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9:00 AM 2nd June 2020

New Lease Of Life For Drive-ins?

As society begins to assess the long-term impacts of social distancing and the future openings of cinemas, restaurants, theatres and more, some travel pundits are predicting a resurgence in drive-ins and drive-thru options.

Once a retro pastime, contactless interaction at the drive-in has become the norm for many businesses as they adapt to the new ‘normal’ and develop innovative ways to keep customers coming back.

Spanning restaurants, classic cinemas and even wineries, here are a few USA drive-in picks we’ve put together:

Live drive-in concerts at Bayside restaurant, Newport Beach, California
Bayside Restaurant is now open for take-aways and live drive-in concerts. Previously renowned for its live music in the restaurant, Bayside has moved the music out to the car park so people can listen in their cars as they dine. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday visitors can enjoy live drive-in concerts with Ron Kobayashi and The Parking Lot Trio. See further details on their Instagram here www.visitnewportbeach.com

Drive-in theatres in Colorado
Colorado is home to eight drive-in theatres each bringing a different charm. Tru Vu Drive In is situated between State Highway 92 and the Gunnison River and offers visitors a chance to watch a movie away from the city lights and under the stars. The Blue Starlite Drive-In is a summer, pop-up drive-in theatre that’s nestled in the High Rockies of Colorado. It sits at 7,998 feet making it one of the highest, mobile drive-in theatres in the country. This drive in only screens classic movies, such as Star Wars: A New Hope, Goonies, Back to the Future, The Shining and many more. The Holiday Twin Drive-In opened up to the public again on 1 May with social distancing rules in place. It is the last of its kind in Fort Collins situated near Horsetooth Reservoir offering stunning pre-movie views. See here for upcoming screenings. www.colorado.com

Seattle’s Best Burgers for Takeout, Drive-Thru, and Delivery
‘Fine dining is not what Seattle needs right now. Instead, we’re bringing the food to you’, are the very words from the restaurant owner at Canlis. Canlis is an award-winning restaurant in Seattle that usually serves $135 four-course meals. Amid the pandemic it closed its dining room and created a drive-thru in its parking lot to serve $14 burgers. From rabbit sausage with grilled liver to burgers and veggie melts, Canlis also offers bagels for breakfast from the Bagel Shed and delivers ‘home-cooked’ dinners and bottles of wine. www.visitseattle.org

Apple Pie drive-thru - Tuolumne County, California
Apples orchards have long been a feature of Tuolumne County community culture and not far from the top tourist attraction, Columbia State Historic Park in Jamestown, lies Cover's Apple Ranch. Famous with the locals for their Mile-High Apple Pie amongst other delicious pies, apple deserts and fresh-pressed ciders, this family run ranch also has a drive-thru for the time poor visitor. Throughout the year a train runs on Saturdays through the working barnyard and orchard with trees, planted in the 1920s that still produce premium apples today. www.visittuolumne.com

Wigle Whiskey burgers and beers - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Local family-owned whiskey distillery, Wigle Whiskey, is opening its doors to offer its loyal customers the chance to grab a beer with their whiskey throughout June at their new drive-thru. The distillery, located in the Strip District, recently underwent an upgrade adding a new tasting room, bar and restaurant that debuted just before the world went into lockdown. Renowned for their whiskey, locals will now be able to pick up a bottle of their new Walkabout Apple and Afterglow Ginger flasks along with a beef and/or veggie burger. www.visitpittsburgh.com

The Drive-thru Classic Diner - Sno Flake, South Lake Tahoe, California
Nothing says California like a classic drive-thru diner. Check out South Lake Tahoe’s old-timey fast food stand ‘Sno Flake’, known for its burgers, hot dogs, shakes and soft-serve ice cream cones. Don’t forget to order a side of their famous crispy onion rings. The joint has been open since 1961, and has been voted “Best Milkshake” by Tahoe Daily Tribune for the last seven years. www.tahoesouth.com

The Bike-Thru Tree - Yosemite National Park, California
One of Yosemite National Park’s most stunning spots is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, located in Mariposa County. Located in the southern portion of Yosemite, visitors there will be able to walk amongst 500 mature giant sequoias, as well as take a special trip through the California Tunnel Tree. This giant sequoia had a passageway dug into it in 1895 to allow horse-drawn stagecoaches to pass through the tree. Today you can’t drive through it, but visitors can walk or bike through it! www.yosemite.com

Ice-cream straight to your car - Tri-Valley, California
Tri-Valley, located east of San Francisco, is famous for its 14-spot Ice-Cream Trail. For those who are feeling a little tired from all the stops, swing by Pleasanton’s Meadowlark drive-thru Dairy. Having recently celebrated 100 years, it knows a thing or two about keeping the old school drive-thru alive - their formula to longevity is simple: not changing a whole lot. Visiting the drive-thru market is like being taken back in time to the 1950's, and at only $3.25 (approx £2.60) for a large ice cream, you can afford to go back for seconds! www.visittrivalley.com

Drive-thru art - Greater Palm Springs, California
Greater Palm Springs is a thriving hub for visual arts - both inside museums and galleries and outside. Thanks to ‘Art in Public Places’ programmes in each of the nine cities that span the Coachella Valley, there are numerous murals, mosaics, fountains and sculptures to see. Self-drive art tours are a great way to discover Greater Palm Springs’ cultural landscape for free and without leaving the comfort of your own four-wheels. Not to be missed include the Coachella Walls murals, Palm Springs bronze babies, Cathedral City’s Fountain of Life and Messenger of the Puul statue honouring the Cahuilla Indians in Palm Desert. www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

Ski-thru Starbucks - Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe, California
For those who fancy getting their coffee at 8,000 feet, this is just the place. In 2012, Starbucks opened their first ever ski-in/ski-out coffee shop at Squaw Valley, one of North Lake Tahoe’s most popular resorts. Snow bunnies don’t even have to remove their skis or snowboards to enjoy their favourite Starbucks beverages and the spectacular mountain and lake views. www.gotahoenorth.com

LeMay – America’s Car Museum launches summer movies in Tacoma, Washington
ACM is a world-class automobile museum and internationally recognised destination for families and auto enthusiasts. The museum was created to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile and show how it shaped society. Located in Tacoma, the strikingly huge 165,000-sq.-ft. facility is re-opening its doors this summer for a series of drive-in movies and hugely in keeping with the museum's theme. www.visitseattle.org