Backroads Journal

The Monterey Peninsula

With the long driving days behind us and having experienced our first day of Highway One, we were ready for a little rest and relaxation.  We chose The Seven Gables Inn, located in Pacific Grove, for our respite overlooking the bay.  Perusing the web sites of the myriad of inns and bed & breakfast accommodations on the Monterey Peninsula, it is easy to develop brain cramp. However, following a recommendation from our friends in San Francisco, we focused in on the Seven Gables Inn.  Not only do they have one of the best inn web sites we have seen, we were pleased to find that the inn and the accommodations were exactly as they were shown.  The staff was excellent, the inn absolutely gorgeous, the view of the bay fabulous and our Carriage House room a comfortable respite after 1800 miles on the road.  After a short walk up the hill for dinner, we flipped on the fireplace and settled into the canopied bed for the evening.


It was only the thought of losing site-seeing time on the Monterey Peninsula, and the fabulous breakfast that awaited us, that rousted us from the comfort of bed.  We had scheduled only a day to tour the peninsula and make our way up to San Francisco to visit our friends who had instigated this whole road trip.  One thing that you find by staying in country inns is that, no matter how hard you try, it is tough to tear yourself away from the great breakfasts and conversation with the other travelers.  It’s interesting that only in the inns do strangers open up and visit like they do.  We would not normally consider visiting with guests at a motel continental breakfast, but somehow over stuffed crepes, quiche and fresh fruit served in the inn dining room, it just seems to happen.  It’s always interesting to learn where other guests are traveling from and the stories they have to share about their travels.

Loaded back into Traveler, our trusty Toyota 4Runner, we found the 17-Mile Drive and headed back around the peninsula on our way to Carmel and some fabulous scenery that is found nowhere else.  While not normally willing to pay a fee to experience a scenic drive, the $9.25 charged for the 17-Mile Drive was worth every penny, especially since the fee was taken off our lunch at the Gallery Café overlooking the first tee of The Pebble Beach Golf Links.  The coastline of the peninsula is fabulous and Carmel-by-the-Sea is the world-renown destination retreat community that it is billed to be.  White sand beaches, performing arts, art galleries, posh shops, gourmet restaurants and fabulous million-dollar cottages all combine to make this a unique community where celebrities rub shoulders with the common millionaires.  Enjoying the sights, but somewhat out of our league, we headed on toward San Francisco, vowing to return and spend a little more time taking in the swank life.

Back on Highway One, it’s north through Santa Cruz, following the coastline to Half Moon Bay, and then inland to navigate into San Francisco where our friends would be our hosts for the weekend. 

We will pick up this narrative as we hit the road again heading north from Napa Valley.  San Francisco is a very unique city and worth every day of the visit, but since this is a web site based on driving backroads and not urban adventures; we will forgo the details of our visit there and just say that we had a great time!  We will leave it to the urban travelers out there to guide you through the city.  Sonoma and Napa Valley are covered extensively in travel information, so we will forgo the narrative from that piece of our trip also.  We are visiting friends in Santa Rosa and so will be getting the local tour instead of our normal wandering. 

Next stop for this storyline is Mendocino, on the Northern California coast.

For more information on the Seven Gables Inn in Pacific Grove, California, go to