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5 Road Trips for Post-Quarantine: Best Tires for Travel

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Reading Time: 12 minutes

Last Updated on February 22, 2024

We have all had our fill of quarantine and stay-at-home orders. Studies fine, we are  ready to hit the open road in numbers higher than ever. A recent AAA Travel survey found that 37 million travelers are planning a drive of over 50 miles beginning on Memorial Day. This is up 60% from 2020. Goodyear conducted a study and found that 73% of drivers plan a road trip this summer, and over 63% plan that trip to be over 200 miles.

Studies found drivers like the level of control they have in their vehicle and feel safer than traveling by other means of transportation such as bus, rail, or plane. We want to fuel your post-quarantine road trip dreams. Here are five of the best places to go on a road trip that will satisfy your need for adventure and exploration.

Bonus: we’re also providing tips on choosing the best tires for highway driving on each of these journeys so you’ll be safe no matter what road or weather conditions you encounter.

1. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

The Appeal:

The first on this list of popular road trips will lead you to a park full of incredible sunsets, endless desert roads, and stargazing that will knock your socks off.

Located roughly 140 miles from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park is world-renowned for its beauty and various outdoor activities, including rock climbing and hiking. You’ll be awed by the vast open spaces and splashes of color spread amongst the pale rock formations of this unique landscape.

Note: the summer temperatures in Joshua Tree can be a bit unbearable, so we recommend planning your future road trip sometime in the fall or even next spring.

The Road and Weather Conditions:

Joshua Tree is in a desert – meaning you won’t likely run into any severe weather that will impact your driving. Regardless of what time of year you visit Joshua Tree, you’ll need to have a car that can handle: 

  • Dramatic temperature changes between daytime and nighttime
  • Dusty, potentially rocky roads
  • Decent fuel economy due to the lack of nearby gas stations

Now, while most campgrounds are accessible via paved roads, there are plenty of opportunities for off-roading in the park. If that’s what you’re into, look into an AT tire – and be sure you have four wheel drive.

Recommended Highway Tires:

1. Achilles 122

 Achilles 122 tires
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This Achilles tire is a long-lasting, all-season tire available at a budget-friendly price. It will give you all the comfort and stability you need while you make your way through the Joshua Tree desert.

The ECOTECH technology ensures an eco-friendly ride, while the solid center rib provides stability. The four-groove design provides enhanced handling capabilities, high-speed stability and dry braking. The low rolling resistance improves gas mileage – making it ideal for a long road trip.

The Achilles 122 can fit on various passenger types, from sedans to minivans or wagons, whatever you want to bring to this national park – wherever you might be coming from.

This tire’s price starts at $40.

2. Westlake RP18

Westlake RP18 Tires
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In a place like Joshua Tree, you want a tire that can handle it all – low temperatures, high temperatures, potentially rocky roads, and smoothly paved streets.

That’s why we recommend the Westlake RP18 tire. Its most significant benefit is its ability to handle every kind of road year-round, from wet pavement to dry, dusty backroads. The low-profile design assists with both steering and handling capabilities and superior water dispersion in the event of road flooding.

The non-directional tread and siping provide year-round performance, and the low-profile design assists with great steering responses and handling.

This tire’s price starts at $43.

3. Zenna Sport Line

Zenna Sport Line Tire
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When taking a Joshua Tree day trip, the last thing you want is a tire that’s so noisy it disrupts your peaceful experience of marveling at the park. Fortunately, the Zenna Sport Line provides outstanding ride control with minimal noise.

Experience excellent stability with the giant contact patch in wet and dry conditions. No matter the weather on your road trip, this tire can handle it: rain or shine, cold or hot.

The tread of this tire is designed with noise-reducing technology. The large contact patch allows for superb handling and steering responses and performs exceptionally well in all-weather circumstances.

This tire’s price starts at $43.

2. Lake Shore Drive Chicago

Lake Shore Drive Chicago

The Appeal:

Alongside the shoreline of Illinois’s Lake Michigan lies an expressway frequently recognized for its beauty. Cruise along the blue waters of the famous lake as you approach Chicago, and don’t forget to take a few breaks to walk alongside the beach or even kayak.

