17 Mile Drive
Some of the most dreamy, idyllic vistas anywhere in California can be found on the 17 Mile Drive from Monterey to Carmel. Monterey is a quiet coastal city that has had its beginnings as the capitol of California under Spanish Rule. The town of Monterey California is about a two-hour drive south of San Francisco, and the town of Carmel California is on the other side of the Monterey Peninsula.
The Central Coast is home to groups of migrating Gray whales, protected nature reserves, and some of the loveliest views of the Pacific. Monterey has a National Marine sanctuary, and there is also one at Point Lobos, just past Carmel. The city of Monterey also has a historic wharf and marina, and is home to the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
If you're on a scenic drive down Highway 1 then this scenic drive is where the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula is on display. The 250 year-old Lone Cypress is the enduring symbol of the Monterey Peninsula.
The 17 Mile Drive is an outdoor attraction but there is a road toll. $8 will get you a map, a handy guide to the scenic drive and admission to the park. It will tell you about the history of this route, which has been in use since the 1880s. When you see the spectacular vistas, you will understand why the 17 Mile Drive has become so famous; its beauty is just unsurpassed.
Carmel California has changed a lot since those early day, when the scenic tour of Carmel started at the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, weaving through the Del Monte Forest, which has just been planted. This part of the coast used to be wild and untamed, but the unsurpassed views spurred development. Two golf courses, Cypress Point and Pebble Beach were built, and then expensive homes and the most luxurious lodging in Carmel California soon followed after.
The 17 Mile Drive takes you right by Pebble Beach. Pull over and wander on the beach; you might find a golf ball that's been used in a championship round of golf. If you've already paid you toll for the drive from Monterey to Carmel, then you get a discounted lunch or dinner at the Lodge at Pebble Beach; a perk you won't get at other Carmel Hotels.
This and the Inn and Spanish Bay are incredibly comfortable and stylish places Carmel Hotels. If you've just done the drive to Carmel at sunset, enjoy the savings on dinner and enjoy an evening in some of the finest lodging in Carmel California. These country club style resorts are some of the luxurious Carmel Hotels around. The Inn at Spanish Bay has an excellent gallery featuring work of the nature photographer Ansel Adams. The Lodge at Pebble Beach
You can do it all on the Monterey Peninsula and Carmel California. You can golf, drive, see animals, bird watch, have dinner, take great pictures and spend the night at some of the most centrally located lodging in Carmel California so you can be in the heart of it all. The 17 Mile Drive and the Central Coast should be a part of every California Vacation.
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