Sometimes it’s the journey—not the destination. New York’s roadways are famous for their views. Without leaving your car, you can soak in some of the state’s most breathtaking vistas, and here are some great scenic drives in New York to start.
Within an hour’s drive of New York City are scenic roadscapes filled stunning architecture and history. Route 287 to Lyndhurst Mansion takes you over the Tappan Zee to Lyndhurst’s sweeping landscapes and gardens. Route 95 to City Island crosses the George Washington Bridge to a tiny fishing village with sweeping views of Long Island Sound and Eastchester Bay. Take Route 9 to Sleepy Hollow for fields of wildflowers and brightly colored cottages. Route 22 to Salinger’s Orchard offers winding curves that reveal covered bridges, orchards and rippling streams. Or take the Palisades Parkway to Bear Mountain State Park’s rugged mountain views.
You’ve probably seen The Hawk’s Nest in those upscale car commercials; it’s a winding channel carved into the mountainside overlooking the Delaware River near Port Jervis where you can spy canoers in the waters below and cross the nation’s oldest wire suspension bridge. A drive to New Paltz holds views of Mohonk Mountain and roadside farm markets.
Along the nation’s “North Coast,” the Great Lakes Seaway Trail stretches for 500 miles, connecting gorgeous sights on the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes, and Niagara Falls. The Whiteface Mountain Highway climbs one of New York’s largest mountains on eight winding miles through changing forests to endless views of surrounding wilderness. On the 170-mile Olympic Trail between Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain you’ll spot lighthouses and, just maybe, a glimpse of Champlain’s mythical lake monster, Champ.
Don’t forget Scenic Byways and drives along the Erie Canal’s Mohawk Towpath, Cayuga Lake’s countless vineyards, or the Upper Delaware’s quaint villages.