The West Coast is chock full of places to explore and new sights to see at every turn. If you’ve been itching for adventure, taking a road trip is one of the best options you have. Get your car maintenance in check, throw a few bags in the trunk, and hit the open road to one of these beautiful destinations.
1) Pacific Coast Highway: Start to Finish
Is there a more seminal California road trip than this one? The road might technically just run from Orange County up to Oxnard, but generations of Californians and others use it to travel to Northern California. The stretch from Laguna Beach to Santa Monica, beginning in beautiful Dana Point, is just a small bit of what this scenic trip has to offer. Stop to take in the 17 miles that make up the Carmel-by-the-Sea stretch, and you won’t be disappointed. Wind up at Half Moon Bay and stop to surf a little. This is a purely classic trip, one that pictures cannot do justice.
2) Seattle to Alaska
Looking for more of a challenging drive with rugged terrain? The bold and those up to date on car maintenance favor the trip from Seattle, WA to Ketchikan, AK. It’s a 26-hour drive that clocks in at just over 1,100 miles, but the landscapes are worth it every stretch of the way. Be sure to bring your passport, and spend some time in Vancouver, Canada. Enjoy the gorgeous lakes and quaint small towns you’ll see along the way.
3) Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, CA
It’s a much shorter trip than the first two at just three hours long, but a stunning one nonetheless. You’ll start amidst the hustle and bustle of LA, and you’ll probably have to deal with the infamous stop-and-go traffic in the City of Angels. Since driving in bumpy conditions wrecks your tires, refer to our blog post on tire pressure so you can prepare for this portion of the trip. This is a perfect way to see California’s desert, and once you’re at your destination, you’ll find that it’s full of hiking spots that let you get even closer to nature.
4) Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
Another Seattle-based starting point leads you to Highway 101 and goes for 330 miles around much of the state’s shorelines. Because this can get mountainous at points, be sure you’re up to date on seasonal car maintenance to avoid slips and slides. Our blog post on checking the wear and tear on your tires can help you get started. You have the chance to get the really unique experience of admiring both the coast, the state’s many snow-topped mountains, and everything else in between. Stop at the Dungeness Spit, which is one of the largest naturally-occurring sand spits in the world, and you’ll have the chance to see wildlife as you’ve never seen it before. If relaxation is more your speed, consider a stop at the Sol Duc Hot Springs.
5) Portland to Redwood National Park
We couldn’t leave Oregon off this list. Get some fuel for the road and your body in Portland, a city known for its abundance of delicious culinary offerings, and get ready for the five-hour drive ahead on 101 South. Before heading out camping, make sure you’ve done all the necessary car maintenance. In no time at all, you’ll be among the redwoods of California, a magnificent sight in their own right. But you’ll be equally captivated by the beauty of the scenery along the way, so consider taking this drive slowly to absorb it all. Stop at the park, spend a few days camping, and then do it all again.
Before each and every road trip, good car maintenance is important. You don’t want your trip spoiled by unexpected vehicle failure. Cover all your bases, and hit the road!