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Outer Banks Scenic Byway

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Basics
Length:
111 miles (178 km)
Time:
5.5 hours, including 3.5 hours on the two ferries.
Fees:
Both ferries have tolls and recommend reservations due to tight time schedules. Call 1-800-BY-FERRY to confirm schedules and fees.

Description

Perhaps the most romantic byway in North Carolina, the Outer Banks Scenic Byway will take travelers on a tour of the barrier islands. Historic towns, scenic ferries, and well-known lighthouses make this drive memorable. Travelers make plans to come back even as they leave.

Seafood cuisine, oceanside hotels, and dozens of attractions leave visitors content with the Outer Banks that are accessible only by ferry or a few bridges. Once you reach the Outer Banks, the mainland is left behind and there are beaches, wildlife preserves,and lighthouses within your grasp.

Points of Interest Along The Way

Beaufort Historic District (NC)

The historic town of Beaufort holds many enchantments for the byway traveler. Once an important eastern seaport, the town dates from 1719.

The cemetery is evidence of the town's age. There are over 200gravesites that date to pre-Civil War times. The oldest stone that is still legible is from 1765.

Directions

Off of US Highway 70.

Bodie Island Lighthouse (NC)

This lighthouse was built in 1872 to replace the one that was destroyed in the Civil War.

Directions

Along the byway on Bodie Island.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (NC)

This famous lighthouse is the tallest in the United States.

Directions

Off of NC 12 on the Outer Banks

Cape Lookout Lighthouse (NC)

Destroyed during the Civil War, Cape Lookout Lighthouse was rebuilt in 1859.

Directions

The south end of the Outer Banks

Cedar Island (NC)

Located on a wildlife preserve, Cedar Island presents a flip-side to the typical Outer Banks resort areas.

Directions

On mainland NC 12.

Chicomacomico Lifesaving Station (NC)

This lifesaving station is famous for a rescue that occurred in World War I.

Directions

Rodanthe, North Carolina

Fort Macon State Park (NC)

This coastal state park is home to a Civil War fort.

Directions

Bogue Banks on the Outer Banks

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (NC)

The disappearance and fate of all settlers of Roanoke Colony remains a mystery to this day.

Directions

Roanoke Island

Frisco Native American Museum (NC)

Get a taste of archeology and nature on the Outer Banks. The museum contains exhibits of ancient artifacts. Although many of the artifacts were found on the Outer Banks, exhibits from other parts of the state are also included. Take a walk on the nature trail to explore a little more of the Outer Banks.

Directions

Frisco, Hatteras Island

Manteo (NC)

Although Manteo was founded at the turn of the century, it has roots in one of the most historic places in the country.

Directions

Roanoke Island

Length:
111 miles (178 km)
Time:
5.5 hours, including 3.5 hours on the two ferries.
Main Roads:
N Carolina 12 S
Fees:
Both ferries have tolls and recommend reservations due to tight time schedules. Call 1-800-BY-FERRY to confirm schedules and fees.
Customizable Directions

Formatted DirectionsMap

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