Thursday, May 25, 2017

Driving the Outer Banks

I've been to the Outer Banks, those barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, several times. That's not bragging. It's just my way of saying that it's one of my favorite places. And judging by the number of OBX bumper stickers I've seen on cars in North Carolina and Virginia, I'm not the only one. (or by the traffic in summer - one of the only drawbacks to visiting the Outer Banks)




Mr. UR and I went on an off-season road trip there - off-season as in February - with the benefit of no crowds or traffic but also no beach time. But we were able to sit in deck chairs in the sunshine so we had that. And sunshine in the Outer Banks in February - I'll take it!


We started our drive at the ferry at Cedar Island. First, let me tell you that Cedar Cove is in the middle of nowhere... I mean nowhere. ( It was about an hour drive from our hotel in Atlantic Beach) You pass homes, a few convenience stores and then marshland for as far as you can see. We boarded the ferry at Cedar Island for the 2 1/4 hour ride to Ocracoke Island.








You can stay on Ocracoke but for many it's just a pass through to get to the next ferry - from Ocracoke to Hatteras. You'll pass through the small town of Ocracoke and the beauty of Cape Hatteras National Seashore - about a 20 minute drive - to board one of the most popular ferries in the NC Ferry System. The ride takes about 45 minutes and you're deposited at Hatteras Village to start the 70 mile drive north to Kitty Hawk. Our outbound ferry had a maintenance issue (who said that only happens to planes?) so we had the added bonus of walking the beach while waiting.














We passed through the small towns of Avon, Buxton, Salvo and Rodanthe while enjoying the windswept views of this portion of Cape Hatteras National Seashore which is consistently rated one of the top 10 drives in the US.  We didn't stop this time but you can stop at Pea Island Wildlife Refuge with it's 350 species of wild birds. Or climb the steps to the top of one of the Outer Banks most famous places - the black and white striped Cape Hatteras Light. Or visit the newly restored Bodie Island Lighthouse.








We made it to Jockeys Ridge -the highest sand dunes on the East Coast - just before sunset. After a climb in the sand it was time to get some dinner.






There was quite a wait at our first choice - the Blue Moon Beach Grill - so we had a drink at the bar and moseyed on down the road to the Outer Banks Brewing Station. We easily got a seat and enjoyed reading the history of the place. Did you know it's the first wind-powered brewery in America?



After dinner it was time to check in at Sanderling Resort in Duck for our weekend. Satisfied road - and water - trippers happy after driving the beautiful Outer Banks.




How about you? Have you been to the Outer Banks?


This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party and Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute!











16 comments:

  1. I have never been to the Outer Banks. It sounds very far away from everything. Going places in the off and non-peak season is a great way to avoid the crowds.

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    1. It is a bit far away and secluded from everything - it's an 8 hour drive for us but if you look on a map you wouldn't believe it was that far. I think the isolation adds to it's appeal - very windswept and beautiful! Thanks for visiting, Rhonda!

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  2. We went to corolla in 2009! Loved it and would love to return!
    Http://www.mommatogo.com

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    1. The hubs has a work client there and I'm always asking when he needs to go visit - OBX anytime!

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  3. I've just med someone from the Outer Banks who told me how beautiful it is there. It surely seems quite remote, yet I'm sure it has its own charm. I don't like crowds, so I'd probably enjoy visiting the Outer Banks. Thank you for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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    1. Thanks for visiting - and thanks for the link-up!

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  4. The Outer Banks is on my travel wish list! Thanks for sharing your experience! #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. Hope you make it there someday - obviously I love it there! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  5. I've heard of the Outer Banks but have never been. Looks pretty spectacular even in the off season. Your photos are beautiful. #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for visitng The Unpaved Road!

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  6. We took our boys to the Outer Banks many years ago and just loved it. It had a wonderful off-the-beaten track feel. i don't remember it being especially crowded but maybe we were just lucky.

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    1. That's a good way of putting it - an off-the-beaten track feel. That's exactly what it has. Thanks for visiting, Lyn!

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  7. Beautiful photos! We also visited the OBX years ago in February. We enjoyed walking on empty beaches. We'd love to return and explore more of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I don't remember the towns we visited but this whole area left such a great and lasting impression.

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    1. Thanks Mary! I hope you make it back someday - and me, too! :) And thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  8. I've only seen it in a Television show here in Australia. I didn't realize it took so long to get there. I love the style of housing - especially that one by itself on the sand dune.

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    1. I love that style of housing too! And it is pretty isolated which lends to its appeal. Thanks for stopping by, Jan!

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