These Are The States You Say Have The Best Driving Roads

These Are The States You Say Have The Best Driving Roads

From sea to shining sea, you all have some very strong opinions on the best places to drive

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Image for article titled These Are The States You Say Have The Best Driving Roads
Photo: Andy Kalmowitz

We like cars, don’t we folks? But you know what? Cars would be nothing without roads. Much like how the suit makes the man, the road can sometimes make the car.

So, we asked you what state you all think have the best driving roads. Unlike the last time I did an answer of the day, you actually listened to directions... for the most part.

Some of the answers may have been a tad predictable, but I promise you there are some gems in here.

So, sit back, relax and flick through your suggestions for which state has the best driving roads in America. And, yes all photos are from roads that are actually in the states you guys said.

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2 / 19

Oregon & Washington

Oregon & Washington

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Photo: Wilsonville History via Wikimedia Commons

The border of Washington / Oregon is on the Columbia River Gorge. Every turn changes the view dramatically. Stunningly pretty stuff. In 90 miles you can see everything from a rain forest to a desert. You name something cool to do or see, it’s on the Gorge. In theory, you can day trip down the Gorge, but in reality, there are so many things to stop and see that it’s hard to just drive it in 2 hours and not spend 4-5 extra hours gawping.

The Oregon side has a wider road that is easy for cruising and seeing the views. The Washington side as a more twisty road that makes you pay attention to the driving more and less of the views.

There is no “typical” view of the gorge.

Okay so right off the bat, y’all didn’t exactly follow directions since you mentioned two different states. But it’s cool. I’ve never spent any time in the Pacific Northwest. Sort of feel like it’s a place I should add to my list. The reasons you’ve given here certainly make a lot of sense if you’re looking for some pretty roads.

Submitted by: Hoser68

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3 / 19

West Virginia

West Virginia

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Photo: Famartin via Wikimedia Commons

The highest concentration of good driving roads is going to coincide with mountain ranges.

When people talk about a pleasant Sunday drive, they are almost always talking about a mountain road.

Go find a state with mountains and a low population. Low population = low traffic.

I don’t have a specific “best”, but I’ll go with West Virginia as representative of the factors that combine to make a state with good driving roads.

Another very solid recommendation! John Denver must have been onto something, and I trust his driving ability far more than his experimental plane piloting ability.

It’s hard to argue with very little traffic and beautiful mountain vistas. I do love a Sunday drive. On top of that, we’ve made it two slides without mentioning California!

Submitted by: Smalleyxb122

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4 / 19

California

California

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Photo: Jeff Turner via Wikimedia Commons

I hate to take the obvious answer that was already noted - but I don’t see away around California. You have a little bit of everything:

You’ve got winding coastal roads - with cool little coastal towns to pull into.

You’ve got high-speed, desert straightaways.

You’ve got forested mountains and temperate rainforest roadways.

For those who enjoy big city driving (weirdos, but they’re out there), you have plenty of that too.

Combine that with road quality that is at, or better than, the average in my experience and you’ve got your answer.

And honestly - the traffic - ones you get out of the big cities (and there is a lot of California not in big cities) is perfectly fine - even better than fine.

We all knew this was coming. California is known for its roads, so I cannot blame you for this answer. I’ve driven them. I get it. Sometimes the easy answer is indeed the correct answer.

Submitted by: The Walrus

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5 / 19

Ohio

Ohio

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Photo: brockmthompson via Wikimedia Commons

Stop laughing and hear me out:

I know most people - including most Ohioans - think of our roads as pothole-riddled, permanently under-construction hellscapes full of rusty trucks and salt-covered Audis all driven by asshats. And that’s true in the urban areas.

But a good chunk of Ohio is rural, and since it’s a relatively wealthy state, many of the state routes are kept in decent condition (unlike some neighboring states). And while “driving road” instantly brings to mind routes like Tail Of The Dragon, I’ve always found a good mix of switchbacks with stretches of long, flat straights or sweeping curves makes for a more pleasurable drive than constant curves and elevation changes. Think of the Nurburgring - lots of corners, but lots of straights too. That is pretty much all of Ohio south and east of I-71. So much so that it’s where Car & Driver, Road & Truck, and multiple manufacturers go to do road testing.