Although the trip is technically only 15.83 miles, there are many things to do on Lake Shore Drive, such as visiting the promenade at Navy Pier.

Described as one of the most “visually stimulating stretches of roadway in the nation,” this is one of the top places to go on a road trip in the U.S.

The Road and Weather Conditions:

There’s a reason Chicago is called the “Windy City.” Lake Michigan’s calm, crisp winds make this a unique place to take a road trip. Also, the summers can be brutal, but the winters can be even more extreme with icy roads and snow.

Depending on the time of year you plan to take the Lake Shore Drive, you’ll need different types of tires to tackle the journey. We recommend going while the weather is still relatively mild (September and October or next spring).

Recommended Highway Tires:

1. Federal SS-657

Federal SS-657 Tires
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Should you embark on Lake Shore Drive during the winter months, this tire performs exceptionally well in cold weather conditions. It even has an M+S mud and snow rating and can fit on sports cars, CUVs, and sedans.

Even if you don’t go in the winter, these all-season tires can provide a comfortable, quiet ride during any time of the year.

The optimized tread pattern reduces vibration, while the steel belt provides strength and stability. You’ll experience excellent handling throughout your trip to the Chicago area.

This tire’s price starts at $40.

2. Doral SDL-A

Doral SDL-A tires
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This inexpensive all-season passenger car tire provides excellent traction on wet, icy, snowy, and dry roads. It’s a perfect option for someone driving in a state like Illinois – where seasonal temperatures can change so dramatically.

The Doral SDL-A also offers a long tread-life, thanks to its complex rubber compound that is great for frequent stops and starts (like in the city of Chicago). At the same time, the tread pattern is designed to resist hydroplaning. The high void ratio of tread blocks allows water to evacuate quickly from the contact patch.

This tire’s price starts at $52.

3. Nexen nPriz AH5

nexen npriz ah5
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Need biting edges to handle snow and ice? Sure thing. Need excellent water evacuation capabilities for rainstorms? Check. Driving in the summer when it’s warm? This tire can handle it all.

The Nexen NPriz truly has all-season capabilities, so no matter when you decide to take on Lake Shore Drive, you can feel confident that your tires can handle the journey.

Its four wide longitudinal grooves expel water quickly, even when you’re in deep puddles or experiencing heavy rain conditions. The dual sipe design helps maintain block stiffness and great mileage.

This tire’s price starts at $55.

3. Oceanfront A1A in Florida

Oceanfront A1A in Florida

The Appeal:

This is hands-down one of the best experiences you can have in the sunshine state – the A1A Florida road trip. Although the Atlantic Coast stretches for hundreds of miles, you can break up the trip into small pieces with plenty of beaches, historic communities, and so much more.

Travel all the way from Amelia Island to St. Augustine, then continue on to New Smyrna Beach and Melbourne. If you choose to do so, you can take the road all the way to Key West!

The Road and Weather Conditions:

 If you’re planning to travel in Florida before this September, remember that the state gets plenty of precipitation during its warmer months. You’ll need to anticipate some rainfall, the occasional storm, and of course, warm temperatures. 

Recommended Highway Tires:

1. Laufenn G FIT AS

Laufenn G FIT AS tires
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Due to the consistent high chance of rain in Florida, you should likely find a tire that can quickly evacuate water and prevent hydroplaning – and the Laufenn G FIT AS is great at that.

Four wide straight grooves expel the water and slush, keeping you safe when the road is wet. Even at high speeds, you’ll experience maximum cornering due to the tire bars connecting the shoulder tread blocks.

The tire provides very well at high speeds and provides excellent cornering capabilities. You’ll feel totally in control handling a car with these tires on it.

This tire’s price starts at $51.

2. Radar RPX 900

radar rpx 900
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Designed for mid-sized passenger cars and SUVs, this eco-friendly tire offers excellent cornering performances and stability. Even on slippery roads during a Florida rainstorm, you’ll feel in control of your vehicle with these highway tires.

Additionally, the Radar RPX 900 can easily evacuate water from its footprint, lowering the chances of hydroplaning. The optimized tread pitch sequence will also give you a nice, quiet ride so you can enjoy the natural sounds of the coast.

