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New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: lowcountry4 - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/25/2016
Location:
Total Posts: 13

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 7:31 PM




Hello,

So happy to have been directed to this informative site. My daughter and I are planning a long weekend starting this Thursday evening traveling to the OBX. She is a history fanatic with a healthy obsession with lighthouses. We have never been to the OBX even though we are from right outside Richmond, VA. My plan as of now (after getting some great advice on city-data) is the following:

Thurs. leave Richmond at 4 drive to Swan Quarter area to spend the night

Friday: catch 10 am ferry to Ocracoke. Knock around the village after lunch, see the lighthouse, shops, beach spend Saturday and Sat. night there as well.

Sun.: Get up early, take ferry to Hatteras, see the lighthouse and village. Drive north, stopping along the way at various villages, shops. See Bodie Lighthouse on the way.

Sunday evening: continue to hotel in Nags Head or Manteo.
This is the part I am unsure of... much cheaper rates in Manteo for a one night stay, but should we stay on the beach again in order to see more of the area? I did want to check out Manteo for a possible retirement location, so would like to either drive over to see it, or stay there.

Monday: we need to be heading home to Richmond Monday, so we could squeeze in a few more hours see other sites, maybe see Wright Brothers museum on the way out...

If you have any great suggestions for "must stops" on the drive north on Sunday, in Ocracoke, etc. we'd love to hear them. Will traffic be a bear on Sunday? That worries me a bit. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice!

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RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: hoi toide - (Send PM)
Member Since: 5/24/2007
Location: Swamp Life
Total Posts: 13176

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 7:47 PM




Do you have a place to stay at Swan Quarter?

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: lowcountry4 - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/25/2016
Location:
Total Posts: 13

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 7:59 PM




Yes, we found a nice B&B for the night.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: Scout - (Send PM)
Member Since: 12/19/2010
Location: Nags Head/Maryland
Total Posts: 320

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:02 PM




If she's a history fanatic and you're going to be staying in either Manteo or Nags Head, you might want to also consider a visit to Roanoke Island Festival Park: http://www.roanokeisland.com/

If you visit the website, you can see they have some great offerings. We really enjoyed our visit and felt like we learned a lot about the Native Americans and the first settlers.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: JoyinVirginia - (Send PM)
Member Since: 1/20/2014
Location: New Kent VA and Nags Head
Total Posts: 502

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:11 PM




Manteo is like 15 minutes from Nags Head, so stay over there! When you are at the Bodie Island lighthouse, its no more than 15 or 20 min to drive to Manteo.
You can't go in the Ocracoke lighthouse, you can, for a fee, climb the Hatteras and Bodie Island lighthouses

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: smeeky - (Send PM)
Member Since: 10/20/2008
Location: Wilderness, VA
Total Posts: 159

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:14 PM




As said above be sure you have some place to stay in Swan Quarter. There is not much there and what is there is very basic. Also make sure you have reservations for the ferry.

As an alternative have you thought of driving to Hatteras instead of Swan Quarter? The distance is not that great of a difference and your accommodation options are much larger. You could still visit Ocracoke the next morning and still get your fill of seeing both Hatteras and Ocracoke. I know the thought of a long ferry ride is appealing to some but the hour long trip each way to and from Ocracoke should fill that need. Besides there is much more to see and do on the islands then in Swan Quarter.

Anyway whatever you decide a few other items you should see if time allows. In Hatteras is the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum. In Friscojust north of Hatteras is the Native American museum. In Rodanthe is the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station.

Whatever you decide to do I hope you have a good time.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: HopSkipandJump - (Send PM)
Member Since: 4/23/2015
Location: VA and Kitty Hawk
Total Posts: 104

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:15 PM




The Wright Brothers memorial is under renovation. Only the outside areas (and a small gift shop) are open. They are charging full price but it is a letdown compared to the full experience. IMHO I would skip it until the improvements are complete (at which point it should be awesome).


RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: JohnMosesBrowning - (Send PM)
Member Since: 8/13/2007
Location: Ocracoke
Total Posts: 2622

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:38 PM




Base of the Ocracoke Light MAY be open for viewing. If open, you can walk inside, but, not climb. Often open around mid day.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: Mikec - (Send PM)
Member Since: 4/11/2014
Location: MD
Total Posts: 1092

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:44 PM




The Wright Brothers memorial is under renovation. Only the outside areas (and a small gift shop) are open. They are charging full price but it is a letdown compared to the full experience. IMHO I would skip it until the improvements are complete (at which point it should be awesome).



