Looking for something to do? Hit the roads less traveled for a day trip on the back road.

This content is sponsored by Fair Oaks Motors.

Photo Credit: WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris

Photo Credit: WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris

Photo Credit: WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris

Photo Credit: WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris

Photo Credit: WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris

Photo Credit: WTOP Car Guy Mike Parris

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Usually when you get in the car it’s to go from point A to B, hit the highway and there isn’t much to it. How about mixing it up? Just beyond the highway and byways of the D.C. region lies something magical. The roads less traveled can turn a boring day into a day of discovery.

Dust off those maps if you have them or simply use the phone or tablet to discover your trail. We are lucky to have such amazing sights and wonders so close by. Check out breathtaking sights on Skyline drive. The roads leading to Skyline Drive are picturesque as well.

Pennsylvania is a short drive away and offers fun mostly empty back roads. A quick web search suggested a covered bridge tour in Lancaster County. I jumped at the chance to find and drive through some of the twenty-five covered bridges. The drive between the bridges is just as enjoyable with rolling farmlands. You’ll even share the road with horse and buggies along the way.

If you like trains, then another jaunt to Pennsylvania is in order. This time head toward Altoona to the Horseshoe Curve. A long curve, heralded as an engineering marvel, was completed in the 1850’s and is still used today to help lessen the grade for trains to cross the Allegheny Mountains. Close by is the town of Cresson, a great train viewing area, with plenty of options for a lunch break while multiple trains chug by. Driving on historic U.S. Route 30 for some is much more enjoyable but at a slower pace than on the major roads.

You can also try a back-road drive without the research. Simply start a trip and have your copilot lead the way. I recently set out with no clear destination just to get some lunch at the end of the ride. The only stipulation was no major highways if we could help it. My wife found wonderful roads as we crossed through two states ending in Thurmont, Maryland. There we spent a few minutes finding a good local Pizza shop where the owner talked about cool cars, especially the ride I was driving, and even suggested a local park to enjoy our NY style pie.

Making the trip in a 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody was a special treat. Yes, the roar of the 485hp V8 is intoxicating and it really moves. I was also surprised how docile it was on longer stretches of road, providing a reserved comfortable ride, when needed. Still, a quick stab of gas meant the Dodge could roar again providing miles of smiles or giggles from small ones in the back seat hearing the engine make its sweet noise with the windows open. The new widebody on the Charger means you can easily get the power to the ground with wider tires. It also seems to help when it comes to curves. You can push it more and feel confident on back roads. With the larger size of the Charger, the family fits without hassle. A three-plus hour ride was handled in comfort even with one in a car seat, another in a booster and a third with plenty of space leftover. That space combined with a large trunk that can easily swallow what you can throw in there, makes this is one useful muscle sedan.

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