There are plenty of beautiful driving roads in America (hi, Colorado!). But most involve driving so far out into the middle of nowhere that you need to take a vacation to enjoy them. So, we've put together this guide of great driving roads that don't require packing sleeping bags or checking into a seedy motel. Some are well-known, others are so under the radar not even the locals know of them. As usual, you're welcome.
[Editor's Note: Buckle up.]
Near New York City
Best Known Road: Bear Mountain
There’s no shortage of fine roads around Bear Mountain, but Seven Lakes Drive is a seemingly endless series of sweepers and bends around the mountain that’ll make you sad when you reach the end.
Lesser Known Road: Hawk's Nest (shown)
New York’s Route 97 out of Port Jervis—also called Hawk's Nest—is more than just a fantastic, winding piece of asphalt that’ll keep you entertained for about 90 minutes. It’s a road for connoisseurs, and history buffs know that it once served as the fun route for the cognoscenti en route to the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
Best Known Road: Pikes Peak
Easily the most famous mountain road in America, Pikes Peak has been home to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for generations. It’s almost entirely paved now, meaning the steep drops are much less horrifying than they used to be (was once entirely gravel), but this is still about as challenging a road as exists anywhere in the world.
Lesser Known Road: Skyline Drive (shown)
Head further south to a little town by the name of Canon City, and there’s a one-lane road called Skyline Drive that runs along the very top of a very steep ridge. That’s it in the GIF above. (If you have a fear of heights whatsoever, stock up on anxiety pills now.) This is a must-drive.