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Rhode Island's Best Driving Roads...


Garris

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Hi everyone,

This is a slightly odd topic for an urbanism themed board, but there are some of us here who do enjoy a nice drive once and a whle too. So I ask...

Where are the best roads in RI or nearby MA or CT to do a great drive? This drive is one that should be preferably scenic, curvy, fun to take at a nice clip, relatively secluded with few stop signs or red lights, and likely to be free of speed traps?

Discuss...

- Garris

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Hi everyone,

This is a slightly odd topic for an urbanism themed board, but there are some of us here who do enjoy a nice drive once and a whle too. So I ask...

Where are the best roads in RI or nearby MA or CT to do a great drive? This drive is one that should be preferably scenic, curvy, fun to take at a nice clip, relatively secluded with few stop signs or red lights, and likely to be free of speed traps?

Discuss...

- Garris

Rt 116 from Smithfield down towards Coventry is a nice ride. Also Rt 12 (Plainfield Pike) from Western Cranston through Scituite is very nice. There's also a nice long road which runs from Portsmouth to Newport along the water which is very nice. Jeez I can't remember the name of it.

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There's also a nice long road which runs from Portsmouth to Newport along the water which is very nice. Jeez I can't remember the name of it.

Hmmmmmm Mapquest is calling this road Defense Highway but that's not the name that I know this road by. Maybe it was re-named. This road runs along Navy property and Narragansett Bay.

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Ocean Ave in Newport, Ocean Road in Narragansett, and Route 77 in Tiverton/Little Compton.

These don't really meet the spirited driving requirement. The Burma road is ok but not great.

Around the reservoir is probably the best bet. There are also a bunch of fun roads in West Kingston, et al. My friend has an alpaca farm down there (I think she is in Exeter) and the road to her place is a blast, although without much scenery.

SE Mass pretty much sucks too. This is the problem with sprawlland.

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Route 110 (Ministerial Rd.) between Kingston and Matunuck is a fun drive. Lots of hills and curves, relatively quiet with nice wooded scenery (beautiful in the fall), and a reasonably (for RI) smooth surface. I have seen police hiding out occasionally along the northern section, but not too often. Some of the side roads west of there are worth exploring as well, more for the scenery than the drive itself.

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The one in Middletown is also known as Burma Road. Fantastic views of the bay, but the train tracks occasionally get in the way. If you try this one, take a turn up Green Lane near the Middletown/Portsmouth line. Climbs steeply uphill. Rural area, so you could safely stop and get out the vehicle if you liked. Million dollar views from there: it's a personal favorite of mine.

Ocean Drive is nice, and it fits the spirited driving requirements.

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I agree with Rt. 12 thru the Scituate Reservoir area, follow that to 14/102 over into CT, then you can take 169 up into northeast CT, Brooklyn, Pomfret, Woodstock, all the way into Mass, really nice ride. Stop @ the Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, the food is good and you may even catch a Hollywood star trying to lie low. Route 49 is also a pleasant ride, as well as 234 between Westerly/Pawcatuck and Mystic.

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Definitely second Ocean Drive and 77. Also Plainfield Pike (Rt 14) out to Rt 49 in CT. Follow 49 down to Stonington. Bucolic New England farmland most of the way.

And I'll third Ocean Drive and Rt 77. Another scenic drive is Rt 102 starting in Burriville and ending in Wickford. You pass actor James Woods's house alone the way... ;)

Hmmmmmm Mapquest is calling this road Defense Highway but that's not the name that I know this road by. Maybe it was re-named. This road runs along Navy property and Narragansett Bay.

That's Burma Road...

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44 and 6 in CT are fun. if you're really up for a drive, take 44 all the way from providence into the mansfield area in CT. from there, you can take 32, which is also a nice road. any of those major state roads around the uconn area are good driving roads, especially in the summer. the population out there is very sparse and there aren't many students in the summer... the only issue is the occasional farm tractor, but you can usually pass those if there's no traffic coming the other way. there's also some real gems out there... mansfield hollow state park in CT is really nice, huge waterfall and an enormous dam. if you like kite flying or even are up for a stroll or picnic, it's a great area.

if you want to venture further into CT, try 66, it goes from windham through willimantic to middletown and ends in meriden (basically smack dab in the middle of the state). it's a nice road between middletown and windham though.

if you really want to go far... northwestern CT, litchfield hills, is a gorgeous area and has lots of scenic curvy and hilly roads and very little population.

