When the pandemic spread across the country early last year, vacations were canceled. Restaurants shuttered. Beaches and parks closed to the public. What could we do to chase away the oppressive dread of an invisible, omnipresent scourge? For people fortunate enough to remain employed, an unexpected answer emerged: Buy a boat. Or an ATV or an RV or some other motorized toy that allows us to have fun while social distancing. In February of last year, life was normal. By April, we all wished we owned a chain of stores called Jet Skis and Toilet Paper.

In defiance of 2020's general economic gloom, Americans bought 115,000 new powerboats in May and June, a 30 percent increase compared with sales from those months in 2019, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The RV Industry Association says that November's 42,513 RV sales were the most ever for that month. And Can-Am saw side-by-side sales rise by about 30 percent in the third quarter. Clearly, a lot of people needed to get out of the house.

Including us. To see what all the fuss is about, we rounded up a selection of motorized funmakers and hit the road, trails, and water. Because nothing takes your mind off a pandemic like jumping a side-by-side over a 55-foot gap.

Check out the cool toys that Car and Driver got in to here.