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Tips on Avoiding Pebble Beach Tourist Traps

SmarterTravel

Pebble Beach Tourist Traps

Pebble Beach is known for its golf courses and scenery on the 17-Mile Drive. Before you pay to go on the ride, here’s what you need to know.

17-Mile Drive

The famous 17-Mile Drive is one huge tourist trap. It’s actually a private road that charges a fee to drive along the Pacific Coast here (only 9 miles along the water) and some people say the 17-mile stretch of road is overrated for the price. On busy summer days traffic is backed up almost as bad as rush hour on the George Washington Bridge. You can walk, run, or bike 17-Mile Drive but avoid the areas around the Lodge at Pebble Beach because it has no berm or bike lane, and traffic will push you off into the bushes. If you want an alternative, try Ocean View Drive in Asilomar Beach, Scenic Drive in Carmel, and Highway 1 in Big Sur. Like to walk? You can walk into Pebble Beach from Asilomar Beach to the north for free and see all of the same sights. You can also walk in from the south along Carmel Beach. The only thing you might miss is the Lone Cypress.

Lone Cypress

The Lone Cypress has existed on its rocky perch for over 250 years and, while beautiful, it has become somewhat of a tourist trap. It was once possible to walk out to the tree itself, but erosion and defacement of the tree resulted in it being fenced off. Nevertheless, several spots along the fencing provide excellent photo ops. However, tourists often elbow each other as they try to capture the uncluttered look of solitude along the coast with their cameras. If you do go to see this tree, be prepared for crowds and a busy parking lot.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tourist traps in Pebble Beach.

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