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Since moving to Westerly, I've found that Route 49, which goes north-south through eastern CT, is a nice road -- light traffic, good curves and hills, agricultural scenery with occasional hilltop panoramic views.

By the way, I think there is a strong connection between urbanism and this topic. Focusing development and redevelopment in urban areas lessens the pressure to turn beautiful rural land and its associated scenic roads into more 8-lane suburban strips. When sprawl happens, we lose both man-made urban beauty and natural rural beauty.

BJE

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I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with a few of you.

Burma Road and Ocean drive are very nice to look at but not good targets for "spirited" driving.

There are routienly speed traps on burma road and while it has a few fun hills it is fairly straight. The speed limit is also 35 so even 50mph will get you a good ticket.

Ocean Drive would be a blast but I afraid that the I see patrols there with some frequency and there are definatly LOTS of "Sunday drivers" who could even be stopped to take in the view just when you take a turn.

With that said I should probably suggest some alternatives and I'll mostly second what some other posters have said.

Rt 116 from Smithfield down towards Coventry is a nice ride. Also Rt 12 (Plainfield Pike) from Western Cranston through Scituite is very nice.

Around the reservoir is probably the best bet. There are also a bunch of fun roads in West Kingston, et al.

Some of the same roard Frankie mentioned. 102 in WK can be fast.

Route 110 (Ministerial Rd.) between Kingston and Matunuck is a fun drive. Lots of hills and curves, relatively quiet with nice wooded scenery (beautiful in the fall), and a reasonably (for RI) smooth surface.

A good driving road but the north end being kind of close to URI does add a few more traps.

I agree with Rt. 12 thru the Scituate Reservoir area, follow that to 14/102 over into CT, then you can take 169 up into northeast CT, Brooklyn, Pomfret, Woodstock, all the way into Mass, really nice ride. Stop @ the Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, the food is good and you may even catch a Hollywood star trying to lie low. Route 49 is also a pleasant ride, as well as 234 between Westerly/Pawcatuck and Mystic.

Good route.

44 and 6 in CT are fun. if you're really up for a drive, take 44 all the way from providence into the mansfield area in CT. from there, you can take 32, which is also a nice road. any of those major state roads around the uconn area are good driving roads, especially in the summer. the population out there is very sparse and there aren't many students in the summer... the only issue is the occasional farm tractor, but you can usually pass those if there's no traffic coming the other way. there's also some real gems out there... mansfield hollow state park in CT is really nice, huge waterfall and an enormous dam. if you like kite flying or even are up for a stroll or picnic, it's a great area.

Sounds fun to me, I've done parts of this trip. I find 44 and 6 in CT to be a little busy in spots but they also have some nice sections as well.

If you want to move beyond the sate Centeral mass has many potions but a really good one is:

Up to the pike to exit 8 palmer, up to Belchertown DO NOT speed in Belchertown. The trip around the Quabbin Resevior is quite good. There sometimes is a trap on South Spectacle Rd. a 5-6 miles in from the rt 202 end.

In RI I like a bunch of the roads in the western part of the state. 117 gets interesting as you head towards 114 and CT.

112 Through Charleston has been fun but I have only been on it at odd times and I'm nost sure about traps.

I'm sure Little Compton has some good roads as well.

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44 is almost never busy anywhere. 6 and 66 can get busy around rush hour in places, especially willimantic (considering 66 is main street in willi, i think, might be 32 that i'm thinking of, and 6 goes through "downtown" windham, but soon becomes an expressway). the fun 44 ends at 384 though and then goes through some nasty parts of hartford.

32 is a fun road from norwich to willi and then from willi to wherever it goes (somewhere in MA). 31 is also nice through coventry. that whole part of CT, known as the "quiet corner" is pretty nice.

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why is that the only late bus?

No, the bus to PC (55? I think, one of the 50's) has its last run just after 1am too. And I think one from downtown Newport to Salve runs late too. And the 99 has its last run at 12:30 something during the week (obviously not late enough to satisfy my drunken needs.)

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