Best elevated city views by car
August 5, 2005 11:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm taking a road trip through New England with my shortwave radio. I want a spot to perch with my car and do some long-distance nighttime listening with a beautiful elevated view, preferably overlooking a city. (Certain restrictions apply.) Any suggestions?

I'm going to be renting a car and taking a road trip - pointing the car in any particular direction and just going. I'm bringing my shortwave radio, so it's something of a "radio holiday" as I drive the countryside and catch distant stations.

If you know Boston at all, I'm a big fan of the panoramic city view from the park on Summit Ave in Brookline, and I'm looking for something similar in my destination, but even better. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont are all possibilities. I have three days.

My main qualifications:

- High elevation (the higher the better for shortwave)
- Great view, preferably overlooking a cityscape
- Not dangerous after dark (i.e., wild animals / insane people)
- Electrically quiet (no power transformers everywhere, sodium lamps, etc.)

Any recommendations?
posted by mykescipark to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
This isn't an answer, but you might want to add to your criteria, "far away from anything that will make me look suspicious enough to get arrested for terrorism."

And if you wanted to get fancy, you could download some GIS freeware, and layer a USGS topo map over data showing city populations and scout stuff out that way. It sounds really interesting.
posted by mecran01 at 5:19 AM on August 6, 2005

Try the madonna shrine in orient heights. Great view of the city. It's off of 1a, near the racetrack.
posted by quibx at 5:43 AM on August 6, 2005

One thought is Burlington VT, which fronts on Lake Champlain, with the Adirondacks in the background. Scenic enough for ya?
posted by rob511 at 6:12 AM on August 6, 2005

I'm not entirely sure if you can see the city from there, but Mount Philo is south of Burlington and has some commanding views. It's a state park, so it's got fees for using it, but the elevation can't be beat. In general, unless you're around Burlington or possibly Montpelier [in which case I'd recommend the observation tower at Hubbard Park] Vermont is going to be very sparse on city views. However, the good news is that it's also sparse on light pollution, has a lot of high elevation points with nearly 360 degrees of view, and people don't mind terribly much if you're out there in your car listening to the radio in the middle of the night. The Killington Pico range has some high pass roads with a lot of long views, but not a lot in the way of cities. You can drive all the way up to the chair lifts at Killington but you'd have to walk a ways to get to the non-lit part of the mountain. Also, there might be bears.
posted by jessamyn at 8:16 AM on August 6, 2005

Poets Seat Tower out in Greenfield, MA.
posted by brent at 8:28 AM on August 6, 2005

Mount Sugarloaf in western MA might work, although I wouldn't call the surrounding towns of South Deerfield, Whately or Sunderland "cities", as their combined population is only about ten or MAYBE twenty thousand.

Greenfield, MA and (AFAIK) Burlington, VT are also not very large cities, certainly not compared to the Boston metro area, or even Springfield.

Still, with that said, I have to believe there's still plenty of radio traffic to listen to even in those areas, and they're definitely scenic.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 11:20 AM on August 6, 2005

Elevation isn't going to make much of a difference for shortwave reception. More important are being away from manmade intereference; and having a good, selective, sensitive receiver.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:40 PM on August 6, 2005

Mt. Greylock, in Berkshire County, western Mass. Not that I would refer to nearby Pittsfield as a proper city.
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:39 PM on August 6, 2005

New Haven, CT has a terrific hill above the city in East Rock park, but I'm afraid that might close at night. Science Hill has some good vistas, but not as good as East Rock (which dominates the city).

Ever thought of going farther north, to Montreal's Mont Royal?
posted by jb at 10:53 AM on August 7, 2005

Mt Washington?
posted by kc0dxh at 9:50 AM on August 9, 2005

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