What's Your Favorite Driving Road?

Screenshot: Caltrans District 7
Screenshot: Caltrans District 7

One of the greatest parts about loving cars is the driving. Hitting the perfect line on a technically challenging road when the weather is perfect, man, nothing beats that. I’ve logged quite a lot of miles in great cars all over this wonderful nation, and while it may be a bit cliche, I’ll be damned if my favorite driving roads aren’t all within the state of California. They just make such great roads out there.

In the interest of the conversation, I’ll give you all my top three favorite drives, and you can sound off in the comments to tell us your favorites. Maybe we can work together to build a great list of great roads, and we can all try some new roads. Maybe your old favorite road will become someone else’s new favorite!

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Blue Star Memorial Highway

Screenshot: Google Satellite
Screenshot: Google Satellite

Just 50 miles from the northern foot of the Highway 33 run, the Blue Star is an incredible driving road, if a bit off the beaten path. With exquisite elevation change, great pavement, and wonderful cambered switchbacks, this road is perfect for getting into a rhythm. It’s important to remember that you’ll hardly ever see another car out here, and cell signal is nil, so drive well within your limits. If you’re there during a super bloom, the hills on the west side of the run turn bright orange with California poppy, and it’s well worth the journey to get there.

Mount Hamilton

Screenshot: Google Satellite
Screenshot: Google Satellite

This is my favorite of the three. If you start out in the East Foothills neighborhood of San Jose and point your nose toward the Lick Observatory at the peak of Mount Hamilton, you’re going the right way. You simply cannot be in a bad mood driving this road. State Route 130 winds its way through the hills east of the bay, from basically sea level to 4,200 feet above it all. In the morning you’ll be running through the fog cover, and come out over the top of it. Stop at the observatory parking lot to catch your breath, then head down the other side of the mountain toward the tiny town of Patterson. Then turn around and hit it from the other side!

Okay, so those are my faves. Now it’s your turn. What do you think makes the best driving road? What are the best roads where you live? If you had your ideal sports car, what road are you taking it to?

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