North Carolina June 07, 2017
The Day Trip Of A Lifetime You Can Only Take In North Carolina
While spending an entire day in the car sounds less than ideal, sometimes the journey is equal the destination when you’re cruising through the most pristine coastal scenery in North Carolina. From pirates, bridges, lighthouses, history, islands, ocean and sound; the Outer Banks Scenic Byway is a one of a kind drive unique to only North Carolina.
The OBX scenic byway spans a total of 138 driving miles and 25 ferry miles. Without stops or points of interest, the drive will take you 6.5 hours, with 3.5 of those being spent on a ferry. So, let's be honest, while a great day trip, this makes for an even better long weekend journey.
Beginning at Whalebone Junction on HWY 12 in Dare County, the drive takes you through 21 coastal villages as well as some of the most pristine and untouched coastline you'll find in North Carolina.
On your journey save time to stop by the historic lighthouses of North Carolina's Outer Banks, including Bodie Island. While the original lighthouse was destroyed during the Civil War, it was rebuilt in 1872 to replicate the original. You also can't forget the 'Ocracoke Light,' the second-longest operating lighthouse in the U.S., built in 1823.
While traversing the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, make sure to spend an afternoon on the wild, rugged and beautiful beaches. Surfers also love the rough waters for catching a wave and practicing their sport.
With some of the most remote beaches in North Carolina, four-wheel drive and a little beach cruise allow you to discover some of the most pristine stretches of sand. In Carova and Corrolla you can also see the majestic wild horses. Left by Spanish explorers from the 1500s, these wild Spanish mustangs have learned to live off the land and have become quite accustomed to people (but do not touch or feed the horses). It's a dramatic show to see the horses roaming through their natural environment as well as all the horse dynamics and politics that go on from generations occupying the islands.
Cool beach towns
From the cinematic Rodanthe to the paranormal Ocracoke, there's (of course) no shortage of whimsical, fascinating and historic small beach towns along this drive. While the Serendipity House in Rodanthe no longer stands over the ocean, Nicholas Sparks fans and travelers in general can still view it in its new, safer location. When visiting Ocracoke, don't forget to stop by 2017's Number Three Best Beach in America, Lifeguard Beach. If you're into history, pirates and haunts, well, Ocracoke has plenty of those for the not-easily-spooked adventurist. Read our guide to haunted
The end of your drive takes you to Beaufort where you can explore and see why we named this the one town that's
So Perfectly Southern.
While many have done this drive in bits, there's nothing like turning the entire trip into not just a journey with a destination, but a road trip you'll never forget.
This is seriously one of the most amazing drives ever! Have you ever done it? Any points of interest you’d add to the trip?