Perhaps one of the best-known things to do along the Monterey Peninsula is the 17-Mile Drive. A winding road that leads through an exclusive neighborhood and past scenic coastal views to the famed Pebble Beach, the 17-Mile Drive forms many visitors' favorite memories.
17 Mile Drive winds through a forested area and along the oceanfront, passing three golf courses, two luxury hotels and the famed Lone Cypress tree. The guide map you get at the gate will give a brief description of each point of interest. You'll pay a fee (per car) to drive on it. The drive from the Highway 1 Gate to the Carmel Gate is approximately 17 miles.
Once you get inside, you'll find signs and red-painted dashed lines on the pavement to help you follow the 17-Mile Drive route.
If you want to picnic along the 17-Mile Drive, stop at the Safeway store at the intersection of Highway 1 and Rio Road to pick up supplies or try the 5th Avenue Deli (between San Carlos & Dolores) in downtown Carmel. You can also buy picnic goodies along the drive at the Pebble Beach Market next to The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Best picnic spots are between Point Joe and Seal Rock and you'll find picnic tables at many stops. Local seagulls roost on the tables when no one is around, so you may want to bring something to spread over the table before you eat.
The 17-Mile Drive is nice, but the Pebble Beach Company doesn't have a monopoly on Monterey Peninsula scenery. If you want to see the Lone Cypress or Pebble Beach, pay up and enjoy yourself, but if you're just looking for great scenery, follow Ocean View Boulevard and Sunset Drive along the water's edge from the Monterey Bay Aquarium past Asilomar State Beach to Highway 68 (which will take you to Highway One).
For a less expensive golf course with views that rival Pebble Beach, try the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course where non-residents can play a round for less than $50.