Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

One Tank Trip for North Carolina Camping

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Battleship North Carolina

Are you looking for diversity? Searching for a charming destination filled with coastal getaways, incredible mountainous regions, and a never-ending supply of recreation opportunities? Look no further; North Carolina has exactly what you crave and so much more!

By far, one of the most spectacular areas in North Carolina is the captivating Outer Banks, and the perfect starting point for our one tank trip is Roanoke Island, and the historic city of Manteo. Beautiful and serene, Manteo is a town steeped in mystery, history, and recreation galore. It's here visitors can rediscover the “Lost Colony”, the site of the mysterious disappearance of early colonists. The area is frequented by archaeologists, historians and scientists alike, all trying to discover the reasons for one of the greatest disappearing acts in history. Visitors to Manteo should take in the longest running outdoor theater production in America, 'The Lost Colony', which tells the baffling story. Aviation enthusiasts can't leave this area without a stop at Kill Devil Hills, the site of the Wright Brothers National Memorial, which commemorates the four powered airplane flights that began our fascination with flying. Other notables on this small, but charming, island are the North Carolina Aquarium and the beautiful Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. Both are a definite must see, as well as a tour through the restored homes and inns along the historic district.

Leaving Manteo, take N Carolina 12 S along the spectacular chain of islands to our next North Carolina RV camping destination, Rodanthe. Sitting on tip of the Southern Outer Banks, Rodanthe is a place of unspoiled beaches, lush flora and fauna, and the perfect place to swing in a hammock and watch the water. Visitors are attracted to this tranquil town for its wonderful location, relaxed atmosphere, and a plethora of water sports, including fishing, wind surfing, kite boarding, boating, and much more. The nearby Cape Hatteras National Seashore, travelers will find sea turtles that nest on the sandy beaches, and other creatures both large and small, as well as a myriad of plant life. Here, you can look for shells, do some fishing, and enjoy the peaceful serenity of this area. Don't pass up the chance to visit the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site located here. The original 1847 life station has many rescue stories to share and offers a unique glimpse into life on this tiny island.

Moving on, our next destination is Cape Hatteras, and a short drive along N Carolina 12 S will get you there in a snap! Cape Hatteras is a delicate blend of natural beauty and simple, quiet attitudes. Don't let the size of the island fool you; there is plenty to do here, including, fishing, birding, scuba diving and wind surfing. Travelers will find one of the most easily recognizable landmarks in North Carolina, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is worth a visit and more than a few photographs. The town of Frisco lies at the southernmost tip of the island and is a wonderful place to discover the colorful Native American history at the Native American Museum and Natural History Center. The museum contains several artifacts, a canoe, and many other items discovered on the islands that tell the fascinating story of the native peoples who once called this area home. Visitors here should also pay a visit to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge where you are free to take a canoe tour, go on a guided bird walk, or hike around the North Pond.

Moving on, return to N Carolina 12 S, and in just a few miles, take the Cape Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry to our next North Carolina RV camping stop, Ocracoke. What a beautiful place to linger! Ocracoke has a character all its own. Visitors here will find the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum, located in a former Coast Guard captain's home. The museum features exhibits about the local history and culture, and is well worth a visit. Also of note is the Ocracoke Lighthouse, the oldest sea sentry still in use in the state, dating back to 1823.

Take the Cedar Island-Ocracoke ferry from Ocracoke to Cedar Island, and return to N Carolina 12 S, which turns into US-70 W, and in a little over 2 hours you will arrive at our next destination, Morehead City. Located on the breathtaking Crystal Coast, Morehead City is home to The History Place, which features a wide and varied collection reflecting the cultural history of North Carolina's coast; from the indigenous peoples who roamed the lands, all the way through World War II. No traveler should miss this, as the museum also contains an extensive library filled with local history and genealogy records.

Leaving Morehead City, take N Carolina 24 W along the beautiful Emerald Isle coast to arrive at Jacksonville, just around an hour drive away. Located on the Atlantic, this incredible city is a favorite location for travelers seeking an ocean playground setting. Visitors to this area will find Hammocks Beach State Park, which boasts one of the most scenic and breathtaking stretches of unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic Coast. Just a short ferry ride away, travelers can enjoy fishing on the endless rows of breakers, stroll the beach, or discover tiny specimens of marine life hidden in tidal pools and mudflats. If you're looking for a secluded and tranquil place to slow your pace, this is the perfect place!

Continuing our North Carolina RV camping trip, take US-17 S to our next stop, Surf City. Quiet and uncrowded, this sleepy coastal town boasts more than 30 public beach accesses, and is a great destination for those looking to head off of the beaten path, and find there own little hideaway. Here, you can laze the days away on the beach, do some fishing, enjoy some tasty culinary delights at any of the many restaurants, or enjoy shopping at any of the unique boutiques in town.

The last stop on our one tank trip is Wilmington, less than an hour away on US-17 S. A fascinating history, coupled with majestic scenery, makes this dynamic city a perfect destination. Wedged between Cape Fear and the Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington has a host of surprises in store for travelers. From battleships and riverboats, Civil War history to ghost walks, Wilmington is a jewel on the coast. Visitors to historic downtown will be charmed by cobblestone streets, several well preserved buildings, romantic carriage rides, and several restaurants, boutiques and shops. A must see in this captivating city is the Bellamy Mansion, one of the most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture in the state. Now a museum, visitors can retrace the history of the building through several exhibitions. Another notable destination, and one history and nautical buffs alike are sure to enjoy, is the Battleship North Carolina. Visitors can walk the decks, and encounter many of the stories of the young men who served their country during WWII aboard this massive ship. And no visit would be complete without a tour of the incredible Airlie Gardens. The Gardens amaze all that come for a visit with the beautiful mix of formal gardens, historic structures, walking trails, 10 acres of freshwater lakes, and the grandeur of the 462-year-old Arlie Oak. After a whirlwind of fun, sun, and incredible sights, the Arlie Oak is just the place to kick back, rest in the shade, and bask in the glow of one fabulous trip exploring the Outer Banks.

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Woodall's Recommended North Carolina RV Campgrounds