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  1. Default Advice on the Outer Banks and Maine please

    I had posted on this forum with amazing results a couple of years ago when I was driving from NY to New Orleans. Thank you so much to those who helped me out then. I have passed this site on as a resource to many friends who have also had awesome experiences. I was hoping to have the same success. I'm about to leave on a trip that over three weeks will take me from New Orleans up to Acadia National Park, passing through Charleston, Durham, the Outer Banks, New York (to see family) and then up to Maine.

    The parts that I don't have ironed out that much are my time on the outer banks, I'll be there from August 9-11 (3 nights) and then my time in Maine which will be August 20-25 (5 nights).

    I have been trying to get my research done but its been difficult to find interesting and credible information. I'm very interested in nature and scenic things and it would be fun to go camping in either or both of these places. I really enjoy off the beaten path kind of things and food (I already have plenty of recommendations for the latter though).

    My initial thought for the outer banks was to drive from durham to cedar island and take the 2pm ferry over to ocracoke. Camp there at the NPS site for that night and explore the next day and night. Then for our last night, drive up the island to hatteras and leisurely make our way up to nags head or kill devil hills to stay for the night, stopping along the way at beaches or whatever we might see. Id love any suggestions about what to do along the way or on ocracoke for that matter other than just general exploration. I'd even be up to changing the plan entirely over those days but it seemed like a way to head north without being redundant as opposed to driving to the outerbanks directly and then going up and down multiple times.

    Then for Maine I was looking to get up to Portland from close to NYC and then take the next 4 days to drive up route 1 (along the coast) to get to acadia national park. I am absolutely clueless about Maine and the park. I'm just intrigued by the idea of Maine being this pristine beautiful, not overly hot amazing location. I'd love to hear about inexpensive places to stay along the way. Which towns or islands to stop in. What to explore in the park with only a couple days and where its worth it to camp.

    I'd like to stay more away from commercial areas and find some really unique beauty on this trip. I'm going with two of my best buddies.

    Thanks so much in advance for the help and I'm leaving on Thursday morning. Its exciting that it's happening so soon.
    Last edited by BisonBurgr; 08-04-2009 at 08:54 PM. Reason: e-mail notification

  2. #2

    Default Obx

    Hello BisonBurgr,

    Your planned trip from Durham to the Cedar Island Ferry makes sense to me. Be absolutely sure you've got a reservation, however, as for what the NC Ferry people have told me repeatedly, reservations are essential if you're wanting to keep a schedule. Not so with respect to the Ocracoke-Hatteras ferry, which I believe departs each half-hour. It's simple to book reservations and check schedules on the NC Ferry website.

    A slow, scenic drive up towards Nags Head, with noncommercial things in mind, might include the obligatory stop at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (check the NPS website for hours and "climbing tours"), visits to one or more of the old Lifesaving Stations along the way (I think the one at Waves/Salvo/Rodanthe is restored and open to tours), stopping at some of the exposed shipwrecks (located on NPS maps), and any number of fairly isolated pull-offs between Buxton and Oregon Inlet. That stretch of Hatteras Island is the less-developed on this whole stretch of coast due to its inclusion in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Only the towns of Avon and Waves/Salvo/Rodanthe are developed, probably representing no more than 15% of the overall length of the drive.

    One can walk out on the catwalk intended for fishermen at the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet. Park in the lot on the south end. On the north side of the BB, check out the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center for a look at some amazing pictures and mounts of offshore species caught out of OI over the years. Then just a few miles north is the Bodie Island Lighthouse. I don't think it's open for tours, but it's set well off the highway and worthy of a peaceful drive by.

    There's not much way to avoid commercial stuff from South Nags Head all the way to Southern Shores, though. That stretch is Myrtle Beach without the high-rises.

    As you continue north, consider the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and a stop at the public lot on the South Island. There's a small cafe and gift shop, rest rooms, and ample parking. It's a great place to spend an hour or so. It's a virtual guarantee you'll see either Navy or commercial shipping pass by within a couple hundred yards of the South Island within an hour's time.

    Further up the Eastern Shore, Chincoteague is fairly commercial but is the gateway to the Assateague Island Nat Seashore. There's a large public beach on the oceanfront there, plenty commercial in feel, but there are many trails on the sound side.

    From there you can continue north to Lewes, DE and take the Lewes-Cape May Ferry. Like the Cedar Island-Ocracoke Ferry in NC, it's a 2.5 hour ride and reservations are very strongly recommended.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


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