Carmel - 17 Mile Drive

I have wanted to visit Carmel for quite a while now, mostly because I've heard my family rave about it and because I've seen far too many pictures of the Lone Cypress tree on pinterest and other places and it always makes me wonder why I haven't been to this place just 4 hours away from my hometown.  So while I was home in late January Mom and I went to Carmel for a short overnight trip and had a wonderful time.  Carmel lives up to all of the hype and exceeded my expectations.   The amazing weather, even in January, definitely was a bonus too.

Carmel is one of those places that is breath-takingly beautiful in person.  It's such a shame the pictures can't do it justice, but at the same time I guess that's what makes being there in person so magical - that the beauty  around you just can't adequately be captured - you must go and experience it for yourself.  The following pictures will give you a good idea of what to expect, but I promise you'll find it even more beautiful in person.

 Most of these pictures were taken on the famous 17 Mile Drive.  It costs about $10 to drive on the road, but it's totally worth it.  There are lots of look out points to stop and enjoy the views, so give yourself a few hours to complete the drive.

Our brochure said, "Welcome to one of the most famous scenic drives in the world.  Please follow the dashed red line on the roadway and the 17-Mile Drive markers to make your way through the majestic Del Monte Forest and along the dramatic Pacific coast.  Marvel at nature's greatest treasures, take in one of golf's greatest landmarks and enjoy your visit to Pebble Beach."  It's a beautiful, easy drive with plenty of places to stop and take pictures and walk around.  An absolute must to do while you're in the area.  For me the highlight was seeing the Lone Cypress Tree, which I will save for it's own post.

Look at all of those sea lions on that rock!  They were making tons of noise and seemed so happy to have that whole rock to themselves to sunbath and chill.

Northern California has such a different vibe than Southern California does, but still just as wonderful.  It's more laid back and just as beautiful, but in a different kind of way.  It's more rocky and there are are more forests and less palm trees.

This is what happens when you roll down your window and try to take a picture of the scenery.  I had just dyed my hair brown the day before so it was especially dark.
The 17 mile drive winds you through high-end neighborhoods with beautiful homes.  Mom and I were using zillow and guessing how many millions each house cost as we passed by.  Despite having visitors constantly driving by, the location and views warrant extremely high prices for these homes. 
I found it interesting that the fog is worse in the summer than winter.  I would have thought it would be the other way around, but after reading about it it makes sense.

The infamous Pebble Beach.  We didn't spend much time here, but maybe next time.

Putting the polaroid camera Stephanie got me to good use :)
I'm ready to go back right now!

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