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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:44 AM   #1
pwalker
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Best US Interstate approaches to cities

(If this needs to be moved to the US Interstate category, please do).

What are the best approaches from a visual sense from U.S. Interstates into cities?

I have a few that stand out. The Bay Bridge in San Francisco (WB I-80), is spectacular and it is good the speed limit is low, because there would be a lot more accidents if it wasn't.

I also like I-15 from miles out SB into Las Vegas. After hundreds of miles of nothing, there is Vegas, a real skyline these days, sticking out of the desert. Very invigorating.

Runnerup, I-5 NB coming into Seattle. After the usual wharehouse low-rise environment south of the city, then Boeing Field attracts your attention, and before you even comprehend that, a beautiful vista of downtown Seattle, including the Space Needle comes into view quite suddenly. Traffic always seems to slow here. Wonder why...

Add yours...

Last edited by pwalker; May 19th, 2015 at 06:57 AM.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #2
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The three approaches to Chicago are among the best anywhere, the Dan Ryan, The Eisenhower, the Kennedy all aim straight at the heart of the city. I can't think of a city that has three major interstates that offer the amazing approaches that Chicago has. The 10 and 101 have nice approaches to DT LA. One f my favorites is the Southern approach to Seattle. Dallas north parkway and 35 offer nice approaches to DT Dallas. Coming across the water from key Biscayne or Mami Beach across the water is equally great.

And althoughI hate what elevated highways do to the urban landscape, Toronto kicks butt on its Gardiner approach and skyline views.

I25 in Denver fron N or S, Atlanta from 85 coming From N, Pittsburgh has some wild twists and turns that give great views, but never give you the long skyline approach view. I also give kudos to i35 coming into Minneapolis, like Vegas from the north better than south, NYC is kinda hard to appreciate from the highway, the GW bridge is too far north, but the Holland and Lincoln tunnel approaches have their great moments.

Yeah, I drive a lot, did 32 states this year alone, done probably 30 cross country trips, lived in 10 states or so. Know my interstates, that is for sure.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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The Schuylkill, of course!

EDIT: Agree about Chicago's approaches too, of course. The first time I went there by road, I was coming in from Indiana and staying in the northern suburbs. WBBM was warning of heavy traffic on the Dan Ryan, so the fastest way to my hotel would have been the Tri-State. But I took the Ryan anyway, for the view. If anything, the congestion - it was a nice Saturday afternoon in October, not a rush hour - gave me more time to appreciate it.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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I am always impressed by I-95's approach into Baltimore from the south, since you have a great view of the skyline and the water, and then before you know it you are in the Fort McHenry Tunnel.

Entering Pittsburgh on I-375 from the west is pretty dramatic as well since right after you exit the tunnel, you are on a bridge over the Monongahela River with the skyline just right in your face.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Interstate 35 into downtown Austin from the south and north(upper deck) is really cool in my opinion.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
Entering Pittsburgh on I-375 from the west is pretty dramatic as well since right after you exit the tunnel, you are on a bridge over the Monongahela River with the skyline just right in your face.
I-376 actually. But yeah, that is the best approach! Especially at night when the skyline is illuminated.

Another one is taking I-95 south into the Bronx. You see Co-op City which is an giant development filled with tons of highrises. It's a preview of the urban immensity of NYC as a whole.

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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
Entering Pittsburgh on I-375 from the west is pretty dramatic as well since right after you exit the tunnel, you are on a bridge over the Monongahela River with the skyline just right in your face.
That is a good approach. Back in 1991, my first visit back home since I left PA for NC (the first time), I was driving on the Parkway and going through the Fort Pitt tube, with the Pet Shop Boys' "Suburbia (The Final Horror) playing; as I exited the tube, the last break was playing and the skyline popped into view. Now every time I get to that part of the song, that image goes into my mind.

I also like the view of downtown driving from the east on 376 round the hill before the Oakland exit and the skyline first becomes visible.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #8
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I'll second the ones for Chicago.

Also, I-35 into Duluth, MN, especially at night. At night, it's almost like one is flying into the city.



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Old December 7th, 2012, 09:28 AM   #9
diablo234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
I-376 actually. But yeah, that is the best approach! Especially at night when the skyline is illuminated.

Another one is taking I-95 south into the Bronx. You see Co-op City which is an giant development filled with tons of highrises. It's a preview of the urban immensity of NYC as a whole.

Yeah I meant I-376, my bad.

Anyways the New Jersey Turnpike approach into NYC is pretty cool as well since you can see the entire skyline of Manhattan to the side.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 10:43 AM   #10
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Best interstate approaches into Los Angeles are 110 northbound, as well as 710/5 northbound. 10 westbound south of DT LA but west of the East LA interchange offers a spectacular view for about 2 miles.

75/85 southbound into Atlanta is spectacular, as is 45 northbound into Houston.

Three of the four Chicago approaches are spectacular. 55 is okay, and offers the most dominant view of the Sears/Willis Tower.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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This thread could use some Street View links for some of us which have never been to USA.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #12
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Houston from the 59 is quite impressive, if not alone for the highway spaghetti around Houston downtown.

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=de&l...,1.39,,0,-2.29
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Old December 8th, 2012, 05:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
I'll second the ones for Chicago.

Also, I-35 into Duluth, MN, especially at night. At night, it's almost like one is flying into the city.



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Streetview:
http://goo.gl/maps/DkEU2

That view is after a couple of hours of driving through a dense, fairly level forest.



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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keber View Post
This thread could use some Street View links for some of us which have never been to USA.
I-5 Northbound in Seattle

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=seatt...48.18,,0,-0.46

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=seatt...11.53,,0,-1.22

I-5 Southbound

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=seatt...,,0,11.64&z=17

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=seatt...1,,0,0.55&z=15

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=seatt...7,,0,1.24&z=15

Last edited by Botev1912; December 8th, 2012 at 07:26 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 08:39 AM   #15
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Miami | Interstate -95 southbound

This view is a bit blurry of the Miami skyline. The pics were taken about 12 miles/19.3 km from downtown Miami on the Golden Glades interchange flyover which rises to about 100 feet/30.5 meters high over the other 5 highways that confluence below. The views are nothing short of breathtaking in reality.



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Old December 8th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #16
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This thread is too American-biased
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Old December 8th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #17
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True, you can already see that in the topic title.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 12:06 AM   #18
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I-35W northbound immediately before the turn in Minneapolis (esp at night):





Streetview: http://goo.gl/maps/0cRN4

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Old December 9th, 2012, 06:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore View Post
Three of the four Chicago approaches are spectacular. 55 is okay, and offers the most dominant view of the Sears/Willis Tower.
I forgot about that one. I-90/94 northward you get a magnificent view of the skyline almost the entire way, it's like you are entering Coruscant or something.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #20
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Perhaps it was simply the fact that I had spent all night driving through Illinois, but the sight of St. Louis at dawn from I-70 was pretty fantastic.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=St.+Lo...322.91,,0,0.64
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