Monday, September 03, 2012

California's Seventeen Mile Drive

Between Monterey and Carmel, you will find the Seventeen Mile Drive.  It is a toll road (very reasonable) that goes through some of the most beautiful coastal areas of northern California.  It passes through private residential areas, wooded coastal hills, flowered-filled coastline, and the exclusive Pebble Beach Golf Club.  Enter the park from the north.  At the gate, they will give you a map that marks about 20 spots to stop and sightsee.

At the northern end, near the Inn at Spanish Bay, you will find a long wooden walkway.

Enjoy the variety of wildflowers.  Most are native, but some were added for erosion control.

If you want to see marine life galore, take a pair of binoculars (although not actually necessary).  You will find sea lions (there's one clinging to a rock on the right side), harbor seals, otters, cormorants,  and ground squirrels.  And if you look above, you will see a wide variety of bird life.

On the drive, you can see for miles down the coastline.  Be sure to have your camera with you.  This particular shot became the cover of my memory book.

Recognize this tree?  It's called "The Lone Cypress" and has been standing on this spot for several centuries.  It's probably the most photographed tree in California.  You may remember it in an ad for California tourism a few years ago when Schwartzenegger was governor.

At the end of the drive you can stop and visit the exclusive Pebble Beach Golf Course.  Here, the lobby overlooks the famous 18th hole.  You can actually take a walk down to the water.  It costs nothing to look!

Once you are finished (and it will take you several hours if you stop along the way), you will be in Carmel.  Stop in at the famous Hog's Breath Inn, found in the Eastwood building.  You can eat outdoors or inside.  The food was great!


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