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How to Get to the Outer Banks

Optimally located smack dab between the Northeast and Southeast coasts and major Eastern seaboard cities, the Outer Banks is a popular driving destination — and a beautiful drive at that. These beautiful barrier islands are also easily accessed by airplane and ferry as well. Depending on where you’re coming from and how long you’d like to travel, there’s a travel option to the Outer Banks for you.

For example, if you’re looking at a 6+ hour drive from any direction you might want to consider flying into one of the three nearby airports to the Outer Banks. In addition, if you’re approaching the Outer Banks from the south via car, you’ll probably want to hop on one of the car ferries.

To learn more about your travel options, read on below.

Driving Directions to the Outer Banks

The northern Outer Banks’ communities of Duck and Nags Head are just five hours from D.C. Other cities you could drive from in a day, departing in the early morning and arriving around dinnertime, include NYC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and even Cleveland.

Flying into the Outer Banks

With two international airports and one regional airport less within close proximity to the Outer Banks, it’s easy to fly. The closes, Norfolk International Airport, is just 82 miles north of the Outer Banks. Raleigh Durham International Airport is 192 miles southwest of the barrier islands but will offer more direct flights if you’re hoping for a shorter day in the air. Coastal Carolina Regional Airport is 138 miles southwest of the Outer Banks.

Outer Banks Ferries

If you’re driving from the south, a car ferry is an excellent way to travel to the Outer Banks. Being surrounded by water and feeling the ocean breeze on your face is a great way to kick off and wind down your epic time on the Outer Banks. There are two ferries providing car passage from the mainland

Cedar Island to Ocracoke Ferry

Crossing Time: 2.5 hours
Reservations: (800) 293-3779
Fare: Toll 

Ocracoke to Swan Quarter Ferry

Crossing Time: 2.5 hours
Reservations:(800) 293-3779
Fare: Toll