Have you ever heard of the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach?

Yeah, I hadn’t either.

But the California Coast is an incredibly varied and beautiful piece of nature, and while in the past my travels to California had only ever included the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, I had heard plenty about the state’s natural beauty – I just hadn’t had many chances to see it for myself.

All of that changed, however, when my brother and I set out on our road trip to bring his car back from San Jose. During that trip, we drove part of the way along the famed Highway 1. One of our first stops on the very first day was the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, where I was absolutely blown away.

17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach – Everything You Need to Know

Planning your own trip to the 17 mile drive at Pebble Beach? Here’s a quick overview of all of the information you’ll need to plan your trip!

17 Mile Drive Map

Actually FINDING the entrance to the 17 Mile Drive can be a little confusing – we ended up driving around for a good 15 minutes before we found it because Google Maps was NOT being helpful!

So, to solve that problem for you, I created a custom 17 Mile Drive map with the entire route mapped out, including all of the entrance gates and some of the best lookout points and sights!

17 Mile Drive Entrance

There are 5 entrance gates to the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach. Here, you’ll pay the entrance fee and get a map of the route.

Click on the name of the entrance to get the exact spot on Google Maps!

17 Mile Drive Cost

The entrance to the 17 Mile Drive costs $10.50 per vehicle. You can get this reimbursed if you spend $35+ at one of the Pebble Beach Resorts restaurants (excluding Pebble Beach Market).

17 Mile Drive Hours

The 17 Mile Drive entrance gates are open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day.

Things to do on the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach

Drive (Duh)

We entered the drive at the northern-most toll gate near Monterey. From there, we headed to the first stop-off point, Spanish Bay. It was the first time we had actually been able to get a good view of the ocean since setting out on the Pacific Coast highway an hour before. And we were awe-struck at just how beautifully blue the water was. 

a rocky beach on the 17 mile drive at pebble beach
connor standing on the beach

If it had been a little later in the day, we would have gladly stopped and had our lunch at the picnic tables dotted along the beach. Unfortunately, it was around nine in the morning, and we still had plenty of ground to cross before the end of the day. So we got back into our car and continued on.

Hit Up the Lookout Points

Of course, there was nothing to worry about. We had only just started along the 17 Mile Drive and soon enough we were at another jaw-droppingly gorgeous overlook. 

There are TONS of overlooks along the entire 17 Mile Drive, so any time you see something interesting you can get out and take a closer look!

large boulders in the sea

Learn about the history

Aside from the scenery, one of my favourite things was reading about the varied history of the area in the brochure we were given at the entrance. From Spanish explorers, to Chinese fishermen, to equestrian hunters, all have played a part in Pebble Beach’s history. All this only made the drive all the more fascinating.

We were also excited to learn that we had arrived right in the middle of harbor seal pupping season. We really hoped to be able to catch a glimpse of some of the newborns. Unfortunately, the areas where the harbor seals flock in order to give birth was closed for their protection. So no little baby seals for us. 

The Lone Cypress Tree

Our final stop along the road was at the Lone Cypress tree, which is the “living symbol of the Pebble Beach Company”. We couldn’t help but laugh at all of the trademarks next to the name Lone Cypress on the sign. But we had to admit that the view (like everything else on the 17 Mile Drive) was pretty dang breathtaking.

17 mile drive at pebble beach lone cypress tree

At first, we were skeptical that the $10 toll would be worth it. There was going to be plenty of opportunities to see the ocean on our stretch of Highway 1 after all. But, once we visited Pebble Beach all of those doubts were gone. The 17 mile drive is so worth the money. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to experience it.

Planning a Highway 1 Road Trip? Here’s a few more things to do along the way!

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Addie Gray is a recent college grad and a passionate solo female traveler. Having traveled to more than 20 countries, she now shares her knowledge on budget travel, solo female travel, and travel photography.


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