This famed circuit in the Monterey bay, is made up of sweeping California Coastline, Pine Forests and more than a golf course of two. The pinnacle of the golf course collection is Pebble Beach, and although Red’s knee injury has thwarted his golf game – he still has enough game to swing a putter.
So our first stop on the drive was to the Putting Green at Pebble beach, followed by a walk by the 18th hole – with it’s iconic Monterey Cypress Pine.
Putting Green at Pebble Beach
The Putting Green was more like a Disney attraction than a working Green. Children old enough to run and squeal, but not old enough to understand the word “No” – dug their enthusiastic heels into the smooth putting surface with every sinful stride.
The 18th Home at Pebble Beach
This famous golfing hole evoked memories of the times I’ve beaten Red on this course. No, not in my dreams, but on our Tiger Woods PS2 game. It’s so odd to see the real live course in all its glory after getting to know it virtually for all of these years from the comfort of our living room.
Red has vowed to return to Pebble Beach, to play it for real one day. I’ll be here too, as long as there’s a wi-fi connection in the bar. Then while he’s making his way around the 18 holes, me an my laptop will be spewing out plethora of blog posts, make all the more eloquent by a bloody mary or two.
The best part of the 17 mile drive is the Ocean segment. Craggy coastline with frequent lay-bys for nautical gawkers on one side, and pristine golf courses on the other. It was Christmas Day, so we didn’t see a lot of golfers in action, but we did see a family of deer grazing on the Spyglass Course Green.
There are 3 gated entries onto the drive – Monterery, The 1 Highway, and Carmel. We entered in Carmel, and exited at the Highway 1 exit – there’s only so many pines you can admire before you get lolled into “seen one pine, seen them all” mentality, so we didn’t do the full 17 miles.
It’s $9.50 to enter the drive, and it was definitely worth the coinage, especially since most of the shops and galleries of Carmel were closed on Christmas day.
Best coffee in Carmel
One of the few establishments open near the Carmel entrance is the Carmel Valley Coffee Company – where we lingered over a delicious cup of Carmel Foglifter, and a sandwich bulging with so much filling, we had to pack 1/2 the sandwich to-go.
I’d recommend paying the entrance fee and taking the drive. If you’re only interested in the Coastal segment (and a ogle at the big posh houses), enter in Carmel and exit at Monterey – and you’ll be set up to incorporate a trip around both towns at the same time.