Pebble Beach, the coastal resort and tiny affluent town best known for golf tournaments and the gorgeous 17-mile drive, has carried on a tradition of decadence since it originally opened in 1880 as the Hotel Del Monte, a pet project of railroad tycoons (and California aristocracy) the “Big Four.”
Today, with three opulent (and exorbitant) estates and corresponding golf courses, Pebble Beach Resort is still the playground of the elite. But there are simple ways to enjoy the spectacular views and gorgeous landscape without forking over $615 a night (that’s the lowest) or $495 for a round of golf.
Take a swing at these affordable alternatives.
Kick off your golf shoes and hit the beach
This area is home to some stunning stretches of sand. Stillwater Cove, originally the site of a Chinese fishing village, draws divers and boaters (and marine mammals!), while Spanish Bay Beach is beloved by surfers, especially from September to March when the waves are at their height. Rent a kayak at the Cove ($30 with Adventures by the Sea), and check out the strange rock piles at Spanish Bay (and maybe make your own contribution).
Take a hike
It’s free to stroll the grounds, and probably less stressful than worrying about your handicap. So don your collared shirt and loafers or best film star outfit and act like you belong. Pack a picnic, take in the scenery, feel the water, and make your contribution to the rock art.
Watch the sunset
Even if you can’t afford to stay there, head up to the Lodge at Spanish Bay when the light is starting to wane. Grab yourself a pricey cocktail, cozy up to fire at the outdoor bar and watch the sun dip below the greens.
Photos: Lodge, HBarrison
Pebble Beach, CA 93953