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  1. #1

    Default San Diego to NC Outerbanks, late March

    My boyfriend and I will be traveling from San Diego to the Outerbanks in late march. We're planning on I-40, though I definitely want to mosey off onto rt66. I'm not one for crazy tourist traps, though my one must is the Grand Canyon, as I've never been. Any other suggestions on what to do along the way (especially east of Az/NM), we have about 10 days? Good food stops appreciated, as well!

  2. #2

    Default Where along the OBX are you headed?

    Hello jking74,

    If you're headed for the northern and central portions of the Outer Banks (OBX), you'd want leave I-40 at the I-540 loop between Raleigh and Durham, swing north (the only way you can go--the entire loop does not yet exist to the south), then take US 64 all the way to Nag's Head. For the greatest portion of US-64, it's modern Interstate-quality 4 lane with 65 and 70 mph speed limits.

    En route to NC, definitely take the loop past/through the GCNP (Williams-GCNP-Cameron-Flagstaff). I did it in the other direction in October 2007, while headed west along I-40. It's absolutely spectacular and worth the half-day out of the way just for a couple or three hours' looking and stopping at overlooks along AZ 64. The ride back to Flagstaff and I-40 from Cameron is pretty nice, too.

    Our westbound run was a "speed run" so we dined, for the most part, on Denny's or Cracker Barrel breakfasts and Love's (travel plaza) radar hot dogs and coffee. Back here in NC, consider some eastern NC barbeque at Smithfield's Chicken and BBQ in Zebulon (right on a US-64 exit), or a local place, whose name escapes me, in Williamston (there are signs for it). Just north of Nag's Head on the OBX is Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar, a local suppertime and bar favorite right beside the Avalon Pier, and back down at Whalebone Junction is my favorite lunch stop, Dune Burger. Don't let the exterior of Dune Burger fool you, it's the real thing. Sam N' Omies is a great breakfast spot right beside Dune Burger, and both are at the site of Jeanette's Pier, now a State Park, right on the beach.

    If you plans include Ocracoke Island, be advised of large scale road closures on the island, from the present through at least March 15. There are a half-dozen bridges being rebuilt along NC 12 between the Hatteras Ferry landing (north end of the island) and Ocracoke Village (south end). All of the NC 12 traffic is detoured along the beach, and only 4WD is capable of running the beach. The NCDOT is encouraging non-4WD tourists to access Ocracoke Village via either the Swan Quarter or the Cedar Island Ferries.


  3. #3



    Thanks for the info! We'll actually be driving to Wilmington, NC (which really isn't the OBX, but close enough, i guess). Plans changed a bit and we'll probably end up traveling around beginning to mid April. We're planning on stopping at the grand canyon and petrified nat'l forest, definitely driving along rt 66 for a bit, and stopping along the great smokey mnts/chimney rock/asheville. but i need some suggestions/recommendations for any places in between petrified forest and smokey mnts. idea?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

    Default Wilmington is a great place

    But it's not the Outer Banks, no more than Orange County is La Jolla. But that's cool.

    My recent cross-country trip was a speed run until we got to the Grand Canyon, so I really don't have any ideas/tips of places to stop until you get down this way.


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