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Central CaliforniaFamily-friendly

Bow to the Lone Cypress and bike 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach

 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Land and sea meet splendidly here, with jutting rocks, hanging fog, shrieking gulls and sometimes backstroking sea otters.

What: The 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach has been a tourist attraction since the 1880s. The drawback has always been that it's a private road, so you have to pay $10 to drive it. And motorcycles are banned entirely. But wait.

Pebble Beach management allows bicyclists to ride the same route at no cost. And so, astride a rental from Bay Bikes or Adventures by the Sea by the aquarium in Monterey, you'll glide past sights including the Pebble Beach golf course; plenty of tide pools; perhaps some deer; and the Lone Cypress, longtime icon of the resort. The tree has lasted at least 120 years with a sea-lashed rocky outcropping as its pedestal. It even has its own parking area and viewing platform.

But by now you may be hungry. The Pebble Beach Market, along the drive near the Chevron station, has sandwiches for a fraction of what the resort's proper restaurants charge.

Where: 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, Monterey County, 331 miles northwest of downtown L.A.

How much: Access is free. Bike rentals cost $9-$20 hourly. It's about $12 for a ham sandwich at the Pebble Beach Market.

Info: Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive

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