Historic Hotel Del Monte

History of the 17-Mile Drive

17 Mile Drive brochure

Hotel Del Monte was the starting and finishing point for the original 17-Mile Drive, which took hotel guests on a lengthy carriage excursion to local historical sites, through dramatic black cypress, oak and pine forests, and to coastal points of interest in the Hotel Del Monte Park Reservation, today's Pebble Beach.

 

President Benjamin Harrison toured the Hotel Del Monte Park Reservation in 1891 from an “elegant observation coach drawn by six beautiful bay horses.  The coach was...decorated with the national colors, and the harness on the horses was lined with bunting and roses as far as possible.”  The Monterey Cypress newspaper quoted President Harrison as saying, “This is a lovely spot.  I only wish I could stay here a week.”

 

President Theodore Roosevelt wrote about his 17-Mile Drive horseback ride in a letter to his daughter Ethel, age 12: “This is a beautiful hotel...with gardens and a long seventeen-mile drive beside the beach and the rocks and among the pines and cypresses.  I went on horseback.  My horse was a little beauty, spirited, swift, sure-footed and enduring.  As is usually the case here they had a great deal of silver on the bridle and headstall, and much carving on the saddle.  We had some splendid gallops.”

 

The publications below offer a unique glimps of the 17-Mile Drive, from its Victorian era origins as the 18 Mile Drive to its Jazz Age description as a "never to be forgotten motor trip around the Monterey Peninsula."

 

National newspapers reported on 17-Mile Drive trips and activities (NOTE:  these articles are accessible only to NPS and those with subscription to ProQuest Historic Newspapers):

And the Hotel itself lauded these spectacular sites in their guide books and marketing materials.