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  • Address: 17 Mile Drive
  • Admission: $9.75 Entrance Fee
17-Mile Drive is often said to be one of the most scenic drives in the world and is an essential experience on any visit to California. Driving along the road offers some of the best views of Monterey Bay and many scenic lookouts with designated stopping points.

The drive runs along a winding road, through upscale neighborhoods from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach and goes past forested areas, along the oceanfront and past several golf courses. Some of the best places to stop are at Cypress Point Lookout, where you can see harbor seals basking on sand and rocks; Spanish Bay where you can follow a paved coastal trail to Asilomar State Beach, and the iconic Lone Cypress, which has stood on its wave-lashed, wind-beaten rocky perch for more than 250 years.

Practical Info:

As 17-Mile Drive is actually on private property, you will need to pay an entrance fee, which also gets you a map with all the points of interest clearly indicated with a brief description of each. You pay the fee at any of the five entrances – most often at the point where Highway 1 meets Highway 68, or the Carmel tollbooth on San Antonio Avenue. Bicycles travel free of charge, but motorcycles are not allowed.

Although the drive itself only takes around 20 minutes, you should allow yourself at least two hours if you want to stop at the lookouts and take in the scenery.

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