Itching to learn about the jaw-dropping 17 mile drive stops? Begin planning your scenic California road trip here!
17 Mile Drive is known as one of the shortest road trips in California. Would you be surprised if I told you it also is known for one of the most scenic drives in the state, and the WORLD?! That 17 miles really must be something, huh. Its over 1.5 million visitors annually can be the determiner of that!
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17 Mile Drive Details
Location: 17 Mile Drive refers to the coastal stretch atop the Monterey Peninsula in between Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. It is 1 hour 45 minutes drive from San Francisco Airport.
When to visit: 17 Mile drive is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Visit Year-round. But really, we need to talk about when NOT to visit 17 mile drive.
When NOT to visit: Do NOT plan your visit when a golf tournament or special event is scheduled. You’ll be hard-pressed to find parking, and crowds will take away from the views. Even though weather in this region is mild, choose to NOT visit on a foggy day if you can help it, in order to maximize the views.
Pro tip! Check the weather on a live golf cam before you leave to make sure it’s a clear day!
How many days: You can complete 17 mile drive with quick stops at each of the 17 official stops, in 45 minutes. To really enjoy your time, plan for 3 hours. If you are a beach lover, you can spend a whole day at one of the 17 Mile Drive Beaches, but the beaches get real crowded on the weekends
Parking: There is a parking lot at every stop along the drive.
17 Mile Drive Planning
Don’t! Read up on the amazing 17 Mile Drive stops if you are interested, but really it’s just a drive with scenic stops. Don’t overdo the planning on this one.
If you want a beach afternoon, just drive until you find the beach you are vibing with. If you just want to see pretty things and take some photos, stop when you feel like it.
I’ll give you some info on my favorite stops, but honestly, you do you. No strong opinions here.
17 Mile Drive FAQ
Is 17 Mile Drive on Highway 1?
Nope! Plug 17 mile drive into your GPS and it has its own starting point, just past Pacific Grove. You will enter a ticket booth at the start of Pebble Beach.
How many stops are there along 17 Mile Drive?
17 formal stops, but there are a couple of turnouts that are not labeled. Not all stops are scenic, like the visitor’s center and golf course.
Does it cost money?
Yes. The $11.25 entrance fee is collected by the private property of Pebble Beach, as this is the zone you are entering. It is not covered by any of the California State Park passes.
After paying your entrance fee, you receive a pamphlet and map about the 17 mile stops.
The $11.25 fee is waived if you are staying at one of the three Pebble Beach hotels (The Lodge, The Inn, or Casa Palmero) or if you spend $35 at a resort restaurant in Pebble Beach.
Yup, for free.
Is it worth it?
Depends. It feels very touristy. It’s interesting to see the humungo houses (that I’ll never afford!) throughout the community, and breathtaking California coast alongside you.
Generally speaking, EVERY part of California coast is incredible to me, and my favorite views are at Point Lobos and at random spots on Big Sur. So while I enjoyed my visit, I would have been fine without it.
Biking 17 Mile Drive?
Yes, you technically are allowed to bike 17 Mile Drive, but I would advise against it. Bikers going up steep, winding hills with a line of cars behind them on a narrow one way- I love biking, but pass for me. I was super nervous just driving for this reason.
Can I bring my motorcycle on 17 Mile Drive?
Motorcycles are strictly prohibited from entry on 17 Mile Drive.
17 Mile Drive Stops
While there are 17 stops along the drive, I’m just going to share with you my favorite. Visit the Pebble Beach website for an in-depth explanation about every stop.
Restless Sea is the fourth stop along 17 mile drive. Check out the crashing waves and unique rock formations.
Coming in at stop number 7, Bird Rock provides a unique rock formation that birds (obviously) seem to gravitate towards.
Shortly thereafter is stop 8, Seal Rock. It smells pretty fishy (literally!) around here.
The Lone Cypress
Stop 12 in my opinion may be the most unique. Introducing… Lone Cypress! I LOVE unique trees, and coastal bluffs. I mean come ON, can it get better! It is believed that the Lone Cypress tree is over 250 years old.
It is only native to two places in the entire world: 17 Mile Drive in California, and Point Lobos in California. Fun Fact- it has also been the logo for Pebble Beach Resorts since 1919 (got to save that one to tell at parties).
Where to stay near 17 Mile Drive
Visitors who are on no budget might enjoy the experience of staying at one of thre three Peble Beach Resort Hotels. While this does reimburse your $11.25 entrance fee to 17 mile drive, it in NO way breaks even or makes a difference.
I recommend visitors find an affordable hotel in neighboring Pacific Grove, Monterrey, or Carmel. If hotel prices are still not in your budget here, consider staying in Seaside. About a 15 minutes by car from the area’s main attractions, Seaside is not a tourist destination and tends to have more affordable hotels because of this.
Things to do near 17 Mile Drive
17 Mile drive is nearly adjacent to Highway 1 where road trippers can combine a Big Sur Drive. It is extremely common to combine these two California highlights on one trip. Points Lobos Natural Preserve, Garrapata and Limekiln State Parks, and McWay Falls are other popular things to do in the area, for the adventure-seeker.
If you are looking to wind down, Carmel and Monterrey have plenty of lovely shops and restaurants overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
If you have time for a day trip away from the coast, take a hike or go rock climbing at the 5th smallest park in the United States, Pinnacles National Park.