Particular U.S. cities are more amenable than others to those who have a strong penchant for all things automotive. For example, if you live in New York City, your love of cars may be relegated to internet searches and car shows. With congested streets, minimal overnight parking, and high costs, New York City is not a car lovers’ locale, despite the fact it has several large annual car shows.
Some of the considerations in determining the best city for folks who love cars are the number of automotive shops, dealerships, car washes, the state of the roads, and how aesthetically pleasing the scenery. If you’re someone who loves to tinker, drive, or admire vehicles—the member of the family who researches the best car covers on the market or who gets a thrill when picking out motor oil—
Here are the eight best cities in which to live and drive.
1. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis is a fantastic city for drivers with many car-related amenities per capita and some of the country’s most prominent car clubs. With organizations like the Coachman’s Car Club and St. Louis Sports Car Club of America, this bustling burg knows its cars. The city features the St. Louis Car Museum and tons of places to fit out your classic or muscle car, topping the list of cities for car lovers.
2. Las Vegas, NV
The Vegas strip’s home has to be near the top of the list for drivers’ most-loved places. Cruising the strip in your car is one of the most memorable drives in the country, ranking up there with the California coast or Outer Banks drives for incomparable beauty. The SEMA show is another massive draw for car lovers. The Specialty Equipment Market Association started in 1963 and has been going strong ever since, claiming to be like no other trade show on Earth.
But it’s not just the sights and shows of Vegas; it also has a high number of auto shops, car washes, and dealerships. That desert air isn’t terrible for your car, although you’ll want to put a cover on your vehicle to protect it from the scorching Vegas sun.
3. Birmingham, AL
This small southern city has a low population at 1.2 million, and many of those residents carpool, which means one thing for car lovers—wide open roads to cruise. Another telltale sign that Birmingham is an ideal driving city is that almost a quarter of the population, 23.74%, have more than three vehicles in their household. Birmingham is a well-kept secret for car enthusiasts with the Alabama International Auto Show and tons of car clubs.
4. Richmond, VA
One thing that Richmond has over all the other cities in terms of driving is that it has excellent roads. Bad roads wreak havoc on your beloved cars, and Richmond has blessedly few of them. Over 25% of the population owns more than three cars per household, and the city has a substantial network of car shops specializing in older vehicles.
Most antique cars need a special registration to be street-legal. Virginia’s registration process is much more straightforward than most states and, from all accounts, antique cars are fully appreciated when you drive down the streets of Richmond. Richmond ranks relatively low on congestion indexes to top it all off, meaning you won’t hit a lot of traffic snarls when you’re tooling around in your ‘65 Satellite.
5. Colorado Springs, CO
For some drivers, nothing beats a drive through the mountains. Colorado Springs has a breathtaking backdrop even when you’re just popping out for a quart of milk. With the second-largest number of homes that have a garage that accommodates three cars, there’s no shortage of car lovers when it comes to Colorado Springs.
For road trips, you basically can head out in any direction and drive through some of the most spectacular scenery you’ve ever seen. From the desert’s austerity to the steep tors of Pikes Peak, you can’t miss when driving in and around Colorado Springs, Colorado.
6. Sacramento, CA
Sacramento isn’t just the capital of the state; it’s also the capital for car lovers. This Californian city has tons of repair shops and dealerships to keep your car in tip-top shape. Many residents carpool, which means there are fewer cars on the road, leaving Sacramento’s roads wide open so you can get to those fabulous car events all the more quickly. Just try to avoid I-5 at rush hour, and it should be smooth sailing.
7. Des Moines, IA
You may love cars, but when you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you may feel less love than usual. This midwestern city does better than any other urban area by keeping its residents’ commute time the very lowest. Most Iowans who live in Des Moines spend seven hours stuck in traffic, but that’s not daily; it’s annually.
There are some excellent road trips in the area. Without wasting time on your commute, you can drive to Iowa’s oldest drive-thru movie theater—the Valle Drive-In. For those feeling more ambitious, Mt. Rushmore is 650 miles away.
8. Salt Lake City, UT
Although this city is best known for Mormons and skiing, it also has a lively car scene. When they have time off, Salt Lake City residents like to put the pedal to the metal and take advantage of the surrounding space. With the unique red rock formations of Arches amid a vast open desert, a drive-in any direction is breathtaking.
Salt Lake City isn’t just renowned for its scenery; it also has some popular car shows like the Auto Expo. Car insurance rates are incredibly low in Salt Lake City, rounding off the vehicle-related benefits this city has to offer.
The Last Word
If you love all things automotive, it’s ideal to live among others who share your passion for cars. With high numbers of car amenities and low gas and insurance costs, these cities surpass all other U.S. urban areas in terms of a car lover’s para