Any idea of when the renovation will be done?

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: lowcountry4 - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/25/2016
Location:
Total Posts: 13

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 8:55 PM




smeeky, the reason I went with driving to Swan Quarter was due to googlemaps putting the time to Cape Hatteras at about an hour longer than Swan Quarter from our home. I didn't know how bad traffic would be at that hour heading down 64E out of Richmond. I agree it would be nice to already be there on Thursday night, though. We cannot leave until she finishes work on Thurs. which is at 4, so...I'm going to give this some more thought though.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: lowcountry4 - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/25/2016
Location:
Total Posts: 13

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 9:21 PM




Great advice so far! So maybe we need to rethink our plan....I am thinking due to the rush hour traffic situations around VB and Richmond Thursday night, coupled with my not so great nighttime driving, it may be best for us to leave early Friday morning and drive down to Cape Hatteras. If we left at 6 am Friday and then drove down, we'd hopefully get there before noon. Eat lunch in Hatteras, see the sites there all day. Take a late ferry from CH to Ocracoke. We have reservations for a hotel there for Friday and Saturday nights. Then ferry back to Hatteras early Sunday morning and drive north, staying in Manteo Sunday night and leaving Monday after seeing sites in Manteo- Roanoke festival park, etc. then heading home.

How does this sound? Will the ferry be crowded from Hatteras to Ocracoke Friday evening?

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: smeeky - (Send PM)
Member Since: 10/20/2008
Location: Wilderness, VA
Total Posts: 159

Date Posted: 6/18/2017 11:03 PM




smeeky, the reason I went with driving to Swan Quarter was due to googlemaps putting the time to Cape Hatteras at about an hour longer than Swan Quarter from our home. I didn't know how bad traffic would be at that hour heading down 64E out of Richmond. I agree it would be nice to already be there on Thursday night, though. We cannot leave until she finishes work on Thurs. which is at 4, so...I'm going to give this some more thought though.



Lowcountry-I live a little north of you and agree I64 will be problematic. What I have been doing is going on down to Petersburg and catching 460 to Chesapeake and then heading down to Nags Head and Hatteras. Agree that Swan Quarter is a little closer as the crow flies but when you add in the two lane highway driving through NC and then a 2 hour plus ferry ride to Ocracoke you you spend a lot of time in the vehicle (or ferry) without much else to do. The trip via 460 to Nags Head is right at 3 hours (maybe a few minutes longer). Nags Head to Hatteras is about an hour. But then no long ferry ride in the morning. Whatever you do I hope you find the Outer Banks to be as magical as most of the others of us on this board have. I started in Nags Head while in high school in the 60's and with exception of some out of area work have been a regular visitor ever since.



RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: JoyinVirginia - (Send PM)
Member Since: 1/20/2014
Location: New Kent VA and Nags Head
Total Posts: 502

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 12:42 AM




It sounds like a fun trip, and I bet you will be back! On Manteo be sure to check out the Elizabethan Gardens and Fort Raleigh historic site. It would be great if you could see The Lost Colony, but they don't have shows on Sunday evening.
I would recommend leaving early Friday am, take 460 to avoid the Hampton Roads rush hour and the never- ending interstate 64 construction, head from Petersburg to Suffolk then to Hatteras. Esp as you mention being nervous diving after dark. Just be careful in 460 to obey speed limits. Even if you come in Thursday evening, still come 460 way.
It's really pretty going over the bridges at night, if you do come Thursday evening.
The route from Richmond to Swan Quarter via Google maps (just putting Richmond as staying point) is about 3 hours 30 min. Add a 2 and one - half hour ferry ride to Ocracoke, versus a one hour ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke, and you are actually looking at 6 hours vs. Five hours. Also, that route takes you past some wildlife refuges. Not to scare you, but you should know that area is sparsely populated and not great cell reception in spots. If you can't leave until 4 pm, you would be getting there around dark. If you do go that route, use caution. I had a Nags Head neighbor who was hit by a bear close to the alligator river wildlife refuge last year (bear ran out in front of her) (she was ok but the bear and her car were not) , and a family ran over a large alligator with vehicle damage couple years ago. http://www.wral.com/800-pound-gator-hit-by-car-in-dare-county/13675775/

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: 2boysmom - (Send PM)
Member Since: 8/2/2014
Location:
Total Posts: 483

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 7:43 AM




Fyi, you have to buy tickets to climb Bodie, and they only take a max of 8 people at a time, twice an hour. We were there last Thursday around 11:00, and they earliest we could get was 12:50. We ended up buying tickets for 4:10, heading south for awhile and stopping to climb on our way back to Nags Head. There were 4-5 families that walked up while we were waiting to climb, but they didn't have tickets and there were no more to buy.

