Parks are closed. Malls and stores are closed. Movie theaters are closed. Sports venues are closed. But, we're still seeking activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our cars are becoming essential.

According to some fresh research from online automobile market, as reported by, the COVID-19 lockdown has changed the way Americans use their cars.

One of the findings, according to Matt Schmitz, the assistant managing editor for news at, is "a resurgence in an American pastime: the family Sunday drive." The study reveals 60% of parents and 45% of non-parents have resurrected the weekly Sunday drive in order to to hit the road and escape the monotony of the lockdown. With this research in mind, we aimed our compass in different directions and came up with the most interesting COVID-19 Sunday Drives Around Central New York.

Hinckley Reservoir. Just a short drive from North Utica.

The Adirondacks. World class mountains and lakes, just a little further north from Utica. Old Forge would be a good destination.

Delta Lake. The whole area--the lake, the dam, the Delta Lake Inn, Teugega golf course--it all makes for a great drive with unique views.

Ithaca. Only about 90 minutes from the Mohawk Valley, it's got gorges, waterfalls, the majestic Cayuga Lake, and great natural-food eateries for take-out.

Route 20. The hilly stretch from Cazenovia through Pompey, Lafayette and Skaneateles is wonderful.

Cooperstown. Home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the lovely Otsego Lake.

Jamesville Reservoir. Take a little jaunt off of Route 20 in Pompey and you can circle it in your car.

Hancock International Airport. Drive to North Syracuse, park for a while, and watch the planes take off and land. The Capital District's Albany International Airport is also a good spot for this.

Aside from its findings about the uptick in Sunday driving, the research also showed 53% of parents admitted to using their cars as an opportunity to get away from their homes and kids. And about 25% of Americans are utilizing their cars as a makeshift office, perhaps the way Matthew McConaughey's character did in The Lincoln Lawyer (below).

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