Cycling Monterey’s Scenic 17-Mile Drive
This story is brought to you by offMetro SF. offMetro SF is an online travel guide to getaways from San Francisco—car optional. When you need a city break, offMetro SF offers a variety of great ways for getting off the beaten path, be it by train, bus, bike, boat, or car share. If you can't make the weekends longer, strive to make them better.
Monterey’s 17-mile drive is one of the most famous and scenic roads in the world. We at offMetro, of course, believe it’s far better traversed on two wheels than four. Not only can you skip the entrance fee, but experiencing the ride sans moto adds extra drama to the crashing waves, rugged coastline and over-the-top mansions. Here’s what you need to know.
The ride starts in Monterey and winds down the coast to the famed Pebble Beach, with myriad turnouts for photo opps or beach strolls. If you don’t bring your own wheels, rent them on Monterey’s Cannery Row at Adventures By the Sea for $25 a day. They’ll provide a marked map with all the highlights, including these famed sights:
The Lone Cypress: One of California’s best-known landmarks, the Lone Cypress has managed to survive on its rocky perch for over 250 years, and makes for a beautiful photograph.
Fanshell Overlook: Looking out from this windswept bluff, it’s not hard to understand why the pristine white sands below mark the site of choice for harbor seals to give birth to their young. (This stop is closed from April 1 to June 1 to protect the seals from tourist disturbance during pupping season.)
Spanish Bay: Explorer Don Gaspar de Portela camped at Spanish Bay in 1769 during his search for Monterey Bay. Today, cruisers of the 17-mile Drive set up camp (picnic) here for primo views and pretty strolls. (Pick up a gourmet picnic lunch at Pebble Beach Market and then settle at a vista over the bay to enjoy)
The Lodge at Pebble Beach: The Lodge at Pebble Beach was built in 1919. Heart of tony Pebble Beach Golf Links and Resort, it’s a great place to hobnob over a drink or a light bite.
Take Caltrain to the San Jose Caltrain Station. From there, walk to Cahill/Diridon Station and take Bus 79 towards Monterey. (Note that it could take about three hours to reach the area by public transportation. You can also drive to Cannery Row and rent your bike there.