Without a ticket, you could go inside and look around at the very bottom of thr lighthouse.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: hatterasnc - (Send PM)
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Location:
Total Posts: 3724

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 7:59 AM




Opinion on occupancy, unless you are driving carelessly or folks are hanging out the windows or dragging feet off the tailgate, you should have no problems. Common sense approach works fine.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: lowcountry4 - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/25/2016
Location:
Total Posts: 13

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 8:02 AM




OK I am sold on the 460 route! (I love animals, but bears and alligators OMG smiley ) Too bad about the Wright Bros. Memorial, but there sounds like a lot of other places to explore and keep us busy. Thank you for the info on the Bodie Island lighthouse 2boysmom, depending on our timing driving up Sunday, that may be something we do on Monday morning.

Thank you all so much for your help! We are really looking forward to this trip!

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: hoi toide - (Send PM)
Member Since: 5/24/2007
Location: Swamp Life
Total Posts: 13176

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 8:05 AM




Opinion on occupancy, unless you are driving carelessly or folks are hanging out the windows or dragging feet off the tailgate, you should have no problems. Common sense approach works fine.



Wrong thread HatterasNC. This is Stumpy/Swan Q lighthouse & historic touring. You want the "Off-roading with many kids" thread I believe, si?

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: Halftime - (Send PM)
Member Since: 11/22/2006
Location: Avon/Raleigh NC
Total Posts: 162

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 10:42 AM




I wouldn't let bears or alligators change your plans. They are rare. I have driven US64 from Raleigh to Avon about 700 times over the last 14 years. I have seen bears 3 times and alligators zero times.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: lowcountry4 - (Send PM)
Member Since: 3/25/2016
Location:
Total Posts: 13

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 11:33 AM




Oh it's not that - my response re: the critters was tongue in cheek. I do think driving south from here makes the most sense now...especially given our need for a later start. I'll be sure to give a trip report. Should be fun!!

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: hatterasnc - (Send PM)
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Location:
Total Posts: 3724

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 11:38 AM




Opinion on occupancy, unless you are driving carelessly or folks are hanging out the windows or dragging feet off the tailgate, you should have no problems. Common sense approach works fine.



Wrong thread HatterasNC. This is Stumpy/Swan Q lighthouse & historic touring. You want the "Off-roading with many kids" thread I believe, si?



Aye Hoi.
Musta been too early after fathers day, and my fingers got misplaced
'haps I will repost over yonder. In the correct thread. Or not. Wink smiley

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: kurthi - (Send PM)
Member Since: 5/3/2011
Location: Southeastern, PA
Total Posts: 1172

Date Posted: 6/19/2017 3:14 PM




Here is what I would do.

Drive Thursday evening from Richmond to Morehead City, or Beaufort.

Friday morning take the pedestrian ferry from Beaufort to Cape Lookout lighthouse. Spend a few hours there, and get back so you can drive to Cedar Island.

Catch the 4:00pm or 6:30pm ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke, and spend the night there.

Saturday, spend the day on Ocracoke, Check out the Ocracoke light, and take the evening ferry to Hatteras Island. Spend the night in Buxton.

Sunday, spend the day on Hatteras Island, visit the Hatteras and Bodie Island lighthouses. End the day in Manteo and check out the Roanoke Marsh lighthouse.

Monday, head north to Corolla and see the Currituck lighthouse before heading home.

Getting the chance to see all five lighthouses in one trip would be memorable. You would still have time to do other things between the lighthouses. If you want to climb one, I would suggest Cape Hatteras, as it is the tallest.

RE: New member- first trip with daughter to OBX
Posted By: WyldGade - (Send PM)
Member Since: 4/26/2009
Location: Chesterfield, VA
Total Posts: 4146

Date Posted: 6/20/2017 4:26 PM




nothing to add, just hey from RVA

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