My husband, Eddie, and I, along with three other couples, traveled to Pebble Beach, California, to play the best championship golf courses in the country. We flew into the Monterey airport and rented a car for the drive over to Pebble Beach. Pebble Beach is located between the Del Monte Forest and the Pacific shore. Little did I know that it would be one of our best vacations ever.
Indulging in Luxury: Staying at Pebble Beach Properties
The resorts at Pebble Beach consists of 3 properties: The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, and Casa Palermo. We stayed at the Inn At Spanish Bay, which offers 250 rooms. We enjoyed was perfect room with a partial ocean/forest view and a nice sized balcony. Our room was adorned with plush linens and a cozy, automatic fireplace.
The Inn at Spanish Bay’s property is along the golf course with a nice walking trail down to the beach. It has many fire-pit group settings outside to watch the bagpiper play every evening at 5:45 or sundown. This course is meant to resemble the famous golf links in Scotland. Another fun offering at our hotel is that we could test drive Lexus vehicles for 2 hours, adequate time to do the famous 17 Mile Drive.
The Inn at Spanish Bay hotel service is best described as “remarkable and unsurpassed” in all my US travels. The concierge was knowledgeable and made everything happen for us. You can choose to have $20 a day added to your bill for tipping purposes, alleviating the headache of constantly pulling out your wallet (bartenders and restaurant staff were not included).
What’s to Eat?
For lunch, Eddie and I loved the Gallery Cafe at Pebble and also had Roy’s Hawaiian Restaurant at Spanish Bay for a superb Hawaii-inspired meal. Our favorite restaurant was the Stillwater, at the Pebble Beach Lodge, which served fresh seafood. We had the most decadent chocolate fondue (with marshmallows and fresh fruit dippers) for dessert, which was a hit with our table. Our table was positioned to overlook the 18th hole. We watched golfers as they finished their rounds long after the sun went down.
Premier Golf Courses and Spa
Golfing Pebble Beach is first class and one of the ultimate courses in the country. Their caddies are dressed in tartan plaid and offered helpful hints for playing the course for the first time or adjusting to unforeseen weather conditions. Our men liked playing the courses at Spyglass and Pebble, but Spanish Bay was the favorite. While they golf, us ladies took road trips and visited the amazing Spa at Pebble Beach. I had a magical Cabernet and Passion-Fruit Scrub, followed by a heavenly 50 minute soak in the Flotation Bed.
A great side trip from Pebble Beach is to Carmel by the Sea, 15 minutes away and a must-see. This quaint and charming hideaway is surrounded by natural beauty, cool and trendy boutiques, art galleries, and eateries. One of those eateries was the famous Hog’s Breath Inn, once owned by actor and then mayor Clint Eastwood. The restaurant we highly recommend was a breakfast/lunch spot called Katy’s Place. Their menu featured 20 (yes, 20!) varieties of Eggs Benedicts. I loved the Sante Fe, piled with tomato, onion, avocado spicy hollandaise, and either Lobster or Crab. For dinner, Casanova, an incredibly romantic restaurant in Carmel, served heavenly Cannelloni and had a stellar wine menu.
For a more exotic road trip, drive down to San Francisco, only 90 miles away. Be sure to avoid high traffic times, but the drive is sensational. While in San Fran, my friends and I visited the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf and the famous Pier 39. At the Pier, we took time to adore the cute sea lions who showed off for the tourists. We also drove down Lombard Street, the “crookedest” street in the world, and enjoyed a scrumptious sample of Sourdough bread from Boudin Bakery & Cafe. Our visit included ice cream at Ghiradelli Square, which made the drive totally worth the while. We also spent a little time browsing in the shops at Union Square. Last but not least, we hopped over to San Francisco’s Chinatown to purchase some exotic fruits from their fresh markets.
Pebble Beach proved to be an incredible vacation destination and both the guys and girls got to do what they each loved and enjoyed. The scenery was unsurpassed and we loved being pampered by the upscale resorts and shops. This was definitely one for the books.
Tip: Book early as Spanish Bay and Pebble Beach are always in high demand. Though extremely expensive, golfing at Pebble Beach is a thrill of a lifetime. If one person hires a caddie, everyone in your group gets to share the knowledge and tips of that caddie.
Tip: Even in summer months such as August, jackets and long pants are a must. While the weather in Monterey can be 95, after driving the short fifteen miles to Pebble Beach, the temperature had dropped thirty degrees.
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