The tire uses two High-Modulus Cap belts over two strong, flexible steel belts so you get even wear and stable contact the whole time you’re on the road.

This tire’s price starts at $40.

3. Achilles 122

Achilles 122 tires
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Yep, this tire is making a second appearance on our list.

Looking for a tire that’s really quiet so you can enjoy the beach’s soothing sounds? This tire’s ECOTECH technology provides you with an incredible amount of stability and silence as you drive.

The solid center rib provides stability while the four-groove design gives you superior handling. The stiffed tread area leads to straight line tracking, high-speed stability, and dry braking.

The Achilles 122 is a great tire, even in rain or on wet roads. It’s an excellent choice for a variety of car types, including sedans and minivans. The four-groove design provides enhanced handling while the tires quickly channel water away from the vehicle – making it one of the best tires for Florida driving.

This tire’s price starts at $40.

4. The Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway

The Appeal:

How does a ten-hour drive on “one of the most scenic drives in the world” sound?

This road trip encompasses both the Big Sur Coast Highway and the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway. You’ll begin your journey at the northwest tip of the United States in Oregon, then take the 1,650-mile trip all the way to the edge of the Mexican border in California.

The entire journey is filled with stunning views of the ocean, lush forests, and deserts. Be sure to bring your camera because you’ll be snapping photos constantly at the various Pacific Coast highway stops.

The Road and Weather Conditions:

Be aware that sections of this drive have a fair number of hairpin turns – especially on the San Francisco to San Diego road trip. Therefore, you’ll likely want a vehicle with a low center of gravity that can hug the bends without the risk of rolling.

The weather conditions change quite a bit from the fog and rain of Oregon to the sunny, windy cliff sides of California. Skip a soft-top convertible or Jeep in favor of something a little more protected.

You also go up and down on a series of hills, so get a car that can handle the wear and tear of multiple elevations.

Recommended Highway Tires:

1. Achilles ATR-K Economist

achilles atr k economist
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This is an excellent tire for this journey for a few reasons. First of all, it’s a three-season tire that can handle rain, flooded roads, and regular weather environments with ease. You can safely travel from rainy Oregon to sunny Cali without worrying about how your tires will handle the road.

Additionally, the Achilles ATR-K Economist provides excellent grip and has a low rolling resistance, which is exactly what the Pacific Coast Highway calls for. It also offers great fuel economy so you won’t go broke filling up your vehicle’s tank.

The tire’s twin offset center ribs are designed to deliver a smooth and responsive driving experience. At the same time, the shoulder of the tire has deep grooves that give you excellent grip on the road.

This tire’s price starts at $36.

2. Sumic GT-A

sumic gt a tires
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When you’re starting your journey in the rainy environment of Oregon, you’ll be grateful for the Sumic GT-A’s wet weather performance. It’s excellent at channeling water away from underneath the tire, keeping you safe regardless of the road’s conditions.

However, this tire also performs well on dry roads, so when you reach sunny California, you’ll enjoy stiff, responsive sidewalls that allow you to take turns with ease. The SUMIC GT-A offers excellent handling, which will come in handy on this long road trip.

Note that the four-rib tread pattern keeps things quiet and enjoyable, even as the tire channels out excess water on wet roads.

This tire’s price starts at $41.

3. Doral SDL-A

Doral SDL-A tires
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This inexpensive all-season passenger car tire is perfect if you plan to stop and start many times over the course of your road trip along the Pacific Coast.

Whether you’re operating at high speeds on the open highway or making pit stops in cities along the way, this tire will give you an extra-long tread-life. Its special rubber compound handles frequent stops and starts with ease – which is pretty much all you do on a sightseeing road trip.

The Doral SDL-A also provides great grip on both wet and dry roads. No matter where you are on the coastline or what the weather is, you can feel safe. Check out all the best places to stop on the Pacific Coast highway without worrying.

This tire’s price starts at $52.

5. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

The Appeal:

Do we even really need to explain why this is a dream road trip for so many Americans?

Driving to the Grand Canyon is essentially a rite of passage for every U.S. resident. If you’ve heard someone say that the canyon is just a hole in the ground with nothing interesting to see, don’t believe them – you can’t understand its vastness until you’re in America’s largest canyon.