Some of the best ones are OH-56 through the Hocking Hills between Athens and Laurelville, though I recommend going on a weekday due to people visiting the parks. Route 160 through Vinton County is completely desolate, well-maintained, and free of cops. Pretty much any state route in Wayne National Forest is going to be a great drive - 218, 223, 93 and 775 in Gallia/Lawrence counties are some of my faves. And if you prefer more leisurely drives, Route 7 and Route 52 along the Ohio River are great “small town US” drives. I also love US 50 between Wilmington and Chillicothe.

You’re a bit weird for this, but I respect a differing opinion. You said that shit with your chest. The road testing bit is a compelling argument, however. As a Penn State alum, Ohio is a miserable hellscape that no one should ever have the misfortune of seeing. But hey, to each their own.

Submitted by: Dbeach84

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6 / 19

Tennessee & North Carolina & Arkansas

Tennessee & North Carolina & Arkansas

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Photo: Mark Clifton via Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t include the fancy named, high traffic, famous driving roads, eastern Tennessee and Western NC. Specifically due to the overall lack of traffic. What are great driving roads when you’re stuck behind multiple Subaru Crosstreks and Outbacks that drive lower than the speed limit and refuse to use pullouts?

North-Central Arkansas is great too. But gas stations are few and far in between when you’re out in the boonies. That being said, very little traffic and lots of stretches with great visibility to pass tractors and farm trucks safely.

It’s okay, man. I get confused with singular versus plural sometimes, too. Sorry, sorry I don’t mean to be too sassy. I appreciate what you’re saying here, and I respect the fact you chose an option(s) that isn’t California. Is this going to get me to go south? Probs not, but enjoy yourself.

Submitted by: mountainbikingandtrackdays

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7 / 19

Kentucky

Kentucky

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Photo: Huw Williams via Wikimedia Commons

Southern Kentucky near the Tennessee boarder has some incredible roads. They don’t get hit by extreme freeze and thaw cycles, and most are not heavily travelled as they’re out in the country. I’ve taken several fishing trips in the area and always take notes so i can come back and drive the roads.

Back on track with just picking one state. Props for that. Kentucky does seem nice in a peace and quiet sort of way. Finishing though, I don’t know. I fished for the first time ever last summer and couldn’t help but think of better excuses to drink outdoors. That’s just me though.

Submitted by: cos270

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8 / 19

Mississippi

Mississippi

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Photo: Fredlyfish4 via Wikimedia Commons

Mississippi, but only if you are into rally driving. It has lots of dirt roads pretending to be highways, very few cops, and a culture of drive like no one is watching.

I too enjoy off-roading and living dangerously. Be right there.

Submitted by: skeffles

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9 / 19

Alaska

Alaska

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Photo: alejandro gonzalez via Wikimedia Commons

Alaska in the winter. Beautiful vistas when the sun is up and dangerous roads loaded with moose. Gotta be on your game because the stakes are high. Slide off in the wrong place with no traffic and you might freeze to death without a PRB. Summer, on the other hand, sucks. Endless lines of RVs gawking down the road, way under the speed limit, causing dangerous passing by the pissed off locals.

This sounds deeply dangerous, especially in winter. Alaska as a concept freaks me out. I’ve got no idea what you guys are doing up there. And what time is it? Why is it always sunny or always dark. I’m spooked. Please don’t hit a moose by the way. However, if you do please send pics.

Submitted by: TheBlightOfGrey

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10 / 19

Minnesota, sort of

Minnesota, sort of

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Photo: Chad Davis via Wikimedia Commons

The many parkways in Minneapolis.

50+ miles of parkway with access to 100+ miles of trails.

These are not high speed canyon carving roads though. These are slow-mo cruisers. Ideally just 20-30 mph. Windows down. Tunes up. Bring a picnic. Stop for a swim.

Do I actually think these make Minnesota the state with the best roads?

No.

Do I think these are worthy of knowing about if you aren’t from Minneapolis?

100% yes.

Cruising down the road seems pretty sweet, if you ask me. There’s nothing wrong with a leisurely Sunday drive while seeing some beautiful sites. It’s about the journey, not the destination man. I also appreciate how you ignored the “best” in yesterday’s question. That takes gumption.

Submitted by: Wierdisgood

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11 / 19

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

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Photo: Doug Kerr via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been up and down the Eastern Seaboard and the entire Gulf Coast.

My favorite state to drive is New Hampshire. Not just for the roads and the white mountains, but the road manners are the best I’ve ever seen.

