“Hey, Mercedes,” I say. “What’s the weather forecast for Point Reyes Station?”
“Sunny, with a high of 69 degrees,” comes the surround-sound reply from my all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+. Nice day for a drive, I think, as I glide north from San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County.
From U.S. Route 101, I cut west on Lucas Valley Road, slaloming through stands of coast live oak and redwood and the historic town of Nicasio, whose rolling ranch land hasn’t changed much since the 1850s. When I hit State Route 1, I bear north, hugging the shore of Tomales Bay until I glide to a stop at Tony’s Seafood, a 74-year-old restaurant in Marshall, where I dig in to an ambrosial flight of grilled Sweetwater oysters, raised a stone’s throw away at Hog Island Oyster Co.
Reversing course, I head south to the picturesque town of Point Reyes Station, founded along the North Pacific Coast Railroad line in the late 19th century. Energized by an espresso from Toby’s Coffee Bar, I stroll down the main street and up an inviting staircase to Coyuchi, which for three decades has produced impossibly soft organic-cotton bedding. Browsing those blankets has me anticipating both cozy dreams and midnight snacks. To prep for the latter I stop in at Cowgirl Creamery, one of America’s best cheesemakers. Here, I get a lesson about Brevibacterium linens, a native microorganism that imparts a delicious pungency to Cowgirl’s beloved triple-cream Red Hawk cheese—a round of which I secure for further study.
Dialing up a delicious “hot stone” massage in the EQS’s driver’s seat, I continue past tiny Olema, through a fragrant eucalyptus grove, and along the edge of Bolinas Lagoon, where harbor seals lounge on sandbars and snowy egrets forage in the shallows. Just past Stinson Beach, I ascend Mount Tamalpais on Panoramic Highway, marveling at Muir Woods and the glittering Pacific from the ridgetop before dropping back down to the bayshore and the town of Sausalito.
The waterfront is prime for a stroll, so I park the car and traipse past the Sausalito Yacht Harbor’s modest dinghies, decked-out yachts, and famed houseboats—Otis Redding wrote “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” on one of them—to the landmark Scoma’s Sausalito restaurant. A rummy Pacific Sunset cocktail sets the mood, and the petrale sole with capers and a lemon-butter sauce is worthy of an ovation.
Ready for a respite, I make my way to the hidden courtyard of The Inn Above Tide, a luxuriously secluded retreat perched at the water’s edge. From the deck of the capacious City Lights Suite, I gaze across the Bay at the sparkling towers of San Francisco, listening to the waves lapping against the seawall, the cry of a passing gull, and, somewhere close by, the barking of a solitary seal turning in for the night.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+
Throughout their history, Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans have been vehicles for innovation, from airbags to driverless concept cars. It’s fitting, then, that when the German automaker chose to pivot to an all-electric future, it did so with a revolutionary new sedan, the EQS. Packed with technology as sophisticated as its shape (such as active distance- and steering-assist systems), propelled by a 329-horsepower synchronous motor, and capable of up to 350 miles on a full charge, the EQS transports five passengers in comfort and tranquility, with a sense of style at once timelessly classic and boldly futuristic.
From $102,310, mbusa.com
Next Up: Pacific Coast Pilgrimage: The Ultimate Road Trip Through Monterey and Big Sur