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Road Trips

Find a Spring Break Getaway in Your Own Backyard (and Beyond)

(ARA) – Spring break is upon us, and this year a lot of people are planning road trips. Have you decided where to go yet?

If not, log on to to get some ideas. Whether you’re thinking about a cross-country trip, or just looking to take a quick afternoon drive, you’ll find information about stretches of road that are true “destinations.”

“Firestone Legendary Drives was created to provide travelers with fun and interesting alternatives for excursions across the country,” said Christine Karbowiak, vice president of public affairs, Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. “And we’re excited to present some new elements on our Web site. Whether you’re interested in automotive museums, history or great local restaurants, Firestone Legendary Drives offers a little something for everyone.”

The Firestone Legendary Drives Web site features details about all the major highways you’ll find in the 50 states, as well as noteworthy drives. Here’s a sampling of some of the drives featured in different parts of the country:

West Coast

If you’re looking to take a trip along the West Coast, one of the prettiest drives is the Mount Hood/Columbia River Gorge Loop in the northwestern part of Oregon. The 194-mile drive, which begins and ends in Portland, Ore., and circles Mount Hood, features majestic mountain views, a mighty river and misty waterfalls. The drive can be done in as few as four hours, but there’s so much to see, most people spend several days exploring this wonderland.

Central/Western U.S.A.

If you want to explore the central part of the country, one of your best bets is to travel along historic Route 66, which covers more than 2,000 miles as it makes its way through eight Central and Western states. Route 66 starts in Chicago, Ill., and heads south to St. Louis, Mo., then through Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas, on to Winslow, Ariz., and from there west all the way to Los Angeles.

East Coast

If you’d like to take a road trip along the East Coast, a drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must. The 40-mile trek along Tennessee’s Newfound Gap Road from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in North Carolina will reveal some spectacular scenery. Along the winding road, you’ll see great mountain vistas, the highest peak in the park and a river gorge. There are also be several pull-offs where you can take short hikes to waterfalls.


Ranked by many as one of the 10 best roads in America to drive, Route 100 stretches from the southern edge of Vermont to that state’s northern border. One of the drive’s biggest attractions is the Stowe Hollow covered bridge, a 50-foot span made of wood, built in 1844. It’s one of 107 covered bridges in the state.

Stay Safe on the Road

If you weren’t before, you’ve probably now been inspired to take a road trip this spring, but before venturing out be sure your car is in good working order. Bridgestone Americas offers the following safety tips:

* Before you set out, have an automotive technician make sure the vehicle is travel ready by checking the battery, fluid levels, exhaust system and windshield wipers. If you’ll be traveling in a cooler climate, have the defrosting and heating system checked as well.

* If you’ll be doing a lot of highway driving, it is important to keep the gas tank at least one-half full at all times. The fuel reserve will be important to avoid being stranded in heavy traffic.

* Examine the tread on your tires once per month and before every long trip. Your tires should have at least 2/32 inch of tread depth. You can easily determine if your tires are due for replacement with the “penny test.” Insert a penny in several spots on the tire’s tread, Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head in any of those spots, the tread is worn and the tire probably needs to be replaced. Have it checked by a tire professional.

* Tires can lose one pound per square inch of air pressure for each 10-degree drop in temperature. Improperly inflated tires will lessen the gripping action because the tire tread will not meet the road surface as it was designed to do.

* Prepare for inclement weather by storing emergency supplies in the trunk. Important items to have on hand in case of a storm are: a properly inflated spare tire, flashlight, blanket, extra clothing, candles/matches, bottled water, snacks, any necessary medication and a cell phone with a car charger.

For more safety information, and details about drives worth checking out in other parts of the country, log on to The site features picturesque drives in each of the 50 states.


If you’d like additional information about any of the drives in this article, or help localizing this story, contact the Bridgestone Americas media line at (877) 201-2373.

For additional information about tires and tire safety, visit {why not} or

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