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If you’re anything like me, you definitely prefer driving vs flying. The open road gives you the freedom to constantly choose, change, and adapt any adventure to your liking. But it’s no secret that planning the perfect road trip is difficult — often taking hours to find the best road trip ideas, the things to bring on a road trip, and everything else you’ll need to make the most of every mile.

That’s why this year at AutoZone, we’re helping you discover how to plan a road trip that you’ll never forget with our picks for the top summer road trips in America—as well as some road-trip tips and tricks for your adventure. 

#1 The Pacific Coast Highway

Out of all the places to road trip to, few are as iconic as California State Route 1 — better known as The Pacific Coast Highway. This 650-mile stretch of highway covers almost the entirety of the California coastline and takes you by the scenic cities of San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles.

Tips and Tricks:

Even though you’re traveling by the beach, you’ll want to be sure to bring at least a light jacket in addition to your normal beach gear due to the colder winds brought in by the Pacific Ocean. Once you’ve packed all the typical road trip must haves, I’d recommend an oil change with Mobil 1 motor oil to be certain that your car has what it takes to make this journey. You can use this handy oil finder tool to figure out which formula is best for your specific make and model.

#2 Route 66

It’d be impossible to write this list without mentioning Route 66. The world-famous route stretches all the way from Los Angles to Chicago and takes about two weeks to complete. Along the way, you can take in all our country has to offer with beautiful mountains, quaint small towns, vast deserts, and all the iconic tourist destinations that line this historic path.

Tips and Tricks:

Many of the small businesses and gas stations you’ll encounter don’t accept credit or debit cards, so it’s important to bring a small reserve of spending cash to be sure you’re always prepared on this 2,000-mile journey. To make sure your car is ready for a trip this long, I’d recommend upgrading to a motor oil with a longer oil drain interval such as Mobil 1 Extended Performance.

#3 Moab, Utah

If you’re a bit more of a thrill-seeker, then this is the place for you. Moab is a well-known location in the off-roading community because of its intense trails and picturesque scenery. These rugged roads are the perfect playground for those who like to take their adventure to the extreme.

Tips and Tricks:

Before you go, make sure to do your research. Due to its popularity, many trails are partially or even fully closed to off-road vehicles. Every location has different rules that you should check before you go. Luckily, many of the sites have road trip checklists that can help you know what all is required for your trip. These trails can be extremely demanding on any vehicle, so make sure to fill your truck with Mobil 1 Truck & SUV to be sure it’s up to the task. 

#4 Blue Ridge Parkway

Almost heaven — this gorgeous parkway goes through scenic areas of Western Virginia that inspired the song Take Me Home, Country Roads. The best road trips have something for everyone, and Blue Ridge Parkway is no exception. These rolling hills are home to many wonderful places to camp, fish, hike, and explore with the entire family.

Tips and Tricks:

This is your escape to the outdoors… so pack accordingly. Tents, bug spray, hiking boots, and anything else you need to thrive outside are a must. As John Denver said, life is old here, so I’d recommend using Mobil 1 High Mileage if your car is as well-traveled as the scenic route you’ll be driving on.

#5 Dog Mountain (Saint Johnsbury, Vermont)

Going on a road trip with your dog is a great way save money on pet sitting as well as bond with your furry friend, so what better place to go than Dog Mountain? Located in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, Dog Mountain is a 150-acre leash-free space filled with trails, meadows, ponds, and even a dedicated Dog Chapel. With plenty of events happening all summer long, this is a must-see location for all dog-lovers.

Tips and Tricks:

Start your road trip with dog food. To prevent motion sickness, feed your furry friend a few hours before you go. Once you hit the road, you’ll want to take a 15-to-30-minute break for every 4 hours of travel. Try to plan these stops with your dog in mind, because they’ll be better behaved in the car if you let them out somewhere more fulfilling like a dog park instead of a gas station. To accommodate these extra breaks, I’d recommend using Mobil 1™ Advance Fuel Economy formula to decrease how frequently you need to stop for gas — freeing you up to make stops your dog will enjoy more.

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