These Are The Best Cities For Car Culture

Photo: Wikimedia
Photo: Wikimedia

Every city has its plusses and minuses, right? It’s almost impossible to find a single city that would be the perfect place for a car enthusiast to live. Earlier this week we asked our readers to sound off with their favorite car city, and why. Some of the answers are pretty damn entertaining. We all love our home city, right, or we wouldn’t live there. Maybe that’s part of the reason some of these picks made the list. My home town of Hickory Corners, Michigan isn’t even in the top fifty, despite it being the location of one of the best car museums in the world.

Click through this list of the fifteen best cities for car culture, and if you don’t see the city you think is the best, make sure to drop it in the comments below and we can chat about it. If I was looking for a cool place to visit, I’d probably pick one of the places on this list. Check it out!

Santa Cruz

Biased, but I’m going to go with Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley, CA. Birthplace of Radwood (shoutout to the Driving While Awesome! folks), home to Canepa (RIP to their cars and coffee though), and while I hate to say it, enough money around that you find some pretty cool cars.

- Enjoy cruising? Check out woodies on the wharf or the bajillion old VWs doddling around the beach town (drove my ‘68 bus for some surf and to the office this morning).

-Enjoy some spirited mountain road driving? The Santa Cruz Mountains are top-tier

- Casual cars and coffee more your style? Check out the monthly Driving While Awesome! C&C or the weekly one at Cruise Coffee.

- Of course we’re also a main thoroughfare for everyone heading down to Monterey for Car Week, so you get your share of exotics then, or whenever the tech-bros go out for a drive.


Suggested by SantaCruzin6

Not A City

To find good car culture you need to get out of the big cities and into the smaller towns. Places where people use their cars. Places not overrun with cyclists and cycling lanes. So the best city for cars? None of them. Get out into the country and even suburbia, that is where you find the good cars and good driving conditions these days.

Suggested by skeffles

The ‘Ring

Nurburg, Germany. The town only really exists because of the track and the whole place is built on car culture really. But even if you add up all of the towns surrounding the Nordschilefe I don’t think you can call it a city lol

Suggested by Chance Hales on Facebook


Biased because I live here and have gotten to know the scene over 20 years, but Atlanta is such a fantastic place to be a car enthusiast.

We have two major race tracks just outside the city which offer platforms for all kinds of events even beyond the races themselves, Porsche Cars North America has their HQ & Experience Center down here, we have beautiful mountain roads to the north, fuel is still relatively inexpensive, and all kinds of subcultures within the community are well represented, from exotics, to classics, to tuners, to stanced cars, to dinks, to lowriders, to Radwood & Malaise-era, and everything in between.

Weather is quite friendly year round, and as a bonus, Georgia doesn’t require front license plates. We’re also a relatively short road trip from other enthusiast hubs like Amelia Island, Greenville, and Barber Motorsport Park to name a few.

Sure, we have our issues with traffic and crazy drivers, but that’s part of the package of any big city. I feel really fortunate as a gearhead to have grown up in Atlanta.

Suggested by Aldairion


H-Tiiiiiiine, where even the police are rollin’ on swangas

Suggested by RedRaiderEducator

Anywhere in Cali

I would say California as a whole is number 1 for car culture. The funny thing is, California as a state hates cars in every fashion but especially modified or fast ones...The specifc city since LA is mentioned, I will say San Clemente. Specifically because they host a very large cars and coffee every week (like 200+ cars) of all variety. You’ll see the run of the mill civics right next to an SLR McLaren, right next to a 60's muscle car right next to an Aventador. Sometimes a couple of Hyper cars show up to.

Suggested by darthspartan117

Specifically Los Angeles

LA gets a lot of hate but there are a lot of car meets in and around the city. To be more specific, it’s the beach towns in and around LA that have excellent car culture.

Malibu has classic cars and coffee meetups every other Sunday with exotic classics, Venice Beach has classics and lowriders every weekend, Marina del Rey as well.

Suggested by iknownothingaboutit

All My Friends Drive A Lowrider

Espanola, New Mexico. The birth place of the lowrider.

Suggested by jakesly

There Be Dragons

Robbinsville, NC. Eastern gateway to the Tail of the Dragon.

Suggested by Beaver

I Wonder If You Know...


It seems to have every kind of car subculture in one big city.

Suggested by WitchyWhale

Chocolate City

As for small towns...

Hershey PA.

You can’t beat the swap meets and the like there at the land of chocolate.

Suggested by hoser68

The Land Rust Forgot

I haven’t been enough places in that region, but I would suspect there are some cities with rocking car cultures in the SouthWest. Between the low humidity keeping older cars in nice shape, the mountain roads for sports cars and mountain paths for Sports Utility Vehicles, there should be some interesting vehicles in this region that are fairly common to find out “in the wild”. Add open roads and lower cost of livings than places like LA and I expect there will be a city in that area with a really exceptional car culture.

But since I haven’t been there a lot, I haven’t a clue what city would be the one to consider the best.

Suggested by hoser68

Motor City

Metro Detroit. When you go to the woodward dream cruise you see everything from early 1900s to modern US to Chinese. Stock to batshit crazy builds. I also recommend stopping by cars and Coffee on woodward, there tends to be a unique group of cars for that. Also keep an eye out on for a Walmart meetup on a Friday or Saturday night in Troy. On top of that you have the Henry Ford, the GM Heritage Center, Stahls, and the new Pontiac Transportation Museum.

Suggested by Scott the Stagehand

Rainy But Good

Shhh…don’t tell anyone…but the Seattle area has quite the car scene. Numerous C&C spots, many active car clubs, lots of events, several private world class collections, LeMay museum…oh, and great mix of driving roads, from mountain passes to desert views.

Suggested by Dan O’Connell on Facebook

Your Hometown

Terre Haute

Suggested By Jim Rader on Facebook

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