Touring 17 Mile Drive
Exploring Seal Rock on 17 Mile Drive was so much fun! 17-Mile Drive is one of the most famous scenic drives in the world. And after seeing it with my own eyes, I can see why. My husband I started our tour of 17 Mile Drive in the mountains just outside of Carmel by the Sea after seeing the lavender farms outside of San Jose. 17 Mile Drive is a gated community and there are five guard gates you can enter. It cost us just $10 to enter and we were given a receipt and map for a self guided tour.
Let me make it known, do not toss the receipt in the first trash you see, like my husband did! And absolutely do not lose the map. You’ll have to pay again to enter if you don’t have a receipt to show… Plus if you don’t forget like someone did, you can present the receipt anywhere you dine on 17 Mile Drive as a voucher for $10 off your bill! Regardless of what you do with your tour receipt it is well worth every dollar spent. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read the full disclosure policy.
Seal Rock, Famous for Seals
Seal Rock Creek Beach is a long narrow sandy beach along 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, CA. There is ample parking, restrooms, and picnic areas at this stop on the drive. To get to Seal Rock, enter the 17 Mile Drive loop road to this area marked on the map. The white sand beach at the mouth of Seal Rock Creek flows intermittently. Just offshore is Seal Rock and a little to the north is Bird Rock. Each were covered with many seals and birds. The great thing about it being offshore is that you can enjoy the views of wildlife without the odors. This is especially true for seals! I highly recommend pulling out your telephoto lens with a 300mm optical zoom or more for this tour. You’ll be able to see and capture all the wildlife much better than with a standard kit 55mm lens.
Planning for your Tour
I love this frame I captured with my telephoto lens. I had to go out onto the rocks a ways to get it. But, the rock and the wildlife resemble that of ocean wave. There are about 20 stops along the tour each with a landmark of interest and a parking area. From the trademark Lone Cypress Tree to the Restless Sea, Big Sur and to Spanish Bay. I love how the names of each stop on the map evoke emotions and the imagination. We started our tour in the morning, dined in Carmel by the Sea and stayed until late afternoon before heading to Monterey Bay.
The daylight hours were perfect for get stunning photos. Although, I would love to go back someday to see the blazing, golden sun falling into the ocean behind the Lone Cypress. It’s is one of California’s most romantic scenic views to be experienced. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing my captures of it soon. I’m saving the best for last!
See more of our California adventures in Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Monterey Bay, and the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
Are you planning a trip?
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Wonderful shots of all the seals! Must have been quite a sight.
It most certainly was Fiona, and one I don’t plan to forget.
Lydia C. Lee
I’d love to see that. How magnificent they are.
Ruth | Tanama Tales
So nice! I love, love this area. Well, the entire Monterey area is gorgeous. I saw this rock but it was difficult to photograph since the light was not correct.
Me too, the California coast is spectacular!
Beautiful pics. I have driven it many times. My daughter went to school at CSU-Monterey Bay. I was just down there on Sunday.
Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful day.
What a gorgeous spot to attend college!
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels
Beautiful photos! The seals look pretty comfy hanging out in the sun!
Thanks Bryna, the water is pretty cool in this area of the Pacific ocean. I imagine they love sun bathing!
Such gorgeous photos! I would love to take this drive!
Funnny having grown up in California and visiting there since our move. , I have never seen the seal lions. They are pretty cool. Have a great weekend.
Really, I must have got lucky!