Camping In The Outer Banks Is Out Of This World

Anyone who loves camping and the ocean can find both on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are comprised of several barrier islands, which run parallel to North Carolina's shoreline, separated by intra-coastal waterways and several sounds.  Beginning somewhat at the northern aspect of the Outer Banks, the road crossing the Currituck Sound takes visitors to the Duck and Kitty Hawk areas. Turning right, the site of the Wright Brothers first attempt at flying can be seen at Kitty Hawk. There are various campgrounds in this historical area, including Kill Devil Hills which is known for air sports.


Continuing south, the Nags Head area begins and the Bodie Island Lighthouse can be viewed in this area. Roanoke Island lies between Nags Head and the mainland. Camping facilities in this part of the Outer Banks range from simple to sublime.


From Nags Head the highway crosses over Oregon Inlet to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This stretch of road travels the length of Cape Hatteras, a narrow and long island, which ends at Hatteras Village and the Hatteras Inlet. The northern portion of Hatteras is bounded by Croatan Sound which becomes Pamlico Sound in the south. The Buxton Lighthouse sits at the point of the island where it turns slightly inland before continuing to Hatteras Village. A large campground at the top of Hatteras has all the amenities expected at a family-oriented campsite.  Swimming pools, hot water, electrical hook-ups, game room, laundry facilities, and a general store are included in the camp rental fees which range from $45 to $76 a night. The beach is within walking distance of the campground.


A sound front campground at Radanthe caters to water sports as well as windsurfing, and the camp has electric and hot water. It is also open year-round and prices are in the average range.


At the southern tip of Hatteras, a car ferry must be taken across the Hatteras Inlet to Okracoke Island, the southernmost section of North Carolina's Outer Banks. The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes and is a pleasant change from the very long drive down the length of Hatteras. Three campgrounds are available on Okracoke, two small ones and a larger one operated by the National Park Service. The latter sits just on the inland side of the dunes, and though flush toilets and cold showers are available, hook-ups are not.  The sound of the ocean waves at night, the gulls at daybreak, and the strong ocean breezes more than make up for the lack of electricity. Best of all, camping costs only $20 a night.  The smaller campgrounds cost more, but have hot water showers and electric hook-ups, and though they are not located on the beach, they are nearby.


Other campgrounds exist up and down the Outer Banks, and while some are primitive, others are fully equipped resorts with marinas. Any camping experience desired, with the exception of mountains and freshwater lakes can be found on North Carolina's Outer Banks.