1.The drive south offers extraordinary sights.
While you're on the Marc Basnight Bridge going over Oregon Inlet, you may feel like you're entering a new land leaving the rest of society behind. On North Carolina Highway 12, you will pass through dunes with sea oats dancing in the wind. The drive is sure to keep passengers' eyes busy with the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the road and the Pamlico Sound on the other.
2. The nation's first national seashore is home to miles of beautiful, preserved beaches.
The over 70-mile scenic drive continues off the paved roads with numerous beaches that you can drive on with 4-wheel drive. Just make sure you air down your tires to the recommended PSI and purchase a beach driving permit from the National Park Service.
3. Experienced or just learning, Cape Hatteras is a spectacular spot for fishing of all sorts!
Stay on land and cast your line in the surf or the sound. Step up your fishing game with a trip offshore on a charter boat. If you do plan on fishing, make sure to purchase a fishing license to avoid fines. We recommend going out to “The Point” if you can! But don’t tell anyone we sent you!
4. Home to three incredible lighthouses.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is your first stop if you are heading south from Nags Head. As of May 2021, this lighthouse is currently open for climbing and offers full moon tours. Full moon tour dates for 2021 are June 24, July 23, August 22 and September 20. Continuing your drive on Highway 12, you will then arrive at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton. Finish off your tour with a relaxing ferry ride to check out North Carolina’s oldest operating lighthouse - the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse.
5. It is a popular destination for surfers, kiteboarders, and windsurfers.
When the wind produces ideal conditions, you are more than likely to see watersport enthusiasts out and about in the ocean and the sound. Equipment is available to rent or if you're less experienced you can take private lessons with an instructor!