Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

North, South, East or West & All Points In Between

By Bob Tagert and Lani Gering

North, South, East or West & All Points In Between

This whole virus thing has really “put a cog in the wheel” of our daily lives for the most part. It hasn’t, however, prevented us from getting in our vehicle and taking a *drive. We are fortunate enough to live in an area that offers the mountains to the west and the waterfront to the east with both, when you venture north or south. Even taking a spin around the community where you live checking out your neighborhood and driving by your favorite haunts can be therapeutic. You might even think about picking up something curbside from your favorite restaurant or doing a little window shopping and ordering something online from a local retailer. Might not be as convenient as clicking your mouse and ordering from Amazon but it will sure help out a small business person and you will get some fresh air at the same time.

We normally have a particular destination in mind when we take off but in these past weeks it has been a case of just getting in the truck and deciding whether to head toward the Beltway or the Parkway and wing it from there. We like the back roads and are up for just taking a turn to see where it goes. After all, everyone pretty much has a GPS, Waze or another brand of directional application at their disposal so you can always find your way home.

It has been difficult to keep in mind that we can’t just stop at our favorite eateries and watering holes during our treks so it takes a bit of planning when it comes to refreshment. Most of our destinations have restaurants that offer curbside pickup and there are always the fast food options (not our favorite choices BTW) with drive up windows. You might also want to consider packing a picnic lunch and your favorite beverages if you are planning to be out all day. And, who knows, by the time you are reading this the rules may have changed for the better.

The goal is to get off of the major thorough fares as soon as possible and hitting the side roads. If you aren’t comfortable with just “winging” it, how about planning your route via Mapquest or the likes before you leave the house?

If you aren’t sure where you want to go, we have a few suggestions that you might find helpful. These are all small town destinations that have back road options.


Rappahannock County – Flint Hill, Washington, Sperryville

Fauquier County – The Plains, Marshall, Hume

Loudon County – Middleburg, Lovettsville, Purcellville

Keep in mind when you are in these parts of Virginia you will be driving by some of the Commonwealth’s premier wineries and vineyards. Even though the tasting rooms are closed (this may have changed by the time you read this) because of the virus you can still pick up wine curbside at most of them – check out Pearmund, Barrel Oak, Three Fox and Fabbioli vineyards for sure. This means you get to drive through the vineyards and witness the budding of a new season. If you are into “spirits” Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville and Dida’s in Hume are good drive bys.


St. Mary’s County – Leonardtown, St. Mary’s City, St. George’s Island

Calvert County – North Beach, Chesapeake Beach, Solomons Island

Anne Arundel – Deale, Galesville, West River

All of these Maryland destinations have waterfront viewing – the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers. These areas are normally a hot bed for roadside farm stands and hopefully you will happen upon a few.

District of Columbia

If you aren’t that tuned into cruising your neighborhood or heading to the hills or the water, this is a good time to take a cruise through “Our Nation’s Capital”. We wouldn’t normally suggest this since traffic is usually a huge deterrent, but the lack of tour buses and tourists in general and the reduced number of federal workers has changed that substantially. Load up the kids and go on a history lesson with a drive by the many monuments and memorials that are the fabric of The Mall. This adventure might just play right into part of the “home school” narrative.

No matter where you choose to go, be sure to practice the prerequisite “social distancing” when deemed necessary. The beauty of being in your vehicle is that there are no mask, glove or sanitizer requirements….

*Technically, in Maryland, the mandate is that you are only to be on the road for “essential” travel (doctor, work, food, etc.) but we have it on good authority that unless you get arrested or involved in an accident, the authorities aren’t going to track you down. And, for those of you who have been following this column, you know that we like to venture to places for overnight stays but we recommend that you keep your adventure confined to a day trip until the hospitality industry is fully back up and running.

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