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This stretch of coastal highway – the 17-Mile Drive, as it’s called – is a beautiful, winding scenic route that traverses Pacific Grove and Carmel. Driving non-stop will take at least 25 minutes, but if you want to soak in its beauty, allow for several hours.

There are five entry gates to the 17-Mile Drive. The most convenient are Pacific Grove, Highway 1 at Highway 68 and Carmel.

The drive takes you through Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay, passing three world-renowned golf courses (Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills). Visitors receive a map that pinpoints the famous landmarks along the route, such as the Ghost Tree and the Lone Cypress Tree. There‘s lots of “oohs” and “aahs” when passing the mansions of all shapes and sizes along the roadside.

Most of the drive hugs coastal hills and coastline, offering majestic cliff-and-ocean panoramas. There are plenty of turnouts to pause, take photos and walk through forest or along the beach. If you’re bringing lunch, picnic areas can also be found along the route.

Notable events held at this coastal community are the PGA U.S. Open, Pebble Beach Pro Am and the Concours d’Elegance classic auto show. These events are usually crowd-packed, and it's almost impossible to get in. I’d recommend against the scenic tour during these popular activities.

There will be a small per-vehicle fee to enter 17-Mile Drive, which can be paid at the gate. Bicycles can enter for free; motorcycles are not allowed.

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