility is open to the public.
  • Fanshell Overlook - The pure white sand of the beach below is irresistible to habour seals, who each spring return to bear their young.  Closed during the harbour seal pupping season, April 1 to June 1.
  • Cypress Point Lookout - This point has been a preferred view of the dramatic Pacific coastline.  Closed April 1 to June 1.  
  • Crocker Grove - This is a 13-acre nature reserve harbours numerous species of native pine and cypress.  The granddaddy of all Monterey cypress is located here.
  • The Lone Cypress - Considered as one of California's most enduring landmarks.  It has prevailed on its rocky perch for over 250 years.
  • The Ghost Tree - With a trunk bleached white from wind and sea spray, this unique
  • Pescadero Point - This location marks the northernmost point of Carmel Bay and Stillwater Cove.
  • The Lodge at Pebble Beach - It was built in the year 1919, The Lodge is the heart and soul of Pebble Beach and home to the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. Offers a variety of dining and shopping options. The golf shop, a refreshment at the Tap Room, picnic supplies from The Market, first tee, and views of the sweeping 18th fairway and green have been must-dos for visitors and guests.  Open to the public.
  • Peter Hay Par-3 Golf Course and 100th U.S. Open 2000 Pebble Beach Monument - Inquire at the kiosk for tee times and golf club rentals.  Standing at the top of Peter Hay Golf Course is the 30,000 pound bronze sculpture, Encircling Centuries of Excellence.
  • Pebble Beach Equestrian Centre - Guided horseback trail rides, riding lessons, boarding, and numerous major West coast equestrian events are held here annually.
The foregoing are just a lot of excitement. Enjoyment that I want to share with you.  I am giving you some precautionary measures though....
  • The surf in coastal areas along 17-Mile Drive is subject to unexpected life-threatening waves and currents.
  • Climbing on rocks, swimming, and wading in these areas is unsafe.
  • Be aware of wild coastal deer while driving in these areas.
  • Motorcycles are prohibited entry onto 17-Mile Drive. Don't be disappointed, CHP banned the motorcycle right from the entrance.
If you have not seen this in other blogs, this is your chance to explore more of the unique beauty of the coast and forest, an area often described as "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world."

The decision is yours. The information here are correct at the time of writing. Find the rest of the information here.

Discover nature's splendor along the Pacific coastline.

From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.