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4 drive-in experiences you're about to see everywhere this summer

May 31, 2020
5 min read
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Stay-at-home orders are lifting around the world, and we're gradually making our way toward a new normal defined by social distancing guidelines. For some people, this might look like a trip back in time.

Yes, this is the summer of booking all your fun in advance, but it's also set to be a summer of road trips, weekend getaways and both classic and creative drive-in attractions that will take you back at least a few decades. After all, there's no better way to hit the road and see the sights while maintaining your distance from others than in your car.

Take, for example, drive-in movie theaters. According to the Hollywood Reporter, there are about 320 drive-in movie theaters across the country that have been steadily reopening as states lift stay-at-home orders.

Ticket sales in the U.S. have been steady — "not spectacular" — the Hollywood Reporter added. But this could be due to a lack of new Hollywood movies available for viewing. Elsewhere, such as in South Korea and Germany, drive-in ticket sales are booming. In both countries, new drive-ins are being set up in public parks and parking lots.

If you ask us, we'd say we're seeing a very similar trend take off here in the U.S. In fact, it's already begun. Here are some of our favorite drive-thru experiences popping up around the country so far.

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Take me out to the ... concert

Play ball! While it's still not clear when games will resume, Yankee Stadium in New York City is being turned into a drive-in concert and movie theater venue this summer, Time Out reported.

Every weekend in July, it will host Uptown Drive-In, a drive-in movie and live music concert experience featuring local artists. You'll also be able to grab a bite thanks to some of New York's famous street vendors — car-side, of course. There will also be raffles, games and giveaways. While prices are not yet available, tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis. You can register for the waitlist here.

The Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, also plans to turn the home field into one of the largest drive-thru movie theaters in history. Here, up to 230 cars can enjoy content from the team's 54-year history, movies and even commencement ceremonies.

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Related: How to get to New York on points and miles

Diners and drives

Someone tell Guy Fieri: There's a diner in Queens that's giving new meaning to "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

Bel Aire Diner in Astoria, Queens is hosting drive-in movie nights in their parking lot, Time Out also reported. It's using a 25-foot screen that allows between 30 to 40 cars to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. You'll just have to stay put in your car and tune into the audio on the radio.

Past features have included "Grease" and "Dirty Dancing." Keep an eye on their Instagram page for the upcoming schedule. And maybe order some pancakes or a grilled cheese sandwich while you're at it.

Related: Stuck at home? Stream these 12 movies to cope with travel wanderlust

Safari in your car

Up in Chittenango, New York, things are getting pretty wild. The Wild Animal Park delayed its opening this year due to the global health crisis, but has opened up to tourists as a drive-thru.

In a recent Facebook post, the zoo announced it will operate seven days a week, and guests will enjoy the wildlife safely, from the comfort of their own vehicle. Snow leopards, mountain lions and giraffes can all be seen roaming around in the large enclosure. For more information, you can follow along on the dedicated Facebook page for drive-thru safaris.

Drive-thru Rosé

One of the Hampton's premier wineries, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, is taking the drive-thru one step further. The Hamptons, located on Long Island, is currently in phase one of New York Gov. Cuomo's "New York Forward" plan, meaning food and beverages are still only available for pickup and delivery.

At the vineyard's rosé drive-thru, you can safely pick up a bottle of Wölffer's famous "Summer in a Bottle" without having to touch anything. We'll drink to that.

Related: 8 easy New York City escapes you can get to in three hours or less

Featured image by Getty Images

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023