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Great American Road Trips / Car Pairings: Part I

There’s nothing like the freedom of hitting the open road and just driving. Hence, we’re giving you an overview of some great American road trips. In the spirit of wine/food pairings, we are doing the same, but only with road trips and what we see as the ideal car companions that can make your trip that much more special. Enjoy part 1 of this series.

Rocky Top Road Trip – Extreme Sports & Adrenaline Junkies
This Southern Colorado loop is a 500-mile tour that will take you out of the driver’s seat and into activities that include hiking, climbing, running, water sports, backpacking and camping. From cruising the Rocky’s at nose-bleed altitudes and with 14,000-ft vistas, make sure you warm up and flex your muscles in advance because you’ll be doing a lot of rubbernecking. Crowd favorites include: whitewater-rafting at Durango’s Animas River Whitewater Park. You’ll also find private pools and hot springs to soak in after endless hiking and mountain-biking trails.

You can cross the Continental Divide Trail, visit Great Sand Dunes National Park, rent sand boards, raft for miles then pass out by the fire in a rented cabin or lodge room. Taking on the Colorado Rockies is one of the grittiest adventures around and it requires the perfect masculine vehicle.

Car Match: You’ll want to make sure your vehicle can withstand rugged terrain [meaning, it should excel in the areas of traction, suspension travel and axle articulation]. Smart SUV companions include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.

Not only can you get a good look at these vehicles at your local AutoNation Jeep dealership and your local AutoNation-affiliated Land Rover dealership, you can take them out for a spin to see what it genuinely feels like behind the wheel.

Bixby Bridge along the PCH
Bixby Bridge along the PCH

Pacific Coast Highway for Soul Searches and Spiritual Trekkers
The nice thing about the 655-mile Pacific Coast Highway that spans the length of California is you can do a little PCH, or a lot. It is all up to you and your priorities, which should include your available time and budget and of course, you’ll want a dependable car that’s been properly maintained and serviced in advance.

To do the entire north-to-south trip, you can start at the California/Oregon border and end in San Diego. It should take ten hours, without stops. But you’ll want to stop, and–stop often! So plan a few days and let yourself be properly dazzled by the stunning coastal views, variety of beautiful trees and deserts, seaside villages and wine country.

Take in all the quaint hippy towns. Outstanding is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, if you’re looking for a trip back to the sixties. Enjoy Monterrey Bay kayaking and paddle boarding. Stop and strike a pose along the coast and snap a shot of one of the west coast’s most popular bridges, the Bixby Creek.

Car Match: Convertible—all the way. If you want to have the true, authentic Pacific Coast Highway experience, you need a convertible. May we suggest a Mustang convertible or the Chevrolet Convertible? Or, add some real flower power to the journey with a Volkswagen convertible.

Get a good look at these vehicles and take them each for a test-drive, at your local AutoNation Ford dealership, your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealership and your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealership.

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