We drove the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, California with our three young kids ages 4 and under while on a road trip from Northern California to San Diego. We stayed for two nights in Carmel-by-the-Sea and did the nearby 17 Mile Drive on our second day. The views at each of the stopping points are so drastically different even just over the course of 17 miles.
We started at the northern part of the route and made our way south towards Carmel-by-the-Sea, with a slight detour along Sunset Drive. Once at the entrance, there is a small entry fee for each car. If we had had more flexibility (our kids fell asleep in the car), I would have loved to have spent more time walking along the coast here. The views were stunning, even with it being overcast for a large majority of the drive.
Luckily, the clouds and fog opened up and the sun came out just as we reached the Lone Cyprus tree, the most iconic portion of the drive. The Cyprus tree only grows in Pebble Beach and nearby at Point Lobos in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Lone Cyprus stands on a rocky cliff, its own pedestal. It is over 250 years old.
Along the drive there are 17 stops. The one that I’d say you absolutely should stop at is the Lone Cyprus. The rest of the stops are all beautiful. We chose a handful at random, including: Spanish Bay Beach, The Restless Sea, Point Joe, Fanshell Beach Overlook, Crocker Grove, and the Lone Cyprus. I would hop out of the car, take a few pictures and take in the view, while Sebastian stayed in the car (also with a good view) with the sleeping kids.
You’ll also see views of the Pebble Beach golf courses and cyclists on the road along the way. None of the driving is too intense. It’s more a gentle scenic drive not hairpin turns or big cliffs. I’d definitely recommend the drive with a stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea if you are in the area or doing a road trip down the coast. The views were stunning, rugged and peaceful, and the drive was easy.
This drive was part of our 4 day road trip down the coast from Santa Rosa, a city outside Sonoma to La Jolla, San Diego. We are traveling with our three young boys ages 4 and under. We are taking a year to travel around the country and explore different places and cultures in the US spending most of the time between California and Texas.
We have had a few longer term stays including Santa Rosa, San Diego, Frisco TX, and Austin as well as stops in Maine, Boston, and a few others. For more details on our road trip down the coast check out our stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Santa Barbara. Or other places we’ve been to on the West Coast like Healdsburg, Napa and Sonoma, Redwood National Park, San Francisco, Stanford University, and Berkeley.
17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach
Things to Do:
- Drive along the coast making a few stops, be sure to include the Lone Cyprus.
- There are 17 stops along 17 Miles, but some of those stops are things like the visitors center and the Equestrian Center (you can take a horseback ride).
- Stop at some, but not all the stops with kids, its a lot of getting in and out of the car.
- Take in the views.
- Check out nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea.
What I'd do Next Time:
- I'd love to hike/walk along the Asilomar trail along the coast towards the northern part of the 17-Mile Drive, and check out any other areas good for hiking.