Pebble Beach is an unincorporated community in Monterey County, California. It lies at an elevation of 3 feet (1 m). Pebble Beach is a small coastal resort destination, home to the famous golf course, Pebble Beach Golf Links.
As well, The Inn at Spanish Bay and The Lodge at Pebble Beach and four of the eight golf courses inside the Pebble Beach community are among the local assets owned by the Pebble Beach Company. Residents pay homeowner association fees for road maintenance as well as Monterey County property taxes. Application of the property tax revenues is the realm of the Pebble Beach Community Services District, a public agency with an elected board of directors that manages essential functions including fire protection and emergency medical services, supplemental law enforcement, wastewater collection and treatment, recycled water distribution, and garbage collection, disposal and recycling. The community's post office is named Pebble Beach, however, the U.S. Census Bureau aggregates census returns from Pebble Beach as part of the larger census-designated place of Del Monte Forest.
The name Pebble Beach was originally given to a rocky cove, a small part of the Rancho Pescadero Mexican land Grant awarded to Fabián Barreto in 1836. Barreto died and the land went through several owners. In the 1850s, Chinese immigrants formed a series of fishing settlements along Carmel Bay including one at Stillwater Cove, next to Pebble Beach. They collected abalone and various fish. In 1860, David Jack bought the Mexican land grant, then sold it in 1880 to the Pacific Improvement Company (PIC), a consortium of The Big Four railroad barons. By 1892, the PIC laid out a scenic road that they called the 17-Mile Drive, meandering along the beaches and among the forested areas between Monterey and Carmel.
Pebble Beach has eight public and private 18-hole golf courses. Pebble Beach Golf Links, The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and Peter Hay Golf Course are owned by Pebble Beach Company and are all public courses. Poppy Hills is also a public course. Private courses located at Pebble Beach are Cypress Point Club and the private Monterey Peninsula Country Club's two courses, the Dunes Course and the Shore Course. Pebble Beach Company also owns Del Monte Golf Course a few miles away in Monterey, which is the oldest continuously operating course in the Western United States.
Pebble Beach owes much of its picturesque qualities to the granitic rock outcroppings visible along the coast. These are characteristic of the Salinian Block, a geologic province which runs from the Baja California Peninsula and up through California west of the San Andreas Fault.
There are several habitat types within Pebble Beach, including intertidal zone, littoral zone and pine forest. The Monterey Pine forest is habitat to numerous rare and endangered species including Hickman's potentilla and Yadon's piperia, both of which are federally protected species. Hickman's potentilla was first discovered within the Del Monte Forest in present Day Pebble Beach by the botanist, Alice Eastwood in the year 1900. After a survey in 1992 by Earth Metrics Inc. this plant was listed as a protected species by the U.S. Government.
The public schools serving Pebble Beach are Carmel High School, Carmel Middle School, and River School, all located in Carmel, and Forest Grove School, Pacific Grove Middle School, and Pacific Grove High School, all located in Pacific Grove. Pebble Beach is also home to Stevenson School, a coed half-boarding, half-day private high-school. The high school runs alternative radio station KSPB, which broadcasts BBC World Service when students are not operating the station.
Pebble Beach has few businesses apart from those owned by the Pebble Beach Company (except the golf courses, a private school, one gas station, and a deli) and no sidewalks. Most of the very expensive houses are obscured from view behind old-growth trees. It is quiet, secluded, and often experiences foggy weather, which occurs frequently on the Monterey Peninsula in general, but especially here because of this area adjoining the open ocean.
Pebble Beach is a gated community, but differs from most gated communities. The Pebble Beach Company gets $9.75 in revenue per car from tourists driving along the 17-Mile Drive. Residents are issued small license plate badges that are attached near their cars' license plates or in their windshields.