Between Pacific Grove and Carmel, California is the only toll road on the west coast. For $10 we saw some of the most expensive ocean property and well-known golf courses in the country, if not the world. Pebble Beach Golf Course and the other four golf courses along the 17-mile drive are just as beautiful in “real life” as they are on television. The Pebble Beach Course maintenance crew must get down on their hands and knees and individually clip each blade of grass; it was that perfect. Perfection, yes, but we were not willing to part with $495 for Mike to play a round of golf. (Note: I borrowed this picture from the Pebble Beach website. For some reason, the golfers dislike photographers on the course, but we did drive by this hole.)
The homes along the beach scream wealth. But, we both agreed it was not the big McMansions that caught our attention; it was the smaller, subtle homes that were the most beautiful—from the low-slung modern blending naturally within the rocks to the quaint English cottage complete with a colorful rose garden and white picket fence.
Along the road paralleling the ocean are public beaches with rugged rock outcroppings creating an angry sea even on a calm day. With one exception. There was one sandy surfing beach, and it was filled with black wet suit surfers. Swimming near them, unafraid, were seals, lots of them. The seals and surfers look so much alike; it is easy to understand why sharks often snatch a surfer mistaking them for a juicy seal snack.
Yes, we saw the Pebble Beach logo along the drive, The Lone Cypress. But, it was not so lonely. There were scads of tourists snapping pictures on the shore. Based on the crowds we saw at this stopping point and several others, the 17-mile drive would be grid-locked, if it were not for the $10 toll.