9 days in Raleigh & Outer Banks Itinerary

9 days in Raleigh & Outer Banks Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina holiday planner
©
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Raleigh
— 3 nights
Drive to Swan Quarter, NC, Ferry to Ocracoke
2
Ocracoke
— 2 nights
Ferry to Swan Quarter, NC, Drive to Manteo
3
Manteo, Roanoke Island
— 2 nights
Drive to Norfolk, Fly to Des Moines

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Raleigh — 3 nights

City of Oaks

For those not from the South, Raleigh might be one of the region's better-kept travel secrets.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of Historic Oakwood, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Historic Oakwood Cemetery, then admire the natural beauty at Mordecai Historic Park, and finally look for gifts at Videri Chocolate Factory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: delve into the lush surroundings at Clemmons Educational State Forest, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, then stroll through Historic Yates Mill County Park, and finally hike along Neuse River Trail.

To find where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Raleigh travel planning tool.

Des Moines to Raleigh is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Des Moines to Raleigh due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Des Moines in December, with highs in Raleigh at 16°C and lows at 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Tue) to allow time for travel to Ocracoke.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Wildlife
Side Trip

Ocracoke — 2 nights

Ocracoke is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated town located at the southern end of Ocracoke Island, located entirely within Hyde County, North Carolina. Your inner history buff will appreciate British Cemetery and Fort Ocracoke Monument. Ocracoke Lighthouse and Over the Moon are good opportunities to explore the local culture. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, stroll through Hammock Hills Nature Trails, get great views at Outer Banks National Scenic Byway, and indulge in some personalized pampering at Stillwater Spa & Wellness.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Ocracoke day trip site.

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Raleigh to Ocracoke takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, taxi, and ferry. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Raleigh in December since evenings lows in Ocracoke dip to 9°C. On the 30th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Manteo.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites

Manteo, Roanoke Island — 2 nights

Manteo is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States, located on Roanoke Island. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sat): visit a coastal fixture at Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, stop by The Christmas Shop, then enjoy the sea views from Bodie Island Lighthouse, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Coquina Beach. Keep things going the next day: take a memorable tour with Tours and then contemplate the long history of Island Farm.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Manteo online journey planner.

You can do a combination of ferry and car from Ocracoke to Manteo in 5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 15°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.
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Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Beaches
Side Trips

Outer Banks travel guide

4.6
Lighthouses · Historic Sites · Piers & Boardwalks
A trip to Outer Banks takes visitors to a string of barrier islands just off the North Carolina coast. A holiday in Outer Banks is a chance to explore 320 km (200 mi) of state parks, open sea beaches, and wreck diving sites. It's also the perfect chance to visit Roanoke Island, England's original settlement in the New World. For those looking to add a bit of adrenaline to their experience, a vacation in Outer Banks delivers many different fishing options and methods, some of which hark back to the first European settlers in this part of the world.
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