The PGA Tour visits a little slice of heaven this week, as it makes its way to the Pebble Beach Resorts for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The world's best golfers and entertainers meet on a course that Golf Digest ranked as the No. 1 public course in all of the U.S.
Here are five things you need to know about the tournament and the area surrounding Pebble Beach:
1) The tournament actually takes place at three different courses
Pebble Beach Golf Links is the gem of Pebble Beach Resorts – 6,816 yards, par 72, the Del Monte Forest on one side, Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean on the other. But it's not the only course that gets action this week, as Spyglass Hill Golf Course (also a part of Pebble Beach Resorts) and the Monterey Peninsula Country Club help host the first three days of the pro-am.
2) Monterey Peninsula is all about golf
Pebble Beach is just one location on the Monterey Peninsula, and it's far from the only place that offers golf. But it does offer the best golf, and all of its courses are public – and pricey. Want to play Pebble Beach Golf Links? A round is $495. It's $370 at Spyglass Hill, $265 at the Links at Spanish Bay, and $110 at Del Monte Golf Course. If you don't have that kind of coin and just want to say you golfed at Pebble Beach, venture on over to the Peter Hay nine-hole course, the only par-3 course open to the public on the Monterey Peninsula. It's $30.
3) You'll never whine about not having wine in Carmel
Carmel is a town just down the road from Pebble Beach, and if you love wine, this place is another slice of heaven. If all you wish to do is sample wines, look no further than Ocean Avenue downtown. You'll have at least a dozen tasting rooms to choose from, all within a four-block radius. If you want food, sign up for a food tour that takes you around town to sample cuisine and wines. Or if you'd prefer to travel out to wineries, hop on the Grapevine Express to Carmel Valley's wine corridor.
4) Dine on the edge of the Pacific
If you're staying among the Pebble Beach Resorts, lucky you. Great dining surrounds you – Roy's (Hawaiian-fusion cuisine) is a must, as is Stillwater (a contemporary seafood bar). But if you yearn to see what's outside the resort, try Pacific's Edge. "USA Today" named it one of the Top Ten Restaurants with a View, and it was among the Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. according to Zagat. We suggest the Short Rib, which comes with potato risotto, swiss chard, lobster mushroom and natural jus.
5) Don't miss the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail
Once you've had your fill of golfing and wining and dining, head over to the town of Monterey, rent a bike, and ride up and down the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. The 18-mile paved path starts further north, but as it winds through Monterey you can stop at the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium, along Cannery Row for shopping and/or dining, or watch the action at the Old Fisherman's Wharf.
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