We all have our favorite roads: familiar sweepers and on-ramps during commutes, long straightaways for WOT hits, and scenic byways for weekend cruises. But when it comes to truly great roads that challenge us and our fiberglass machines, you can never have enough.
That’s why we’ve created this list of America’s Best Driving Roads. We’ve broken our great land into Midwest, Northeast, South, Southwest, and West regions, then chosen four fantastic roads from each of them. Each one makes for a unique drive, and many have scenic views to match.
As we were considering which roads to include, we naturally thought of Route 66. But there is no need to mention the Mother Road to Corvette enthusiasts, as you guys and girls are familiar with it already.
And in most cases, we’ve avoided roads in heavily populated areas. While there are some great city drives—like NYC’s West Side Highway and LA’s Mulholland Drive—the heavy traffic, road hazards (including pedestrians), and police presence are major drawbacks.
So take a look at our list. If you happen or plan to be near any of these roads, get your Vette in top operating shape; grab your cell, charger, and roadside assistance card; and start driving. You have nothing to lose but your brake pads.
Illinois: Scenic Ridge Road North of Savanna
Northern Illinois is where you’ll find the 18-mile Scenic Ridge Road. This narrow road has a glass-smooth surface, and is surrounded by trees, hills, and the occasional house. Enjoy the curves and elevation changes, watch for gravel at intersections, and be sure to stop at the Mississippi Palisades Park.
Minnesota: Stillwater to Ellsworth, Wisconsin
If you need to keep the significant other entertained while you burn corners, drop ’em off in Stillwater for some antiquing. Then jump on the Chestnut Street bridge to Wisconsin and head down 35, 65, and various back roads named after rivers and fish. You’ll revel in corners and bask in spectacular scenery until Ellsworth appears 40 miles later.
Nebraska: I-80 West of Lincoln
Heading west from Lincoln rewards those with heavy right feet: I-80 is dead straight for a loooonnng time. We’ve done Lincoln to Lake Mac in western Nebraska—around 300 miles—in just over three hours. Fair warning: State Patrol speed teams and their pesky airplanes are a constant threat. So if your insurance bill looks like ours, and you pass through in August, head up to Arnold and run flat-out for 55 miles at the legally sanctioned Sandhills Open Road Challenge.
Wyoming: Route 212 to Lauren, Montana
Whether you consider these states to be Midwest or just West, Wyoming and Montana’s shared Route 212 is a rugged gem of a road. Starting in Tower Junction, Wyoming, and heading north to Lauren, Montana, Route 212 offers 141 miles of forests, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. The 68-mile, nearly 11,000-foot Beartooth Pass Highway is considered the trip’s high point in more ways than one.
New Hampshire: Mount Washington Auto Road
Mount Washington sits between Route 16 and U.S. 302 in the White Mountain National Forest. To get to the summit, take Route 16 to the Mount Washington Auto Road, which winds 7.6 miles and climbs 4,618 feet. It’s a toll road, but you won’t mind.
New Jersey: Palisades Parkway North of Fort Lee
Barely over the George Washington Bridge into Jersey, you’ll see an exit for the 42-mile Palisades Parkway. Once you’ve wound through Fort Lee, speeds increase and you can either gawk at the Hudson River views or focus on the sweeping turns at 80 mph.
New York: Taconic State Parkway into Dutchess County
Contrary to popular belief, the NYC area has great roads—just not in midtown. An hour north of the city is the 103-mile Taconic State Parkway. The lanes are narrow, the cliffs are granite, and as you dive through the turns, the only thing saving you from serious bodily injury is the Armco. Good times.
Pennsylvania: State Road 44 Between Coudersport and Jersey Shore
Nearly desolate roads do exist in the Northeast: State Road 44 is not only lightly traveled, but it has an exhilarating mix of blind corners, elevation changes, and corkscrews. Driving south from Coudersport is the most rewarding leg.