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Old 03-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
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OBX trip advice needed

Hi,

I'm taking my kids to the OBX in late May for an adventure and need help,planning it out. Three key objectives:

1. See the wild horses
2. Drive on the beach
3. Remember it forever

We are driving down from Ohio and camping in our rooftop trailer tent. Looking for advice on places to camp, where to visit, tips to make it all work out nicely.

Ideally, we would camp on the beach. My research shows that is mainly far south. Might go as far as Hatteras, but not too interested in going further. Thought about CapeHatteras campground as it seems nice and is waterfront, but looks like it could be a long drive up North to see horses. Would like a place that I can reserve in advance so no worries about first come first serve. Not especially limited in terms of camp fees and open to staying a night here and a night there...

Looked into ORV passes. Not sure if I have to pick up at an office or if I can have mailed to me. This could necessitate going to a specific location.

Any suggestions are welcome. Some times the inter web has too much information to make sense of, so experienced guidance would be helpful.

Thanks!

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Old 03-14-2014, 09:08 AM   #2
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OBX is a blast especially in a Jeep. I've been there a few time and done some driving on the beach.

I usually stay in Nags Head or slightly south of there near the Oregon Inlet. I know that there are camp grounds near Oregon Inlet and you can drive on the beach with ORV permit there as well. If you want to see horses you'll have to go further north (about an hour to an hour and half drive from Nags Head or Oregon Inlet) to Duck and Corolla they allow driving on the beach as well, but I'm not sure if you need the ORV permit.

When I was there last summer I purchased my ORV permit near the Oregon Inlet. It was a walk-in, no appointment required 20 minute video that I had to watch, then I paid and was given my permit. This was the first time I was there that the ORV permit was required and I didn't drive to Corolla, so I'm not sure if they required the ORV permit or if they have an office in that area.

As for driving on the beach the one piece of advice everyone ignores and eventually regrets is to air down your tires. If you drive near the Oregon inlet you can re-inflate your tires across the road at marina for free.

Enjoy!

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Old 03-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
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You will have a great trip. I can answer your question about the horse part of the beach. You will basically just drive North on highway12 past Corolla until the sand starts. The off road part is about 10 miles. No permit is needed.

The horses rarely come down onto the beach, so you will likely need to explore in land a bit to find them. If you are having trouble finding them there are these companies that do horse tours. You can just follow them as they know where the horses are.

I usually air down to about 18 psi and you will have no trouble. I definitely recommend airing down as the sand does get deep in parts.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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Go there every year. Went twice last year. Make sure you take the kids to see the lighthouses, especially Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Go a little further south and take them over to Ocracoke Island via the ferry. They will like that. Ocracoke is where the infamous Blackbeard hung out to relax.

I do think that you have to pay for a permit to drive on the beaches in certain parts. Make sure you do as suggested and air the tires down. Some areas have extremely soft sand. Also, be careful if the kids get in the water, if can be rough from time to time. I've seen small sharks swim very close to the beach before too!

My son loved going there when he was little. Now it is just the Wife and I. We go to rest and relax! Good luck!






Quote:
Originally Posted by im4duke View Post
Hi,

I'm taking my kids to the OBX in late May for an adventure and need help,planning it out. Three key objectives:

1. See the wild horses
2. Drive on the beach
3. Remember it forever

We are driving down from Ohio and camping in our rooftop trailer tent. Looking for advice on places to camp, where to visit, tips to make it all work out nicely.

Ideally, we would camp on the beach. My research shows that is mainly far south. Might go as far as Hatteras, but not too interested in going further. Thought about CapeHatteras campground as it seems nice and is waterfront, but looks like it could be a long drive up North to see horses. Would like a place that I can reserve in advance so no worries about first come first serve. Not especially limited in terms of camp fees and open to staying a night here and a night there...

Looked into ORV passes. Not sure if I have to pick up at an office or if I can have mailed to me. This could necessitate going to a specific location.

Any suggestions are welcome. Some times the inter web has too much information to make sense of, so experienced guidance would be helpful.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:19 PM   #5
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What's the cost of the permit?
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:20 AM   #6
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It's $120 for an yearly permit and I believe $50 for a 7 day.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:31 AM   #7
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If you take 12 all the way north until it ends, you can ride on the beach at no charge. I have done this many times and ALWAYS see horses. No permit required. Additionally, I've never aired down and never had a problem running 4H. I've rented houses on the 4x4 beach where we convoyed 12 vehicles of all types and nobody aired down or got stuck. Super fun time. Take a couple days and hang out on the beach, go exploring over the dunes into the "neighborhoods", you'll love it.

I've never gone anywhere else on the beach in OBX but north of Corolla, so I can't speak to the rest.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by im4duke View Post
Hi,

I'm taking my kids to the OBX in late May for an adventure and need help,planning it out. Three key objectives:

1. See the wild horses
2. Drive on the beach
3. Remember it forever

We are driving down from Ohio and camping in our rooftop trailer tent. Looking for advice on places to camp, where to visit, tips to make it all work out nicely.

Ideally, we would camp on the beach. My research shows that is mainly far south. Might go as far as Hatteras, but not too interested in going further. Thought about CapeHatteras campground as it seems nice and is waterfront, but looks like it could be a long drive up North to see horses. Would like a place that I can reserve in advance so no worries about first come first serve. Not especially limited in terms of camp fees and open to staying a night here and a night there...

Looked into ORV passes. Not sure if I have to pick up at an office or if I can have mailed to me. This could necessitate going to a specific location.

Any suggestions are welcome. Some times the inter web has too much information to make sense of, so experienced guidance would be helpful.

Thanks!

I'm a regular OBX'er so I'll chime in.
1) The wild horses are at the north end. Just take HWY 12 to the northern end up in Corolla. This would be a nice 1/2 day or day trip. The best time is early in the morning or late afternoon because that is usually when you can see the horsed walking on the beach. This is also free because of the beach is actually a continuation of HWY 12 due to the houses that are only accessible via the beach. Can also throw in the Currituck Lighthouse visit and wildlife center since it is up there too.
2) North end of HWY as mentioned above. There is also some nice riding back on the other side of the dunes up there too. As far as the south end, it's all National Park area and now requires a permit. Here's the link to that info.
Off-Road Vehicle Use - Cape Hatteras National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service)
This site will give you maps, what's open (varies depending on what wildlife is nesting where), and information on the OHV permits (and online permit process). I usually just pop in one the locations down there and get mine.

As far as camping, I stay at Camp Hatteras in Rodanthe...it's a nice campground. There's also a KOA next to that. I might recommend Ocean Waves campground in Rodanthe also because it has more protected sites for tent camping. Remember the winds can kick up in a flash at the OBX!!!
Unfortunately there really is no camping at the north end or within the Nags Head/Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills area.

The good part of staying around the Rodanthe area is you are just about a 25 minute drive to the Nags Head area, but out of the hooplah for good camping. The Bodie Island lighthouse is also open for climbing now too..it's right there at Oregon Inlet.

I could on and on and on.....I'll be there April 17-20 for Easter

Oh yeah...just get out and enjoy the OBX for the wonderful place it is, relax, breath in the air really "see" whats there...and it will be part of you forever!
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for all the great advice. We had an awesome trip. We spent Memorial Day on the beach in Corolla and enjoyed the OBX all the way down through Hatteras.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Great info, planning a trip there in the near future.

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