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  1. Default Myrtle Beach, SC to Phila., PA - following the coast

    Hi there, anyone know of fun things to see and do, places to visit following the coast up? Interested in sun, sand, shopping, beaches, restaurants with adult beverages, music, concerts, etc. over a week in May.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Follow the Coast!

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Since the only place to find all the things on your list is along the coast, and since it's summer, and since you have the time, I don't see any reason to do anything but follow the coastline as closely as you can all the way north. The backbone of the route would go like this: US-17 up to Jacksonville NC, NC-24 through Morehead City and US-70, NC-12 to Cedar Island and the ferry over to the Outer Banks and on up to Kitty Hawk and US-158 to Barco, NC-168/VA-168 up to Norfolk and then US-13 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and onto the Delmarva Peninsula. Switch to US-113/US-50 to Ocean City and DE-1 up to the Wilmington area, finishing on I-95 into Philly.

    Besides the beauty of much of that route, other attractions on it or near it include Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Virginia Beach, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island National Seashore, Delaware Seashore State Park, and more bars and dives than you can shake a stick at. On the shopping front, note that Delaware has no sales tax!


  3. #3

    Default A few bars I have (ahem) heard about....


    I imagine you're well aware that the "Coastal Route" so well-described by AZ Buck allows far, far fewer views of the coast than does a route such as the Pacific Coast Highway. But one of the primary mantras of RTA is "there are no unscenic routes", and the route described is very nice in its own way. Here are some places I've been and a few I have (ahem) heard about. If you ask me which is which, I'm citing the 5th Amendment:

    Wilmington, NC: The Wilmington waterfront (riverfront) is right across the Cape Fear River from the USS North Carolina's berth. There must be two dozen restaurants and bars within a very short walk from the Hilton and from some very nice B&Bs.

    You can actually start your NC Ferry System trip below Wilmington, where the Southport Ferry runs across the mouth of the Cape Fear from Southport to Fort Fisher. That gets you into some cool dive bars and beach music bars in Kure Beach and Carolina Beach.

    Wrightsville Beach and adjacent parts of Wilmington (along the ICW across the Ditch from Wrightsville) offer many more restaurants and bars, with the Bridge Tender and a spot just south of it (whose name escapes me at the moment) representing a rollicking social scene.

    Think about jumping off of NC 24 at Swansboro to get "on the island" for the drive from Emerald Isle to Atlantic Beach and Fort Macon. Lots of public parking areas, and the whole of the Fort Macon State Park is for visitors, including a nice beach.

    Once you arrive at Ocracoke, having first RESERVED a crossing via NC Ferry, Howard's is the main local watering hole. Listen carefully to the locals and you'll hear the strong influence of Elizabethan English in the vocabulary and the enunciation.

    NC 12 runs the sandbar from Buxton (Cape Hatteras Lighthouse) to the Nags Head-Southern Shores string of cities. Along the way are a half-dozen "ramps" where either pedestrians or permitted 4WD vehicles can cross the dunes and get on the beach well out of sight of any houses or buildings.

    Up in Kill Devil Hills/Kitty Hawk is the original location of Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar, right across the old beach road from the Avalon Pier and the Tan-A-Rama Motel. AA's has a booming bar scene and good food.

    Jumping all the way up to Tidewater, VA, take the last exit before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and follow Shore Drive for about 3 miles, across the Lesner Bridge over Lynnhaven Inlet, to Vista Circle. Turn right there and enjoy Bubba's Crabhouse, The Back Deck, Dockside, or Chic's Oyster Bar, each of the four offering good food and outside waterfront dining. The Back Deck an Chic's are particularly booming bar scenes.

    You're allowed to stop and park on the first of the 4 CBBT islands, manmade structures which anchor the two tunnels of the CBBT. A diner, a gift shop, and a fishing pier all await the visitor. It would be unusual to spend an hour on the South Island and not see either commercial or Naval shipping cruise by within 100 yards of the viewing area.

    Over on the Eastern Shore, as the VA and MD section of the Delmarva Peninsula are called, the town of Cape Charles has some cool diners and bars. Farther up, and beyond the Wallops Island NASA facility off to the east of US 13, the village of Chincoteague also sports lots of shops, restaurants, and bars all within a few blocks of one another. Lots to do and see there and just a mile away over on the Assateague Island side, where the National Wildlife Refuge and National Seashore are located.

    Enjoy the trip. And please don't tell my Mom about the bars, OK?


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