Robb Report’s California Coastal Rally Is Back With an Epic New Road Trip You Won’t Want to Miss

·5 min read

The open road. Those words alone are enough to set the imagination racing and allow for a mental downshift as thoughts turn to carefree motoring. Time behind the wheel presents a blank canvas, with every mile a new brushstroke. It’s what fuels our love affair with the automobile and is where most car enthusiasts feel complete. If any of that is relatable, Robb Report has a rally for you.

Now in its third year, the annual California Coastal road rally will ride again from June 4 through 8, uniting those with a passion for performance cars, fine dining, and forging new friendships as they explore the Golden State in style. The route will start in Napa Valley, then serpentine its way to Half Moon Bay and on to Pebble Beach. And when the vehicles are parked for the night, wine-paired dinners are de rigueur.

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Participants pose on the track at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca during last year's Robb Report California Coastal road rally.
Participants pose on the track at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca during last year’s California Coastal.

This edition represents a departure from the previous two, which both began farther south in Santa Barbara, where the Ritz-Carlton Bacara provided the initial basecamp. Those iterations rolled through the Central Coast’s wine regions of Santa Ynez Valley—made famous by the 2004 film Sideways—and Paso Robles, then on to Carmel and Monterey with detours that included the Return to Freedom wild horse sanctuary, parade laps at the revered Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, and a memorable pit stop at racer Bruce Canepa’s motorsport museum and adjacent restoration house. At the latter, Canepa himself served as guide, providing a behind-the-scenes look at where he and his team reimagine the Porsche 959 as restomods that fetch more than $2 million each.

Supercars drive along a breathtaking section of road in Northern California as part of Robb Report's California Coastal Rally.
A breathtaking section along the coast of Northern California.

Those past drives, though, ended where this next one begins—world-renowned Napa Valley. On June 4, a total of 35 pairs of drivers and navigators will converge on Carneros Resort and Spa. There, an opening day concours—comprised of participating cars and a few examples from esteemed collections—will precede a welcome reception and dinner to kick off the multi-day tour.

The next day’s menu features a morning drive to the CIA (no, not that one), the Culinary Institute of America, for an exclusive cooking class from a member of the team responsible for graduating numerous chefs who have gone on to Michelin-star success. After lunch at the iconic school, wheel time continues along stunning, bucolic arteries snaking toward San Mateo County and Half Moon Bay—near surfing’s big-wave mecca known as Mavericks—where the convoy of supercars and grand tourers will drop in to the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay for the evening.

Participants in Robb Report's 2022 California Coastal road rally mingle at the welcome reception.
Wine and warm camaraderie await when cars are parked for the night.

This year’s rally takes its foot off the throttle far more than before, adding in ample time to unwind and soak up the surroundings. Case in point, literally, is the archery challenge arranged for late in the morning of June 6, followed by a relaxed lunch at the picturesque hotel before finally piloting on to Pebble Beach and the seemingly timeless Inn at Spanish Bay, home for the final two nights. A highlight promises to be listening to the property’s strolling bagpiper at sunset while enjoying Champagne and caviar around the firepits.

Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif.
The 2023 California Coastal will start with a small concours and welcome dinner at Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa.

Downtime is the driving force behind most of the following day, whether it’s golf on one of Pebble’s world-class courses, cruising through Carmel’s noted galleries and boutiques or enjoying some personal restoration at the full-service Spa at Pebble Beach. A later motoring session is spent discovering 17-Mile Drive as well as possibly taking collective turns at Laguna Seca. It all officially ends that night with a bit of refined revelry, although more miles can be added with a jaunt to Big Sur and back on June 8 before the now-close-knit crew go separate ways after brunch.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.

The final itinerary is currently being fine-tuned and may also include visits to a private car collection and a winery tour. The five-day, four-night experience is priced at $17,000 for couples and $15,000 for solo entrants, which includes accommodations, all group meals, scheduled side trips, and, of course, camaraderie.

A close-up of supercars entered in Robb Report's 2022 California Coastal road rally.
An impressive mix of supercars, sports cars and grand tourers comprised the rally roster last year.

“Outstanding cars and outstanding friends on a once-in-a-lifetime journey—until we do it again next year,” says one previous participant who belongs to Robb Report’s RR1 members club. Another recommended it “if you enjoy great company, cool cars, special hotels, and one of the most iconic driving routes in the world.”

The open road. During the first week of June, it presents another blank canvas awaiting your four-wheel brush of choice. Why not make it a masterwork? For more information on Robb Report’s 2023 California Coastal Rally, or to register, visit here.

Click here for more photos from past editions of the California Coastal road rally.

A few of the automotive entrants at Robb Report's 2022 California Coastal road rally.
A few of the automotive entrants at Robb Report’s 2022 California Coastal road rally.

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