Bring a pair of binoculars for a closer look at the animal life on Bird Rock
The 17-Mile Drive is a famously scenic 27-and-a-bit kilometre road that runs through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. For the most part it hugs the coastline and skirts some of the country’s most famous golf courses. But it is also the main road through the elite gated community of Pebble Beach and non-residents have to pay a toll to use it.
Many attractions can be found alongside the 17-Mile Drive, but chief among them is the Lone Cypress. This salt-pruned Monterey cypress has become the symbol of Pebble Beach. Standing alone on the peninsula, over the crashing waves and without another tree for company, there is something sad and brave about it. Some say it’s the most photographed tree in the world.
There used be two other famous trees as well. The Witch Tree was once found at Pescadero Point and made a spooky backdrop for many classic films, but it was blown away by a formidable storm in 1964. Also at Pescadero Point is Ghost Tree, another Monterey Cypress that marks a suicidally dangerous extreme surfing location known for its storm waves. The surf break there is currently off limits to surfers and watercraft — go take a look and you might see why.
Elsewhere you have Bird Rock, which is, as you might have guessed, a big rock in the ocean that is forever covered in birds. It’s close enough that you can get a good look, and the sight can be spectacular at sunset. Sometimes the bottom is also occupied with sea lions and harbour seals. Everyone gets along when the humans aren’t around!
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