Your memory bank is probably brimming with recollections of piling into the family station wagon and hitting the highway for summertime family road trips. Squabbling with siblings in the back seat, playing the license plate game, stopping to visit the world’s largest ball of yarn and staying in cheesy motels is how many of us bonded with our families during the school break. And, those memories still pop up in the conversation at every family reunion and holiday meal.
But, with the lure of affordable plane tickets and all-inclusive resorts on exotic islands, the family road trip is becoming a thing of the past. This year, resurrect the road trip tradition with one of these must-take drives.
Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
Driving to the Grand Canyon is the quintessential road trip. Start by soaking in the glitz and excess of the Las Vegas strip before journeying along US 93 and 95 to Bolder City. Visit the massive hydropower plant at the Hoover Dam before spending the night in town. The next day, continue south to Peach Springs, the gateway of the canyon. There, take a stroll on the glass-bottom Skywalk cantilevered over the edge of the crater. From there, finish up the drive along AZ 66 and 64 to the Grand Canyon’s south entrance where you can squeeze in a white water rafting adventure.
California’s Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway is easily one of the most scenic drives in the nation, and, since you will stick to a single highway, it’s easy navigation makes it a prime road trip contender. Start in San Francisco and work your way down the coast to San Diego, basking in views of the Pacific Ocean’s bounding waves the whole way. Visit Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Warf in San Fran before heading south through Monterey and Big Sur. Stop in Los Angeles to see the iconic Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame. Don’t pass up a stop in quaint Dana Point, especially if it’s whale migration season. Blue and gray whales, as well as Orcas are often seen just off shore. Once you arrive in San Diego finish up with a visit to the world-class San Diego Zoo.
Before you go
Whether you set out on an epic cross-country drive to see some of nature’s best spots, or just take a quick spin from your garage to a neighboring city, car trouble can wreck a road trip. Sure, a flat tire or blown alternator might be the stuff of family jokes later, but no one’s going to be laughing in the moment. Before you put the car in gear, ensure that all four tires are in road-worthy condition and grab a spare tire from 4 Wheel Drive, just in case it’s needed. Keep the family vacation from skidding to a halt by checking the brakes and replacing any worn parts. 4 Wheel Parts will have everything necessary for the job. Nothing derails a road trip like getting lost, so if your map reading skills aren’t up to par, grab an Advance Auto Parts coupon and go pick up a GPS unit or navigation system. Everyone’s sure to get grouchy in a filthy car, so stock up on some cleaning supplies from Auto Parts Warehouse and get the vehicle pristine before you depart. Be sure to pack a detailing kit for scouring any food or beverage spills that occur en route.