The 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach is a loop. We only drove from the gate in Pacific Grove to the gate at Carmel which was about 8 miles. From the Carmel Gate the drive heads east to the Highway 1 gate and then north paralleling highway 68 for awhile and then swings back west and finally north again until it meets up with the main road just south of the Pacific Grove Gate.
Most of the suggested stops along the drive are on the coast between the Pacific Grove and Carmel gates. Since we had spent so much time at Spanish Bay we decided to skip several stops before Cypress Point and a few more between the Lone Cypress and the Pebble Beach Golf Links. We then drove directly to the Carmel Gate and Carmel. So we missed the upper half of the drive that is away from the coast.
See the detailed map here for all of the suggested stops (listed as points of interest and numbered).
Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.
My camera lens would not fit through the space between the links and so I got as close as possible and then cropped the result.
The Pebble Beach Company use the Lone Cypress as their logo and they have taken out a patent making it illegal for anyone to photograph the tree for commercial purposes without their permission. Isn’t that ridiculous?
I experimented with both Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to get this effect.
Then I went back to the original color photo and converted it to black and white with the Topaz Lab Studio software.
I used the Nik Analog Effex Pro to obtain this effect.
Another experiment with the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in.
We were all getting pretty hungry by now and so we decided to drive straight to Pebble Beach. There is one restaurant there whose prices aren’t overly exorbitant.
So we found a market nearby that sold sandwiches, salads and drinks and we claimed a couple of tables and benches just outside the market for a nice picnic lunch. The Pebble Beach Company will refund your $10.50 17-mile drive toll if you purchase anything over $35 at just about any place in the Pebble Beach area. Any place except the market, however. Oh well, we enjoyed our lunch!
After lunch we walked over to The Lodge and then downstairs to the back exit and — behold! — we were gazing at the fabled 18th hole at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The 18th hole is a par 5 with the Pacific Ocean running all along the left side and that big cypress tree right in the middle of the fairway.
It will cost you around $600.00 to play this course, one of the most famous in the world. Pebble Beach is presently the host to the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has been the host for the US Open six times, including 2019. It was also the site for the PGA Championship in 1977.
I downloaded the Topaz Labs plug-in software the other day and used Studio 2 in conjunction with Lightroom to process this photo.
After Pebble Beach we drove down to the 17-Mile Drive’s Carmel Gate and then to the top of the hill where we parked our cars and then walked down Ocean Avenue, Carmel’s main street, to watch the sunset at Carmel Beach.
Mary Miller Klepich painted this mural that she called California del Norte via Camino Real in 1955. Earl Bozlee restored it in 2002. The old craft building connects to the Doud Arcade, one of many mini-malls in central Carmel.
Carmel has long been one of our favorite places to visit in northern California. See here and here for a couple of stories about our visit in 2015. And in 2014 I uploaded a number of monochrome images from our visit to Mission Carmel way back in 1976 (see here).
I thought they were selling pastries!
The last couple of blocks of Ocean Avenue contain mostly cottages for rent.
They played on the beach at Spanish Bay earlier in the day and now are getting ready to watch the sunset at Carmel Beach.
We returned to our cars and drove back to our hotel via highways 1 and 68. We then had dinner at a restaurant in Steinbeck Plaza a block away. The next day was New Year’s Eve. We checked out of our hotel by 11am and got back to the Bay Area in a couple of hours. That night we welcomed in the new year without any thought in the world that the world would soon be topsy-turvy and we would be living in lockdown.
Music of the Day (but from 60 years ago) — Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith
Yes, our four-day weekend occurred during the winter but somehow the 1959 movie A Summer Place fits with our adventures on our last day on the Monterey Peninsula. Does anyone remember A Summer Place? It starred Richard Egan, Dorothy Malone, Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue with Arthur Kennedy and Constance Ford playing key roles. The story was supposed to take place in Maine but the entire movie was filmed on the Monterey Peninsula. The Summer Place in the movie was really a mansion on Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. All those sea shore scenes were shot in Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. And Richard and Dorothy’s new home toward the end of the movie was supposed to be on Pine Island in Maine but actually is a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that sits at the southern edge of Carmel Bay!
The movie introduced Troy Donahue to the world. The whole point of Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee in Grease has to do with Sandra’s role in this movie. And the movie was probably the highlight of Richard Egan’s career. Richard was born and raised in San Francisco. He graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in 1939, the year I was born. He then attended the University of San Francisco for three years before joining the Army and serving in World War II for three years. After the war Richard returned to USF where he received his BA. He then went on to Stanford where he received his MA. I followed Richard to SI and then also attended USF where Richard’s brother Willis, a Jesuit priest, taught theology.
The movie was overall just so-so and would not have caused much sensation if it weren’t for the music that came out of it. Max Steiner wrote the music. Mack Discant wrote the lyrics. The Lettermen and Andy Williams and the Chordettes recorded the song. And Percy Faith’s instrumental version topped the charts for nine straight weeks in 1960. Let’s end my account of our Monterey Weekend by listening to Percy’s orchestra.
Note: Most of Pebble Beach re-opened on June 1st after the Covid-19 lockdown. The rest of the hotels, restaurants and golf courses are scheduled to open on June 15th. See here for the latest Covid-19 information regarding Pebble Beach. See here for the latest Covid-19 information regarding Carmel.