Obviously, this is only based on my anecdotal experience, but considering every state I’ve visited seems to have its share of consistently good/bad roads paired with good/bad drivers, I had the best experience up there. The roadways were beautiful and well maintained. Good views and fun mountain passes. Add to the fact that most drivers knew how to drive properly AND make proper use of the lanes/ramps. No left-lane hogs, no people stopping or crawling on the on-ramps, nobody getting their panties in a bunch over stupid things, particularly because nobody was acting stupid.

If you ignore their sports teams and fans, New England is a beautiful place to visit and drive in. I would highly recommend it, and I totally align with the experiences you’ve had driving there. Pretty good folks. Just don’t bring up the fact the Red Sox stink this year.

Submitted by: Ninety-9

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12 / 19

California again.

California again.

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Photo: Islander61 via Wikimedia Commons

Northern California is tough to beat. I lived in LA for 10 years and don’t get me wrong, the car culture there is the best in the world, but for driving roads - and sheer variety of driving roads, NorCal has the edge - it’s much less congested (we really only have the SFBA and SAC as our big metro areas), extremely diverse (temperatures, environments, scenery) and our cops seem a little more forgiving than down south.

See slide 3.

Submitted by: William

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13 / 19

Nevada

Nevada

Image for article titled These Are The States You Say Have The Best Driving Roads
Photo: Famartin via Wikimedia Commons

I’m gonna say Nevada. As a cyclist, I’ve actually never driven thru Nevada, but I’ve ridden my bike across Nevada, and planning on doing it again later this month. Between the vast openness, and the scenery, its a pretty amazing place. Highway 50 is known as America’s loneliest highway, and sometimes I’d go for an hour or so without seeing anyone else, basically had the state all to myself. Roads were pretty well kept too.

Y’all just really do not like listening to directions. I could never be a teacher I swear to God. You really just said with your chest the best driving roads are roads you’ve never driven on. Honestly, that’s based. Don’t follow the rules. Be your own person. Fuckin anarchy.

Submitted by: redneckrob and his flock of Volvos

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14 / 19

Texas

Texas

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Photo: William L. Farr via Wikimedia Commons

West Texas is basically asking you how fast you can make your car go.

I’m very inclined to find out. No thoughts, head empty, go straight. I love that idea, to be honest. Twisty roads just get in the way of speeeeeeeeed. The only thing that would stop me from going is literally everything else about Texas.

Submitted by: Engineerthefuture

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15 / 19

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

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Photo: Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin, especially up north in the north western part of the state, has some really amazing roads. One of the things that makes them so great is that they’re all paved. Thanks to the Dairy industry, most of our farm roads are paved so that the dairy truck can make it to the farms every single day no matter the weather,

What this means is a ton of roads that maybe see 1 or 2 cars an hour, pavement that’s actually well taken care of and beautiful scenery. The downsides are that the roads are narrow, they’re farm roads so there will be farm equipment and they’re (quite understandably) popular with cyclists who love these roads for the exact same reasons as drivers.

So if you are OK with not driving super fast and sharing the roads, they are wonderful roads- perfect for something like a Miata or an old MG where handling is more important than power.

Sure, I guess. Why not? At least it isn’t California.

Submitted by: buckfiddious

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16 / 19

California, again, again

California, again, again

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Photo: Steve DaSilva

If you are a bike rider, hard to beat Southern California. All year riding weather and world class twisties, especially Eats and North County San Diego. It could be busy on the weekends but go up on Palomar mountain on a weekday morning and the whole road is yours (well, you might run into a Motorcycle magazine photoshoot). Lot of choices too, you can ride all weekend, not hitting the same road. Plenty of infrastructure around, but you can also find yourself off the beaten path fast, if you know where to go.

God dammit. See slide 11.

Submitted by: towman

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17 / 19

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Image for article titled These Are The States You Say Have The Best Driving Roads
Photo: Andy Kalmowitz

If you like off-roading on road, PA is the place!

I can confirm Pennsylvania roads are the worst I’ve never driven on. Thanks PennDOT. On top of that, the salt they use in the winters will eat your car alive. Horrid place. It killed my entire Jeep Grand Cherokee. Don’t ever go there unless you’re passing through.

Submitted by: KJ Fry

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18 / 19

New Jersey

New Jersey

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Photo: Andy Kalmowitz

It is the best.

It is the best.

Submitted by: Andy Kalmowitz

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19 / 19