Leave it to the Jalopnik readers to know the best places in the country, nay, the world, to drive. Yesterday I told you three of my favorite driving roads, and today the commentariat is here to divulge a few of their own favorites. Armed with this list, you’ve got a good enough start to figure out your next good driving road trip.
Clinton Rd in New Jersey
But to name ONE road, I actually will go with Clinton Rd, in West Milford (just into Passaic County, not Sussex). It runs through the woods around one side of the Clinton Reservoir and is just great...especially on a bike. Curvy, with enough straights to get your blood pumping, and a lovely atmosphere (not just scenery, but that enveloping feel of nature around you). They also freshly pave it every several years, so tends to be pretty decent. Whenever I take a bike for the day, I tend to hit that road at some point.
Palms To Pines in California
CA-74 Palms to Pines from Hemet to Palm Desert. Had a great rental for the drive, too.
7 Branches Road in Georgia
First up is 7 Branches Rd in Warm Springs, GA. It is small dirt road that crosses seven progressively bigger branches of a stream/river with the 5th being of decent size. I used to bomb down this road in my old Rodeo, my SportTrac, and my Dad and I once took it in his Buick Century. It isn’t long, but it is a great place to hang the back end out and launch some big splashes without needing specialized equipment.
El Mirage in California
Where I want to take the Charger once its engine is complete—a 512 roller stroker—isn’t a road but go to El Mirage dry lake bed in CA and do a high speed run. Here’s an STi booking along at 155mph:
And since my Charger has a Gear Vendors overdrive unit, I’m expecting I can reach 145mph—for a car with a front end that’s practically an air scoop with nowhere for the air to go—the antithesis of a Charger Daytona—I’d call 145mph pretty impressive. Having that big block flat-out roaring as I charge across the lake bed, yeah, that’s my dream driving location for the experience of a lifetime.
Lime Creek Road in Texas
Most peeps in central TX are probably familiar with Lime Creek Road. otherwise nearly anywhere in the TX hill country has suitable driving roads.
The Pacific Coast Highway in California
California State Highway 1.
Whether the northern part from just north of San Francisco up through Fort Bragg to connect with 101 at Leggett, or the southern part, beginning at Carmel and going down to Morro Bay. If you’re nervous about being on the cliff side of parts of it, go North, you’ll have a lane between you and the cliff.
Obviously, a fun car is best, but I drove a motor home northward, and that was quite a challenge. Not the least because I would pull over with anything over 2 cars behind me as soon as I had a spot. (Not wanting to be “that guy”)
NF-490 in Washington and Oregon
NF-490 in Washington and Oregon. Yes, a forest service road, yes, for sports cars. This is a popular route for motorcycles as it leads to the Hell’s Canyon Overlook, but my friends and I have made a multi-day rally out of it several times. It’s best appreciated in a small, mid-engine car IMHO. -
Skyline Drive in North Carolina
Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Fairly easy drive through the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Roads going up the the entrance stations are fun, especially Rt2 211 up to Thornton Gap. 4 hours to drive it but if you want to go longer, add in the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way down to Cherokee, NC. Usually slammed this time of year for the leaf color change, especially on the weekends. 2 hours waits to get into the park...... Nope!
The Race Track
I’m hitting the local track, because both myself and the vehicle can be fully exploited and enjoyed there, be it on 4-wheels or 2-wheels. Also, living in Metro Detroit, we don’t have exactly have “fun” roads nearby that can simply be enjoyed on a Sunday morning drive/ride.
The 405 in California
I-405 in L.A., preferably around 8a or 5p, but really any time is good. It’s a people watcher’s dream. People of all shapes and sizes and colors and tastes and dispositions and connections to reality are on full display all around. And it is unsurpassed in teaching personal growth as it forces me, in a way nothing else can, to exercise extraordinary - nay, superhuman - patience and learn to bring inner peace in the face of outer chaos.
Hwy 18 in California
The drive from San Bernadino to Big Bear Lake, in California. Doesn’t matter whether you take 330 to 18, or just take 18 all the way up. Both drives are gorgeous mountain climbs (or descents, on the way back) with more twists, turns, and beautiful views than makes any sense. When I lived in Riverside, most of the time I went up there was to get away from a bad situation, and that drive never failed to clear my head, and raise my spirits. Screw the Tail of the Dragon, that drive is where it’s at...
Highway 61 in Minnesota
Duluth MN to Grand Portage MN along highway 61 is rather wonderful.
Anywhere in the Finger Lakes in New York
There are several great driving roads around the finger lakes. Seriously, just pull up a map and start looking, you’ll find something astounding. Also, strange as it sounds, I86 from Jamestown to Erie has some spectacular sites easily seen from the road.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife
Obvious one, that wonderful toll road known as the Nordschleife.
I’M NOT TELLING!
Not telling because it’s not fun if it’s busy.
I can’t even look at you right now, Bradley. I am so disappointed in you:
First Rule of Favorite Driving/Riding Roads: Do not tell the general public about them!
Second Rule of Favorite Driving/Riding Roads: Do NOT tell the general public about them!
Third Rule of Favorite Driving/Riding Roads: Only share the locations with your closest friends.
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