Plus, if you take a road trip to the Arizona national park, you’ll have the opportunity to check out other nearby attractions such as Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. 

The Road and Weather Conditions:

On a Grand Canyon road trip through Flagstaff and other areas of Arizona, you’ll need to prepare for a variety of landscapes. Additionally, temperatures can soar past 100 in the daytime – but drop substantially during the nighttime.

Recommended Highway Tires:

1. Nokian eNTYRE

nokian entyre 2-0
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This tire was designed specifically for North America, and how much more “North American” can you get than traveling to the Grand Canyon?

It provides an excellent grip in all seasons, as well as a strong fuel economy so that you won’t waste gas on your long desert road trip. Nokian’s patented Silent Sidewall Technology gives you a quiet ride while the polished groove technology prevents hydroplaning.

The Nokian eNTYRE has some of the newest safety and green technologies, which makes it hugely appealing to those of us that love our national parks and want to protect them.

2. Milestar MS70

Milestar MS70 tires
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When learning how to plan a road trip to the Grand Canyon, you’ll learn a lot about the hot, dry desert. In such an environment, it’s nice to have a tire like this one. The Milestar MS70 is an all-season tire that’s excellent at dissipating heat, which prolongs tread life.

Even when you’re driving over dusty, rocky roads, this tire will do its best to give you a smooth ride with adequate handling and traction. It provides a safe ride for a variety of vehicles, including coupes, sedans, and small CUVs.

The enhanced siping patterns offer good handling, stability, and traction in all weather. The tread design is made to help these highway tires last for many years.

This tire’s price starts at $49.

3. Achilles 868 All Seasons

Achilles 868 All Seasons Tires
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Looking for a road-trip tire that will last you for years to come, even after driving to the Grand Canyon and back?

The Achilles 868 is a long-lasting all-season tire for compact cars, sedans, and crossover vehicles. It offers impressive strength and stiffness, making it a great choice for drives that require intense handling. Enjoy excellent stability and precise steering responses on your Grand Canyon adventure.

Note the four wide circumferential grooves. These provide excellent wet traction with a low risk of hydroplaning. At the same time, the asymmetrical tread pattern is fully siped and reinforced so you can take corners with ease and steer precisely.

This tire’s price starts at $49.

Pre-Maintenance Road Trip Tips

Regardless of which trip you decide to take, there are a few tasks you need to complete if you want to stay safe on the road.

  • Check your tire pressure before you head out
  • Conduct a car inspection before the road trip
  • Change your oil and other fluids if necessary
  • Clean your car to start with comfortable, sanitary conditions
  • Double-check to ensure all of your lights (both front and back) are working properly
  • Pack things to make the trip more comfortable, such as blankets, games, and snacks
  • Plan for your pets’ needs if you intend to bring them along

Thinking about car maintenance before a road trip is the key to prevent breakdowns, alarming problems, and general discomfort for you and your fellow road trippers.

Staying Safe During Road Trips with Covid -19

Until this pandemic is over, some of us will stay home, but others will want to get out and explore safely. Carefully planning your trip and some pre-trip preparation will go a long way towards keeping you and your family safe, as well as not endangering other. The comfort of our vehicle provides us the ability to physical distance, while still being out and about, seeing new things. Camping offers plenty of ability to social distance, so throw in the tent and be ready to stop and set up camp.

Packing List

  • Hand sanitizer
  • masks – since each state, county or city can have different regulations
  • Disinfecting wipes or spray
  • Soap, and plenty of water.

If you plan ahead you can still have a fun, safe trip and enjoy getting out of the house and out on the open road.


AAA Road Restriction App  –  interactive road closure/restriction map of the United States due to Covid-19.

CDC List of State Health Departments for latest Covid data by state.

In Conclusion

Did any of these summer road trips catch your eye? Planning on scheduling something soon?

Talk to the experts at Tires Easy to equip your vehicle with the perfect highway or touring tires for your dream road trip. A reliable vehicle can take you far, but pairing it with the right tires will ensure you stay safe on the road to your next bucket list destination. Wishing you a safe and memorable trip!

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