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  1. Default New Jersey to Outer Banks NC


    I am planning a trip from NJ to Outer Banks NC with my wife and 2 year old daughter in late February. It is my first time there. If we leave by dawn can we be at the hotel by sunset? Also how is the weather over there, will the beaches be open for us to take a stroll? Anything else interesting for us to do?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Exactly where in NJ, and exactly where on the Outer Banks?

  3. #3

    Default Generally, yes

    Hello JahanNJ,

    Both "New Jersey" and "Outer Banks" cover a lot of geography, so a more precise starting and ending point will help us help you.

    That said, my sister-in-law and her hubby and their kids used to make a 10-11 hour run from the Kingston, NY area around 100 miles north of NYC to our place on the Chesapeake Bay right at the south end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT). They'd leave by 3:30-4:00 am to miss most of the NYC commuter traffic, drive down the Jersey Shore to Cape May, take the ferry, and drive on down the Delmarva Peninsula to Cape May Ferry (reservations strongly suggested or required) and the CBBT (free parking area and free walking-around area on the South Island, adjacent to commercial and naval shipping lane). From the south end of the CBBT, it's about 2 hours to the northern end of Nag's Head, and from there, another half hour up to Corolla and a good 90 minutes to 2 hours way down the islands to Hatteras Village.

    Whether you come down the Delmarva or run I-95 through Balto/DC, you'll want to avoid Tidewater, VA at rush hour. A spider web of waterways and a paucity of roads makes for a "no fun" evening rush hour.

    The weather along the Outer Banks (OBX) in Feb/March can be anything from sunny and 70 (like today) or 35 degrees and blowing a 50 mph nor'easter. No way to predict this far out. The beaches are public property and are always open. From my perspective, the Nags Head/Southern Shores/Duck/Corolla corridor has become a year-round destination in recent years. Not that everything will be open, but it's not the winter ghost town it used to be.

    Safe travels and enjoy your OBX RoadTrip.


  4. Default


    Thanks for your responses, I should have been more specific. I will be going from central NJ (Edison) to Kitty Hawk NC. I am not sure of the exact road (I have my GPS), but I plan on just taking 95 all the way down. If I leave around 7 AM on a Thursday morning then will I get caught in traffic when I get near the DC area?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That is 400 miles and doable in one day, but I would not go anywhere near DC. Bring your EZ-Pass and take the following route:

    Take the NJ Turnpike to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and hook up with I-95. Get off at the DE-1 exit and take that south to Dover. Just south of the city and before you get to Dover AFB, take the connector to US-13. Take that all the way to Norfolk/VA Beach over the CBBT. From there, I will defer to Foy to tell you the best way to get to Kitty Hawk.

    Alternatively, you could take the GSP to Cape May, then the ferry to Lewes and US-9 to US-13. Reservations recommended for the ferry, this won't save you any time but will give you a nice break from driving. Ferries leave Cape May at 7:30am and 11am. You should be there 30 minutes prior, and the ride takes 85 minutes. The fare is approximately $40. If you go this way, the 11am ferry will not get you there in time to get to Kitty Hawk before dark, and probably put you into Norfolk at the height of rush hour.

  6. #6

    Default Routing


    Kitty Hawk is central to the Nags Head portion of the Outer Banks (OBX). From the Norfolk-Virginia Beach side of either the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge-Tunnel (MMBT) or the CBBT, it's around a 2 hour drive down I-64/VA 168/NC168/US 158. Kitty Hawk is just a handful of miles past the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge which carries US 158 across Currituck Sound.

    To get there by either I-95/I-64 or from US 13/CBBT, you'll navigate to the I-64/VA 168 interchange and follow the signs down to the state line where VA 168 becomes NC 168, which soon thereafter runs into US 158 and on to the Wright Brothers bridge to the OBX.

    It's always wise to take a map with you. GPS is liable to tell you to pass through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel on I-64 rather than to take the I-664 MMBT as a matter of course. The MMBT route is normally better, particularly from mid-afternoon through early evening on weekdays. Rush hour in Tidewater starts at 3pm when the shipyards' day shift ends, and it lasts until around 7pm, when Norfolk's office workers ride home finally tapers off. Perhaps not a big deal for one accustomed to NJ/NYC traffic, but we try to avoid it down here.

    I heartily recommend glc's route from the DE side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Dover, DE and the Delmarva Peninsula is a much, much more enjoyable drive than the Balto/DC suburbs, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Hampton, VA.


