Happy Wednesday! I hope your week’s going well so far. I got back from my trip to California on Monday night, but I’ve still got some travel posts coming your way. Today, we cover my day trip to Monterey, Carmel, and the scenic 17-mile drive.
On Saturday morning we went on another day trip tour with Gray Line. This time on a drive down part of the California coast. Years ago when I visited San Francisco, my family and I drove down the coast via the Pacific Coast Highway over the course of 2 days down to LA and Disneyland so we saw a lot more of the coast. On this day trip we just visited Monterey, Pebble Beach Golf Course, Carmel, and little photo op stops at Bird Rock and the Lone Cypress.
We left around 8am and it was pretty foggy out. Even in the fog, you can see some surfers in the water. After a 20 minute stop for bathroom and snack breaks, we got to Monterey a little after 11 and had a few hours there. We ate lunch (food post to come this weekend), walked around, and took lots of photos of this scenic coastal town. The area used to have a lot of canning factories during World War II so it is called Cannery Row. I stopped in a couple of shops including a handmade candle shop where I got a pretty wax Christmas candle.
When we left Monterey, we started the 17 Mile Drive. Wait, before I get in to that, on our way out we saw the famous Kissing Rocks.
17 Mile Drive is a scenic drive through a gated community of Pebble Beach. Non-residents have to pay a toll to go through. The drive is nice and you get to see the coast and the mansions inside this gated community. The first stop during the 17 miles was Bird Rock, which is accurately named since there are birds everywhere!
The next stop was the Lone Cypress which is one of the most popular stops in the drive. Supposedly the oldest cypress trees in existence are here. The Lone Cypress is exactly what it sounds like. It is a lone cypress out on a rock jutting out in to the ocean. My dad says he has a photo of it from our drive down the coast 20 years ago so I’d be interested to see how the tree has changed over time.
The last stop before Carmel was Pebble Beach Golf Course which is where the US Open is. I went to see the 18th hole there and the view was absolutely gorgeous! It is a public golf course, but it is expensive. It is $495 to play a round of golf and your tee time is not guaranteed. If you stay at the lodge you can get a guaranteed tee time, but a stay there costs between $800-$1800 a night!
The last stop was Carmel-by-the-Sea. This famous town once had Clint Eastwood as its mayor. It’s a cute town with lots of shops. We had only an hour here and if there were more time I would have walked down to the beach, but it was a 20 minute walk downhill (which means a 20 minute walk uphill on the way back) so I figured there wouldn’t be enough time. The town was a bit boring for my family, especially the kids who were with us. If you’re in to art galleries, wine tastings, etc. then it would be definitely your speed. If I had more time I would’ve definitely gone to one of the cheese tastings!
Overall, it was a nice day trip with great weather and great views! It had less bus time than the trip to Yosemite which was nice and less tiring. I would definitely like to drive down the coast again, all the way down to southern California, one day!