Spanning 200 miles long on the outer limits of the North Carolina coast sits a waterman’s paradise for wanderlust, wildness, history, and solitude.
If you don’t believe there are untouched stretches of pristine beaches left in the US, think again. This is it!
We love the Outer Banks (OBX) for a billion and one reasons. Be fore warned though if your ideal vacation destination includes poolside service, high rises, and amenities go to Miami, because you won’t find any of those things here- that’s part of the appeal. We like to think of it as giant oceanside outdoor playground for kids of all ages.
There’s no limit to the fun to be had, it’s a land filled with history, mysteries, wild ponies, and blue waters.
With limitless options it wasn’t hard at all to fill the long sunny hours of early summer with epic adventures. Live action coming at ya, in color; check our trip video
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Seeing as OBX is giant habitable sandbar, running North to South on the edge of the North Carolina coast (and teeny bit of Virginia) getting here requires you to either come, wait for it…. from the North or the South (ta-da!)
The Northern approach requires, tolls and bridges, and driving. Dependent on where you’re coming from lots, and lots of driving. We’ve never taken that route, but talked to lots of folks who have, and to be honest it doesn’t sound all that interesting…
The Southern approach however… well this is how to do a road trip! You can catch a NC DOT maintained ferry from either Cedar Point, NC ( this was our port of choice) or from Swan Quarter, NC to Okracoke Island (also a place worthy of its own post). Once you arrive in Ocracoke, a short drive across this tiny island will bring you to a second ferry terminal with service to Hatteras Village, a tiny little seaside town that derives its name from the famous cape. Once you arrive in “Hatteras” drive straight up Route 12 to your desired destination- the island is your playground!
* Traveler’s Tips:
1) The ferries from Cedar Point and Swan Quarter to Ocracoke fill up fast especially in the summer. Reservations are an absolute must. Make your’s here. The ride from Ocracoke to Haters is free, and not reservable.
2) While the ride from Ocracoke to Hatteras is relatively short the ride from Cedar Point to Ocracoke is over 2 hours long. These ferries have limited amenities so bring snacks and cards or a good book to entertain yourself.
Just like any other “go-to” destination on the East Coast you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to places to lay your head. But a trip to OBX is really all about getting back to nature, and enjoying the simple things. If you’ve been with us for awhile, I know this will shock you but when on the banks we’re all about camping at Cape Point Campground in Buxton managed by the National Park Service.
The Pro’s: It’s conveniently located right next to the beach, off road vehicle access points, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Calling one of these simple campsites home will only cost you $20 per night ($10 with an NPS access pass). With the exception of holiday weekends you can usually find a spot without a reservation, but if you want to be on the safe side, you can book ahead, here.
The Cons: You’re going to have to be ok with living a little rugged. While the campground offers full facilities ( bathrooms and showers) the toilets are flush, but there is no hot water on site, and the shower water is freezing. If you live life out of your sweet Winnebago Conversion Van like we do its no biggie, we are fortunate enough to have a hot showers and our own private restroom. If you’re also traveling in an RV, the NPS is kind enough to maintain a free dump station, as well as water fill facilities nearby making life a little easier. But tent campers beware, you’ve been warned! That shower is COLD I speak from experience.
This is what it’s all about. This is why we go to OBX, to get outside, to rejuvenate and reconnect with the world around us. Wether you’re headed here with a car load of family, a close friend, or someone more intimate there is no shortage of adventures to be had. Surfing, fishing, kayaking, kiteboarding, windsurfing, off roading on the beach, exploring coastal history, and wildlife spotting, and the list could go on and on. There are so many adventures to be had on OBX, that they’re getting their own post!
Grub and Pubs:
The food scene on OBX is growing by leaps and bounds! 10 years ago finding a tasty slice of pizza and maybe a nice place for a sit down seafood dinner would have made you feel like you won the culinary lottery, but today more and more amazing places are popping up all along this 200 mile long stretch. A few of our favorites are; Rocco’s pizza (I know I just knocked on pizza, but this place is cheap, simple and tasty), The Black Pelican, Bro’s Sandwhich Shack, The Orange Blossom Cafe, Ketch 55 and Uglie Mugs Coffee, and The Outer Banks Brewing Station. If you’ve watched trip video, I bet you can guess which two of these are our favorites!
There’s so much more to share, and we’re just getting started! As always thanks for reading guys and sticking with us!
Exciting things are coming soon, and we can’t wait to share them with you!
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