The five best car shows in the United States

Pretty much every weekend across the country, a car show takes place – big car shows, little car shows, and everything in between. These shows run the gamut from regular weekly events to giant festivals that attract thousands of people. Check out some of our favorite car shows across the U.S.

Cars and Coffee

Car at Coffee & Cars OKC
Coffee & Cars OKC – May 2014

Cars and Coffee isn’t a single event, but rather a concept that has spread across the country. Cars and Coffee events are highly local shows that typically take place every weekend, in a parking lot outside of a coffee shop or other business, and feature the cars of people from the area. One of the best in the country is Katie’s Cars and Coffee, located in Great Falls, Virginia, just outside of D.C. On any given weekend, you could see million-dollar hero cars like the Ferrari F40, custom hot rods, lowriders, classic muscle and sports cars, and anything else you can think of. The actual attendance varies from week to week, but most weekends through the summer at least a thousand people descend on this little parking lot. While your local Cars and Coffee event may not be as spectacular, it’s still worth checking out. You’ll never know what you’ll see. The tires features in this photo are



#GRIDLIFE is a series of festivals combining cars and music into three days of awesome. These festivals feature drifting and time attack competitions for both amateurs and pro drivers, as well as High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) for track day fun. There’s also a car showcase where people proudly display their modified cars, and an extensive vendor village. Each night after the track goes cold, the paddock hosts a wide variety of musicians, including Ludacris at #GRIDLIFE South, coming up August 25th through 27th at Road Atlanta in Georgia.

Corvettes at Carlisle

1962 Corvette 04
1962 Corvette 04

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of Corvette enthusiasts across the country, you’ll need to make a pilgrimage to Corvettes at Carlisle, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Corvettes at Carlisle features over 5,000 Vettes from across the country, from the first generation to today’s seventh generation. The event features a swap meet and a multitude of vendors, an autocross event, burnout competitions, a parade through downtown Carlisle, and people from all walks of life all celebrating their love of America’s Sports Car. This year’s event is August 24 – 27, 2017.

Woodward Dream Cruise

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The Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest one-day car event in the world, with over 40,000 classic cars and a typical attendance of 1.5 million people. It takes place along Woodward Avenue, from the State Fair Grounds inside the city limits of Detroit to Pontiac. Most vehicles at the event are classic American muscle cars, but you’ll see other cars as well. There’s legal amateur drag racing on Woodward Avenue, an incredible number of shops and vendors, and much more. If you’re into cars at all, you should definitely check out Woodward.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

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On the other end of spectrum from Woodward is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held every year on the Pebble Beach Golf Course overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California. The show sees a variety of the most expensive and rare pre- and postwar cars, from Bugattis and Deusenburgs to Ferraris and concept cars. About 200 cars are allowed into the event every year – the best of the best. The cars at the event are selected from a large pool of applicants, and once a car is shown in the event, it generally cannot come back for ten years. The cars are then judged in their different classes based on their “elegance,” and a best of show award is chosen from the first places of each class. Pebble Beach also features art exhibitions, auctions, and historic races nearby at Mazda Raceway Leguna Seca. If you go, be sure to the parking lots for Pebble Beach as well – they’re often filled with rare and expensive cars that didn’t make it into the show.

Photos by: Bill Wilson, Grant.C, Katherine Thompkins, Joe DeSousa (4, 5, 6), Matteo X, Rex Gray, 8, 9, 10

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