Ranch at Laguna Beach
Arriving in Laguna Beach after a fun drive from Palm Springs

I’ll be writing in more detail about everything we did on this trip, but wanted to post an overall piece talking about my epic California adventure in the awesome, 467 HP Lexus RC F. 1,500 miles in the mighty 2017 Lexus RC F started peacefully at my home in Palm Springs. Our first adventure was a drive to Laguna Beach and The Ranch at Laguna Beach. The new luxury hotel is nestled into a canyon right across from the ocean. We also had a great dinner at Studio, the restaurant at the Montage, Laguna Beach, which is almost right across the street. After an early start, we left Laguna Beach and headed north to Malibu for our wine tasting and giraffe feeding appointment at Malibu Wine Safaris.

Malibu Wine Safaris
A giraffe selfie with Jeffrey the giraffe

Malibu Wine Safaris
Ready to taste some wine and feed some animals!

The wine safari was a lot of fun, you ride in the back of a safari truck through the vineyards, stopping to taste wine and to feed and check out their menagerie of animals. After the wine tasting and giraffe fun, we got back into the RC F for the long, long, long drive north to Sonoma. We left Malibu around 3 p.m. and made it to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa by around 9 p.m., which was pretty good time.

Fairmont Sonoma
Having breakfast on our little terrace
Fairmont Sonoma
Arriving at the Fairmont Sonoma in the heart of wine country

I’ve visited the Fairmont Sonoma before and find it’s a beautiful refuge in the middle of Sonoma wine country. We spent the night in one of their Mission Suites. After a night in Sonoma, we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco for a visit to the iconic Fairmont San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge
Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge
Fairmont San Francisco
The Fairmont San Franisco is one of my favorite hotels in the world.

I’ve been visiting the Fairmont San Francisco for years, it was always my home base at the annual MacWorld conventions I would attend in the 1980s and 1990s. This time we spent the night in one of their tower rooms, with amazing bridge to bridge views across the city. We had a fun night at the hotel’s iconic Tiki bar, the Tonga Room. After San Francisco, we headed back to Sonoma to do some serious wine tasting. We spent the afternoon at Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards and had the full tour of their whole operation. The only sparkling wine producer in Sonoma, they grow mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Interestingly, the vineyards are owned by the same family who produce Freixinet, the famous Spanish sparkling wine in the black bottles.

Gloria Ferrer vineyards
Wine tasting, which included charcuterie, was done on a terrace overlooking the vineyards

Gloria Ferrer wine cave
Deep underground in the wine cave

Finally, after spending the night with friends in Novato, it was time to climb back in the RC F for the long drive back home to Palm Springs. This again took us on the 5 freeway and the RC F was flawless, this time driven mainly in Normal (and even Eco) mode for maximum fuel economy. We left Novato around 9 in the morning, stopped for both breakfast and lunch on the way, and arrived back in Palm Springs around 5:30 p.m.

Lexus RC F
It’s like a jet for the road

Overall it was an amazing experience and the RC F was just flawless in all types of traffic and on all types of roads. FYI, the 2017 RC F is mechanically the same as the 2018. The only differences are some new exterior color options, a larger infotainment screen and extended Lexus Enform benefits and amenities.

Here’s a video review of the car: