Outer Banks Scenic Byway

National Scenic BywayNorth Carolina

Driving the Byway

The byway begins at the intersection of NC-12 and US-64 at the northern end of the Outer Banks.

  • Head south on NC 12/Cape Hatteras National Park Road to Hatteras.
  • Stay on NC 12 through the National Park, over Oregon Inlet and onto Hatteras Island, and through several villages (including Rodanthe, Avon and Buxton) to the end of the road in Hatteras.
  • Get onto the Hatteras Ocracoke ferry and go to Ocracoke Island.
  • Go southwest on NC 12 to Ocracoke.
  • Several ferry routes depart from Ocracoke. Get onto the Ocracoke-Cedar Island ferry to continue your byway trip.
  • On Cedar Island, continue south on NC 12.
  • At the junction of Cedar Island Rd. and Old Cedar Island Rd., the byway branches.
  • For the primary byway route through Atlantic and Sealevel villages,
    • Turn southeast (left) onto NC-1387 (Old Cedar Island Road.)
    • Proceed to the village of Atlantic.
    • In Atlantic, turn right at NC-1378 onto Shell Rd/US-70.
    • Stay on US-70 by turning left onto NC-1380/School Dr.
    • Turn left at Seashore Dr/US-70, and proceed to the end of the road at Atlantic Harbor. Note: a drawbridge once crossed the harbor at this location and the road can sometimes still appear as a crossing in various older mapping.
    • Make a U-turn at Atlantic Harbor, and retrace your route to School Drive.
    • Continue straight on Seashore Dr/US-70 out of Atlantic and into the village of Sea Level.
    • Continue on US-70 through Sea Level.
    • Rejoin the main byway route at NC-12 north of Sealevel.
  • Otherwise,
    • Continue straight on NC-12 (Cedar Island Road.)
    • NC-12 meets US-70 at Nelson Bay.
  • Continue following US-70 around Nelson Bay and through Stacy, Davis and Williston to Smyrna.
  • The byway again branches at the junction of US-70 and Marshalberg Rd/NC-1347 in Smyrna.
  • For the Marshallberg/Harkers Island Route,
    • Turn south on NC-1347 to the end of the road at Marshallberg's Park.
    • Turn around and retrace your route north on Marshallberg Rd/NC-1347.
    • Turn left at NC-1346/Star Church Rd.
    • Turn left at Gloucester Rd/NC-1343/Pigott Rd and continue into the village of Gloucester.
    • Continue on NC-1343/Pigott Rd. as it turns sharply north.
    • At NC-1335/Straits Rd, turn west to head toward Harkers Island through the village of Straits.
    • Turn east to follow NC-1335/Island Road through the village of Harkers Island to the easternmost point of Harkers Island and the Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitor Center parking lot.
    • Turn around and retrace your route on NC-1335 back through Harkers Island and Straits.
    • This time in Gloucester, turn left (north) onto NC-1332 (Harkers Island Road) to a stop sign at US-70.
  • Otherwise,
    • Turn right (west) to stay on US-70.
    • Continue on US-70 to the junction with NC-1332 (Harkers Island Road.)
  • Continue through Otway and Bettie and across the North River to the byway's end at the intersection with NC-1300 (Merrimon Rd.)