Driving from Raleigh to Corolla

There are a lot of flights into RDU Airport. Thus, more vacationers are driving from Raleigh to the Outer Banks. It is fairly common to fly to Raleigh then drive to the Outer Banks. It’s a convenient and inexpensive way to visit from a distance! Recently, my wife and I traveled to Corolla, NC by way of Raleigh. The drive was easy and scenic. Here’s a recap of our experience driving from Raleigh to Corolla NC.

Our chosen route took almost exactly 4 hours from door to door. The majority of our drive was on Route 64 headed east. Then we headed north on NC-12 until we reached our destination. Both highways offer plenty of opportunities to find places to eat, refuel and use the restroom.

The most common restaurants were Bojangles, McDonald’s and Subway. There were plenty of gas stations and a few other fast food options as well. We even saw a couple Starbucks!

As we approached the Outer Banks we found ourselves on long bridges over the sound. The huge waterways were beautiful. Each one fueled our excitement to reach our final destination. However, we never expected to stop on the bridge! We thought for a moment that we were stuck in a long line of traffic. Little did we know that it was a drawbridge and we were sitting in line at a red light.

Gatehouse on the way to Corolla

Apparently, boats still find their way through the sound and the drawbridge operator turns on a red stop light and let’s them pass.

It was only a temporary delay. After a few minutes we were driving again. The actual delay began once we reached the Outer Banks.

Traffic Light on road to Outer Banks

When you’re driving to Corolla it is important to understand that you enter the Outer Banks south of Nags Head. We actually arrived in the Outer Banks within about 2 and a half hours. We were surprised to look at Google Maps and see that we still had an hour and a half to go. Yet, we still needed to drive through Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores, and Duck.

Once you drive past Duck, the road begins to narrow. For the last forty minutes we drove on a two lane road. There was a lot of traffic. The traffic slowed down our pace significantly.

All in all, we did not mind the drive. The towns are quaint. We both admired the beach houses from the road. Just a forewarning to mentally prepare to reach the Outer Banks and slow down before your final destination!

Hope this helps! Enjoy your beach vacation and drive safe from Raleigh to Corolla!