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The Top 10 American Cities for a Great Cab Ride

Updated on September 12, 2014

It seems that no matter the city, riding in a cab is usually reported as a death-defying experience. Fortunately, not every city is like that, and a great cab ride can be had in many popular cities across the country. However, in many instances, this also involves having a good attitude. Greet the cab driver. Engage him in conversation. Relax. Get into any taxi in any city in the country with the wrong attitude by being rude to the driver or just appearing aloof and annoyed, and you’re guaranteed a miserable time. Approach your cab ride as an exciting, amusement park type experience, and they can almost always be enjoyable.

Here then are the top 10 cities for a great cab ride:

CC-BY | Source


The extreme altitude in the Mile High City can make for some great cab rides. Because most riders get into a Denver cab arriving from a lower altitude, they are already beginning to suffer from a lack of oxygen flowing to their brain and are therefore susceptible to visions. Combine this with Denver’s mostly sunny weather and you’re also likely to experience retina fatigue. Consequently, riding in a cab in Denver for the first time is frequently like dropping acid. Just sit back and enjoy the ride because Denver International Airport is actually located in Kansas, so it takes forever to get where you’re going if you’re arriving by plane.


The key to a cab ride in Detroit is to close your eyes and imagine you’re a kid and taking your first trip to Disneyland.

Kansas City

Ask your cab driver to drive around the airport terminal roadway at least five times before heading out because the terminal roadways are circular and you’ll be so busy before heading out you won’t know up from down. However, if you’re downtown, just roll down the windows and the smell of barbecque will waft into your cab and you won’t care about much. Unfortunately, this advice all goes out the window if it snows because nobody, including the cab drivers, knows how to drive in the snow in Kansas City.


Riding in a cab in Seattle is like taking a leisurely walk in the park because traffic is so bad you’re never moving anywhere very fast.


There's really no need to take a cab in Chicago because public transportation gets you pretty much anywhere you want to go. It's really the stupid and lazy people who end up in cabs because everyone else knows, particularly if you arrive at the airport, that you just hop on the train. The cab drivers are thus pretty friendly because a ride from O'Hare costs a fortune if you're going downtown and the cab driver can basically drive around in circles whistling zippity-doo-da because he knows you don't have the slightest idea how to get where you're going. If you did, you'd be on the train.

San Francisco

San Francisco is probably second in terms of how fast their cab drivers drive. Add in the fact that you’re going up and down these crazy hills and riding in a cab in San Francisco is very much like riding on a roller coaster. Roller coasters are fun. And the hills in San Francisco are so steep that when you approach them going 100 mph, like many of their cab drivers do, you wonder whether you're going to actually go up the hill or just slam into it like you were driving into a wall. The whole endeavor is quite thrilling. And riding in a cab there really is like one of those movies set in San Francisco where you go flying off the hill and are in mid-air for like 10 seconds before slamming into the ground, sparks flying everywhere.

CC BY Shmuel Spiegelman
CC BY Shmuel Spiegelman

New York

Most New York cabbies don’t even realize you’re in their cab until it’s time for you to pay them. Also, most New York cabs have bullet proof glass between you and the cab driver, so you can sit through the entire ride and have a conversation with yourself. Of course, given that New York has the most iconic skyline in the U.S., the cab ride is like its own sight-seeing tour. Also, riding in a New York cab can sometimes cost $50 for four blocks because you just sit in traffic. The great thing about New York cabbies is they're not afraid to roll down their window and let the other drivers know just what they think of them.

Los Angeles

All you do to fully enjoy a L.A. cab ride is roll down the windows and within five seconds you’re high from carbon monoxide poisoning. However, if you can convince your cab driver to take you on some sight-seeing and check out some star's homes in the Hollywood Hills, the whole adventure can be quite exciting.


This is only true in the winter. Every done a 360 in a cab? Riding in an Anchorage cab is like being a professional ice skater. If you ever wanted to feel like Dorothy Hamill or Dick Button, this is your chance. Live your dream and roll down the windows for an extra thrill.

CC BY 3.0
CC BY 3.0

Las Vegas

Las Vegas cabbies are mostly all former race car drivers, so it’s not uncommon to get up to speeds of 100mph in a Las Vegas cab. However, in order to do this, you usually need to get them to go through a residential neighborhood, school zone, or between strip clubs. Las Vegas cabbies are smart enough to know that you can’t go that fast on the strip. In Las Vegas, driving a cab is like pulling the handle on a slot machine: the faster you pull, the faster you win.


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