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 in the Del Monte Forest, near 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 were given a 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 decor was stunning!
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 golf course is meant to resemble the famous golf links in Scotland. Another perk at our hotel is that we could test drive Lexus vehicles for 2 hours, an adequate amount of time to do the famous 17 Mile Drive down the coast.
The Inn at Spanish Bay hotel service is best described as “remarkable and unsurpassed” in all my US travels. The concierge was brilliant and made everything we could wish for happen. 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 Beach for upscale sandwiches and salads and Roy’s Hawaiian Restaurant at Spanish Bay for a superb Hawaii-inspired meal. We both agreed that our favorite restaurant was Stillwater, located at the Pebble Beach Lodge. We had delightful seafood meals but the dessert blew us away. We chose a decadent chocolate fondue (with marshmallows and fresh fruit dippers) for dessert, which was a hit with us both.
Premier Golf Courses and Spa
The golf at Pebble Beach is first class and one of the ultimate courses to play in the country. Caddies, dressed in tartan plaid, offer helpful hints for first timers playing the course or adjusting to unforeseen weather conditions. My husband and his friends who were traveling with us liked the courses at Spyglass and Pebble, but Spanish Bay was the favorite. While they golfed, the ladies and I took local 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 loved is a breakfast/lunch spot called Katy’s Place. The stellar menu features 20 (yes, 20!) varieties of Eggs Benedicts. The dish that won me over was 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 an impressive wine menu.
For a more exotic road trip, drive South to San Francisco, 90 miles away. Be sure to avoid high traffic times, but the drive is truly 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 an ice cream stop 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 the fresh markets.
A Most Memorable Vacation
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, spa, 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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