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Getting there

South Florida...
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22 posts
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Getting there

Will be driving from Charlotte, NC and want to know if it's possible to go drive south and begin our drive of the Outer Banks from the south end so we can work our way up and go on to VA, MD and DC rather than begin at the north end of the Outer Banks and have to back track. I think there are ferries we can put our car on to cross the water. Is this doable? Would this be very costly? Would this take more time than if we began at the top and back tracked to get to VA, MD and DC? Thanks for any suggestions.

Kitty Hawk, North...
Destination Expert
for Outer Banks
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2,860 posts
131 reviews
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1. Re: Getting there

It's very doable. There is a ferry to Ocracoke and another from there to Hatteras Island. You need to check ferry schedules because some leave just 2 times a day, others every hour or so.

Brookneal, Virginia
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2. Re: Getting there

Yes , it is do-able, and if you are the person who loves the journey as much as the destination then you might really like this.

Google maps won't automatically give you the southern via-ferry route, but here it is:


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3. Re: Getting there

You can catch the Cedar Island-Ocracoke Island ferry or the Swan Quarter-Ocracoke Island ferry. You will want to make a reservation ahead of time. The charge is $15.00 per car. You must be at the ferry landing *no later* than 30 minutes prior to your departure time--and I would plan be there even earlier in case you encounter traffic or other unexpected delays. If you are not there 30 minutes prior to your departure time, they can cancel your reservation and give it to whomever is on the standby list. I personally have missed the 30-minute deadline by 5 minutes and had to wait on standby for the next ferry--about a 2 hour wait--and I wasn't even guaranteed to get on the later ferry!

The Ocracoke Island-Hatteras ferry does not accept reservations, runs frequently and is free.

With all these ferries, you drive your car on. You can stay in your car, walk around on deck, or go to the air conditioned/heated lounge on the ferry. People bring food to eat and games and books on the longer ferry rides. You will find vending machines and bathrooms on the ferries.

Hope you have a great time!


Amissville, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Ocracoke
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4. Re: Getting there

I am assuming you doing this next summer not any time soon. The road going north from Rodanthy right now is only for 4 wheel drive, weather, and tides permitting . Just though you might need to be aware of this

5. Re: Getting there

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