Travel Tips: Pebble Beach & Monterey


Pebble Beach

Is one of - if not THE greatest golf resort of all. If fact when asked, "if you had one round left - where would it be?" Jack Nicklaus famously said "an unequivocal Pebble Beach".

So what makes this place so special? It's hard to define, I guess in kiwi terms, take the food of French Cafe, the accommodations of Huka Lodge and the golf of Tara Iti and wrap it all up with next level service standards and you have Pebble Beach.

The Monterey area is a great pert of the world to visit, you don't have to pay the big bucks at Pebble Beach, there are plenty of options at nearby Monterey, Cannery Row and Carmel.

History

Monterey was a Spanish and then Mexican city for hundreds of years before the US raised their flag in victory in 1846. There is a strong Hispanic population, and much of the architecture is Spanish style.

Until the 1950's, fishing was the main industry but over fishing nearly depleted the fishery, leading to the declaration of an ocean sanctuary being established.

17 Mile Drive was set up to provide a tourist driving route to see the wonderful coastline of the Monterey Peninsula - part of which would become Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Pebble Beach was opened in February the 22nd 1919, the Lodge was called Del Monte. It has had several owners over the years, including Clint Eastwood who is still involved.

Stay Obviously Pebble Beach has some of the bast accommodation on earth, The Lodge at Pebble Beach is the best known, but many people prefer the Inn At Spanish Bay for its stunning views and quieter feel. Case Palermo is a smaller luxury hotel, as is the brand new Fairway One apartments at The Lodge.

In Cannery Row we like The Intercontinental Clement, a luxurious Hotel with a great location from which to see all the sights and attractions of Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf and the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

In Carmel we like 2 properties, Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch which is located down by the estuary at the mouth of the Carmel Valley, its has a lively restaurant and spotting Clint is highly likely if he is in town. The other great option is La Playa Carmel which is centrally located in Carmel and is close to all the restaurants and shops.

Eat

As per above, Mission Ranch is a must, more so for the entertainment than the food itself, you cannot book just head along, have a drink and a sing while you wait for a table. Pebble Beach has a bunch of very good high end restaurants, we like Roy's at Spanish Bay, a Hawaiian style restaurant with gorgeous food. In Monterey, Old Fishermans Grotto on the wharf is very good, especially if you are seeking seafood. In Carmel we like La Bicyclette for Breakfast, lunch and dinner, its informal but very cool.

Golf

There are several ultra private courses on the peninsula, like Cypress Point and Monterey CC, these are very difficult to gain access unless you know a member, certainly if you get the opportunity do not hesitate.

Next on the hit list are the Pebble Beach Company owned courses, being Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay, Del Monte and the Peter Hay 9 hole course - all are open to the public, but guaranteed tee times at the top 3 are often tied to accommodation packages.

There are many public access courses in the area, most of which are excellent, we recommend Poppy Hills which is a world class layout extensively renovated recently. Also the twin courses Bayonet & Blackhorse are fantastic layouts at moderate prices. A must play is also Pacific Grove Golf Links a truly public course on the peninsula with some of the best golf terrain you will see, along with stunning views of 17 mile drive.

Do

Apart from the obvious golfing attractions, The Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row is a must see, in particular the jellyfish display is stunning. Also on Cannery Row is the Pebble Beach outlet shop, a great place for a logo bargain.

There are numerous wineries in the area, several have tasting rooms right in Monterey, others are up the Carmel Valley and are worth the drive. Folktale Winery is excellent.

A short drive south is Big Sur, a rugged stretch of coastline which extends from Carmel all the way down to San Simeon (home to Hurst Castle which is also worth a visit).

In Summary

As a golfer Monterey is a must see, I'm often asked is it worth it to play Pebble Beach, I always say yes! I've never met a person who walked off thinking it wasn't worth the money, its truly a bucket list experience.

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About Elite Golf

Elite Golf Tours is New Zealand owned and operated travel company specialising in Major sporting events, like The Masters, The Open, US Open, Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup and much more. For more than 10 years Mike Turner and Sam Sullivan have been creating dream golfing holidays, in 2016 one of New Zealand's favorite golfing sons - Phil Tataurangi joined the team on a permanent basis.

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