How often do we use our cars purely for the pleasure of driving these days? Our cars have become the tool we need to run errands, get to work, carpool children… Rarely are we getting in our cars for the sheer pleasure of taking a drive.
Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Americans started the tradition of the “Sunday Drive.” They used their cars for pleasure with no true destination in mind and certainly no rush to get anywhere specific. It was a time to get out of the house, see beautiful scenery, have dedicated time with those in the car with you and to see others along the way, waving out the rolled-down windows as you pass. Heck, Parkways were built for the Sunday drive!
Now, in the world of social distancing and quarantine, let’s bring back the Sunday drive. The weather has improved. Trees and flowers are blooming. And many of us have plenty of time on our hands during this pandemic as well as a desire to get out of the house!
Here are a few suggested routes to enjoy all that our great little Ocean State has to offer.
East Bay/West Bay Loop – Drive through the towns of the East Bay (Barrington, Warren, Bristol). Cross the Mount Hope Bridge into Portsmouth and make your way towards Middletown, Newport and Jamestown. From there, drive through Wickford and cut over to Post Road/Rt. 1 for the longer route through the West Bay towns of North Kingstown, East Greenwich and Apponaug.
Newport Attractions Loop – Make your way to Newport for its own small loop of historic homes, beautiful waterfront properties on Ocean Drive and Brenton State Park. The views and sights are phenomenal, and the salty sea air can do wonders.
Blackstone River Valley – RI-146 North takes you through the Blackstone River Valley. Take a detour around Lincoln Woods State Park. Continue north towards Uxbridge, Massachusetts or veer off west on Pound Hill Road to Douglas Turnpike. Open the windows and take in the smell of fresh cut grass or blooming tulips as you drive.
Whatever route you choose, make the most of the leisurely pace. Take your time. Appreciate your surroundings. And who knows? You may end up at your favorite restaurant open for take-out…