Of course we know the Outer Banks is one of the most beautiful places on earth, but its always nice when people who have seen places all over America and the OBX is one of the most memorable. Travel and Leisure recently released a list of 32 of America’s Most Iconic Drives and the Outer Banks’ famous Highway 12 made the list.
“Linked together by ferry crossings, and never rising more than a few feet above sea level, Highway 12 skips along the series of barrier islands that form Cape Hatteras, separating the usually placid waters of Pamlico Sound from the frequently raging Atlantic Ocean. Though many sections were flooded and damaged by Hurricane Irene, Highway 12 is an unforgettable drive, winding past sand dunes, landmark lighthouses, and historic villages.’
Although Highway 12 did see alot of damage during Irene, we are lucky enough to have parts of it back open and access to Hatteras Island restored. If you aren’t to far away, nothing beats a fall trip down to Cape Hatteras National Seashore or Pea Island. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and the fishing is excellent during the fall. If you want to wait until summer make sure you plan on checking out some of the great hang gliding and kite surfing outfitters along Highway 12.
Here is a neat video of some of the early recovery efforts in Hatteras from the air, not long after Hurricane Irene hit the Outer Banks.
The Outer Banks Scenic Byway received national status on Friday as one of America’s Byways®, recognizing NC Highway 12 for its fascinating coastal heritage and unique natural landscapes.
“The Outer Banks touch people in different ways. Part of that connection, whether it is to the beach, or the landscape, or to the memories made while vacationing here is inextricably linked to the drive,” explains Lee Nettles, managing director for the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. “When you round the curve of NC 12 and see Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Island for the first time, for example, that never leaves you. Those moments of surprise and wonder continue the whole length of the Outer Banks Scenic Byway.” www.outerbanksscenicbyway.org
The itinerary for this newest national byway features drives along barrier islands featuring national landmarks and coastal villages and two car ferry rides. The byway travels through two national seashores, Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout, and two national wildlife refuges, Pea Island and Cedar Island. Along the byway are four historic lighthouses and world famous stopovers for migrating song birds and waterfowl. Scattered across this wild and scenic coastline are maritime villages with a common cultural heritage