"Pebble Beach is my favorite coastline in the world" Top 5 Page for this destination Pebble Beach by atufft

Pebble Beach Travel Guide: 118 reviews and 478 photos

The Lone Cyprus is one of many popular turn outs

Among the world's most famous landscapes, the Lone Cyprus near Point Lobos creates a natural portrait for the tourist. Not to long ago, the tree was vandalized, and so fearing the tree might be cut down, it was fenced off and the rock on which is stands reinforced with mortar and more rock. Here I am taking a portrait with a friend visiting from Ghana. I also recommend stopping by Birdrock, among other places, but these 17 mile drive stops are basically for motorists. Don't step into the water, it's cold and dangerous, Don't pick the flowers or feed the animals, they are part of a fragile ecosystem, and don't fish, hunt, or leave trash behind. This landscape is pure sightseeing, with a few short walks along the beach and rocks.

A toll is taken at the gate to the 17 mile drive.

This is a large gated community. Fortunately for me, I have a rich uncle who owns a home inside the gate, and so I never pay. It can help to know a person inside, as the guards have a list of residents, but it's ok to pay the toll as the drive is totally worth the expense. The drive winds through Pine forests, several species of which are only found here, along a ridge and down through meadows where deer and fox are easy to spot, and finally the drive will open up along the rocky coastline and white sand beach coves for which the area is named. I like to take a walk along the beach where a variety of bunch grasses and tiny native flowers grow among the sandy spaces. The waves crash on the rocks and create foam in the tide pools. The golf courses are legendary, of course, but the original attraction was natural beauty. My grandparents honeymooned here by horse carriage in 1916, and my parents did the same by motor car in the early 1950's.

Point Lobos provides a view across to Big Sur

As the drive winds south toward Carmel, the cyprus groves reach down to the shore among the rocks. The crooked Cyprus have lifespan limit, and so these trees are very old. They are also rare and not found anywhere else. The tall slender pine trees have numerous disease and insect problems, and are definetly limited in lifespan, but they are also unique to this ecosystem. As one winds past the seaside mansions, the price of which is typically in the tens of millions of dollars, landscape shots like this one are available at the turn outs. California law requires that all land below the high tide mark is public access, but don't trespass in an effort to find the shore.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One of the world's great scenic drives
  • Cons:Wealthy homes are encroaching on the unique ecosystem
  • In a nutshell:Pebble Beach is a coastline for the rich and famous
  • Last visit to Pebble Beach: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (6)

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    I still have never taken the 17 mile drive. Perhaps I'll give it a try on my next visit in the area. It is good to find beaches without too many restrictions where dogs can be dogs. My yellow lab does love the beach!

  • Vulindlela's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    We never did the 17 mile drive. It looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing those great pictures.

  • Jan 29, 2006 at 4:30 PM

    This is such a neat pic. It is nice to see that beautiful parts of nature are being preserved and taken care of. And the other pic. are neat too, but, i am partial to the ocean. Katy DeWitt Eng.41

  • phm3c's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2006 at 3:34 PM

    The Lone Cypress pull-out is less crowded on weekdays. Try to avoid weekends on this world-famous roadway.

  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2005 at 10:31 PM

    Very interesting. Good advices. Best of luck. :) :)).

  • withluvxoxo's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2005 at 12:55 PM

    Hi prof. Tufft! i go to pebble beach every year for the Pro Am tour with my dad. that's really cool that you have a uncle who lives there! it's such a beautiful area! i like this page a lot!


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