The greater Capital Region is at its most beautiful during the warm months, if you consider blue skies and lush greenery beautiful.
Beyond the cities and the subdivisions, there are more nice roads to drive or bike than can be counted.
Here are a dozen great drives — long and short, near and far — that you can check out this summer.
The most centrally located (and shortest) on this list, with a sweeping view of the Mohawk Valley from the bluff in Rexford.
The Saratoga Lake shoreline is so built-up in places that some drivers would cross it off the list, but 9P is still a nice drive around the south, east and north ends of the lake.
NORTH SHORE & SOUTH SHORE ROADS
No contest, one of the best driving loops in this region … up one side of the Great Sacandaga Lake, down the other in the Saratoga County towns of Day, Edinburg and Hadley.
PHOTO BY MARC SCHULTZ/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
A trip along South Shore Road on Great Sacandaga Lake is sure to be one of the most scenic in the region.
ROUTES 67 & 147
The two highways intersect in an area of wide-open rolling fields around Galway and Charlton. In a county with extensive suburban development, the rural character here stands out.
Between Middleburgh and Blenheim, this road passes lush farmland and is flanked by steep hills as it follows the Schoharie Creek.
A nice drive from Summit to Richmondville, with a 1,000-foot drop in elevation coming down to Route 7.
Another ringer, this one along the Lake George shore. It’s such a nice drive that it may be overly crowded some days.
The stretch of Route 157 in Thacher Park is nice but unremarkable for most of its length, then unforgettable for a few hundred yards. Not many places offer 40-mile views from a cliff at a free roadside parking lot. For a longer drive, continue on into the Hilltowns.
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- Museums make exhibits, collections available online
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- Theaters might not yet be an option, but there are plenty of summer movies to see
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Given the hilly terrain in the Albany County Hilltowns (Berne, Knox, Rensselaerville, Westerlo), any drive there can be interesting; sweeping views are not limited to the Helderberg Escarpment at Thacher Park.
For the entire breadth of Schoharie County, Route 20 is a drive worth taking, with nice scenery and traces of the past from when this was the Great Western Turnpike, a main east-west road.
This route hugs the east edge of the state from the Bronx to Quebec, with great views for much of its length. Stephentown to Petersburg in Rensselaer County is a pleasant stretch in a narrow valley.
A twofer with Route 22. Drive up Route 2 from Petersburg to the former ski area on the Massachusetts border for some epic views. Continue over the Taconic Ridge into western Massachusetts and southern Vermont for more excellent drives.