Fun driving roads near NYC

Storm King Highway

Storm King Highway is a short six miles long, but well worth the trip, especially if you can catch some of the other nice roads in the area. The highlight is a half-mile stretch up on a ridge overlooking the Hudson, complete with spectacular Hudson river views (pictured). The approach roads are nice and twisty, and there are plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the view. Speed limit is 55mph the whole way.

Route 301

Route 301 runs 18 miles from Carmel to Cold Spring. It's a beautiful drive through the hills and the forest with some decent reservoir views along the way. There's never much traffic. Weekday mornings are especially empty. Other than a short patch of 40mph near the Taconic State parkway, the speed limit is 55mph the whole way.

Seven Lakes Dr.

Seven Lakes drive is a nice scenic road. Unfortunately, the speed limit is mostly 40mph. Watch out for slow moving school buses and park police.

Route 97

Route 97 is one of the best roads in the area. It follows the north bank of the Delaware River for about 70 miles. It's marked as a scenic byway, so there's almost no traffic. The road quality is mostly very good, with a couple of rough sections. A few miles outside of Port Jervis lie some of the most picturesque twisties in the world, often used for filming car commercials. A little farther up the road, you'll pass by a historic suspension aqueduct designed by John Roebling. The speed limit is 55mph throughout this route.

Somertown Turnpike

A relaxing alternative to taking 684 back to the city at the end of a day of drive. I often use this route when going to or from Route 301. The speed limit is mostly 55mph and the southern portion of this route takes you right through a scenic portion of the New Croton Reservoir.

Bear Mountain Bridge Approach/Breakneck Road

The portion of this route south of the Bear Mountain bridge is nice and twisty, but unfortunately heavily trafficked to the point where it's difficult to enjoy driving it very much. Thankfully, the scenery is excellent. Even with less traffic traffic, taking this road at the 40mph speed limit would require constant attention due to the narrow lanes and frequent blind corners. This road must have been an ordeal to construct.

I can't quite put a finger on what's so great about the northern portion of this route. There aren't many river views, and the speed limit is only 40mph. Despite that, it is almost always deserted, and there are frequent passing opportunities if you do get stuck behind a slowpoke. It's a nice road to take on the way up to Route 301.

Route 9W in the Black Rock Forest

This seven-mile stretch of 9w feels like a little racetrack. Nice banked curves, decent visibility, and little traffic. There's two lanes in each direction, leaving plenty of room to maneuver. Speed limit is 55mph. If you're up there, be sure to check out Storm King Highway, too.

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