Do you like sandy beaches, laid back coastal towns, fresh seafood, and historic lighthouses? If the answer is yes, than the Outer Banks of North Carolina are calling your name!
This narrow string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina are an ocean lover’s paradise. With miles and miles of unspoiled coastline dotted with small towns and fishing villages, this popular vacation destination is a great place for an RV trip.
On a recent RV journey up the East Coast, my husband and I made a week-long stop over in the Outer Banks. We discovered gorgeous beaches, two great campgrounds, and some iconic lighthouses.
With the summer RV season upon us, now is the perfect time to visit the Outer Banks. To help you make the most of your trip, I have put together an informative guide to RVing on the Outer Banks.
Getting There – Bridges and Ferries
The Outer Banks are composed of a series of islands over 100 miles long. Getting there requires a water crossing. There are two major routes that travel from the mainland to the islands of the Outer Banks: one from the north, and one from the south.
From the North:
If you’re coming from the north, getting to the Outer Banks is as easy as following highway 158 from Point Harbor, North Carolina over the Wright Memorial Bridge to the town of Kitty Hawk. This short three mile bridge crosses over the Albermale sound and brings you to the popular northern end of the Outer Banks.
From the South:
Getting to the Outer Banks from the south is little more complicated…and a lot more fun! If you are traveling from the south, the only way to get to the small island of Ocracoke is to take a ferry.
Both the Cedar Island Ferry and the Swan Quarter Ferry travel from mainland North Carolina to Ocracoke Island several times a day. The Cedar Island Ferry is the more popular of the two, and therefore runs more often during the busy summer season. Check the ferry schedule for current crossing times.
The ferry fee is $15 for passenger cars, and anywhere from $30 to $45 for RVs. For our size RV (trailer + truck = 45 feet) we paid the “over 40 foot length” fee of $45.
Be sure to make a reservation if you plan to bring your RV on the ferry. They fill up most days, and if you show up and can’t get a spot, you will have to wait several hours for the next ferry.
Both the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferries take more than two hours to cross the Pamlico Sound. The ferries offer outdoor and indoor observation decks where you can gaze out over the water at the passing ships and playful dolphins.