  7. Default

    Foy and glc,

    Thanks again for your responses.

    Short change of plans. Instead of half a week, I have decided on an entire week. A friend of mine recommended getting a rental home rather than a hotel, and for this I have to stay at least a week. I think I found a nice one in duck...

    Can I use the same directions you gave me before? Also do I still need to go through DC?

    Here are the directions from google maps, do they look right to you?

    7. Continue onto New Jersey Turnpike S
    Partial toll road

    59.8 mi
    8. Continue onto US-40 W
    Toll road

    0.6 mi
    9. Merge onto I-295 S
    Partial toll road
    Entering Delaware

    4.3 mi
    10. Take the US-13 N exit toward Wilmington/U.S. 40/New Castle Airport/Dover

    0.3 mi
    11. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for US-13 S/US-40 W/New Castle/Airport/Dover and merge onto US-13 S/US-40 W/N Dupont Pkwy

    4.0 mi
    12. Slight left onto US-13 S/S Dupont Pkwy

    5.5 mi
    13. Continue onto DE-1 S
    Partial toll road

    51.1 mi
    14. Merge onto DE-1 BUS S/US-113 S/N Dupont Blvd via the ramp to Milford/Georgetown
    Continue to follow US-113 S
    Entering Maryland

    74.6 mi
    15. Turn left onto US-13 S
    Partial toll road
    Entering Virginia

    81.4 mi
    16. Merge onto US-13

    1.3 mi
    17. Merge onto US-13 S

    4.0 mi
    18. Merge onto US-13 N

    1.3 mi
    19. Merge onto US-13 S

    8.6 mi
    20. Take the exit onto I-64 E toward Chesapeake/Suffolk

    10.2 mi
    21. Take exit 291B to merge onto I-464 S/VA-168 S toward US-17 S/Elizabeth City/Outer Banks

    0.4 mi
    22. Continue onto VA-168 S
    Partial toll road
    Entering North Carolina

    16.1 mi
    23. Continue onto N Carolina 168 S/Caratoke Hwy
    Continue to follow Caratoke Hwy

    43.0 mi
    24. Continue onto US-158 E/Wright Memorial Bridge
    Continue to follow US-158 E

    4.4 mi
    25. Turn left onto N Croatan Hwy

    0.1 mi
    26. Continue onto N Carolina 12 N/Ocean Blvd

    1.5 mi
    27. Slight left onto Duck Rd

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Google Driving Instructions

    I get the feeling that you will get a much clearer picture of where that route goes, if you go to a place like AAA and pick up maps of each of the States your route touches. Then, taking a bright pink or luminous green hilighter, go over the route above, and see where it goes. It will be instantly obvious to you, if it takes you through DC, and you will be able to see what alternatives there are.

    The problem with blindly following the directions from a program such as Google Maps is, if you happen to take a wrong turn, get lost or are sent off on a detour, for whatever reason, you won't know where you are, or what your options are. If you have it all clearly marked on paper maps, such as those from AAA, it will be instantly obvious what your options are, and you will be on your way, with little or no hassle.

    Electronic mapping is great to zoom in for detail, get total mileage, etc., but there is nothing like seeing it all on a good paper map. Besides, you should always carry good maps, no matter what or how much technology accompanies you on your trip.


  9. #9

    Default Duck is nice, directions look fine, but...............

    ..........I wouldn't even consider taking my wife + toddler on a 400 mile road trip into unfamiliar territory without a highway atlas. Spring for the $20-25 for a 2012 Rand McNally and get yourself familiar with the route. It's the only logical step to take.

    "There is no COMPLETE substitute for a map and the ability to read it"

    Safe travels and enjoy the OBX.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    That route does not take you anywhere near DC.

    Let me rephrase my recommendation:

    Coming off the Delaware Memorial Bridge, you will be on I-295. Follow the signs for I-95 South. Upon entering I-95, go approximately 3.5 miles to DE-1 South. This is Exit 4A.

    Go approximately 42 miles on DE-1 to Exit 97. Google calls this the Puncheon Run Connector, take this to US-13 South, and take that all the way to the CBBT.

    This is not how Google wants to take you.

    You can buy a Rand McNally atlas at Walmart for 7 bucks, and if you are a member of AAA, you can get free state maps of DE, VA, and NC (recommended). Do not blindly follow the directions that a GPS will give you.

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