The speed and agility of modern cars are wasted on too many roads. In same way that off-road vehicles can't be tested by peastone driveways, souped-up sedans can't be pushed to their limits on suburban cul-de-sacs. In order to drive – truly drive – a car, modern commuters have to head out of their way to one of the rare stretches of American asphalt designed to push vehicles to their limits. These winding, curving sections of tarmac not only give great cars a chance to show off the muscle under their hood, but also give great drivers a chance to remind passengers why the American road was once considered the purest embodiment of freedom.
The Champlain Loop (New York)
If you've ever made the ski season trip from New York City to Vermont via the Adirondack Northway (U.S.-87), you've probably taken this route. Follow New York 9N/22 to Bridge Road (186), which will take you into Vermont. Once you are in the Green Mountain State, pick up Route 17 towards Vergennes then Route 7N to Burlington. The trip is about 50 miles. For the most part, it's a two-lane adventure, comprised of rolling hills, long sweeping turns, and tight s-curves that snake through some of the state's most beautiful countryside. The off-camber, yet impeccably maintained, asphalt allows for lots of ups and downs – more than a bouncy castle.
You can really build up a head of steam here. Beware, though. Tractors and cows emerge from the farms that surround the roadway, often without warning, and small-town cops are always on the alert for fast-moving city folk coming up to congest their quaint little northeastern towns.