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Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Augusta, GA
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Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

We are planning on making this trip in late September 2009. When I looked on mapquest, it's telling me to take the route to Swan Quarter Ferry. That Ferry only runs twice per day? 6:30 a.m and 12:30 p.m. according the the NC Ferry Schedule website. The Cedar Island Ferry looks like it has more runs per day and Cape Hatteras looks like we have to drive many miles North of Cedar Island to get across the bridge and then drive south again. Any suggestions? It takes us approximately 4 hours to get to Wilmington, and I'm wondering if we should not take 17 north as it looks like a shorter route or is it just very slow going? Mapquest says it's about 9 hours 30 minutes to either Ferry location. Thanks.

Barnesville, Georgia
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1. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

We ended up choosing the Cedar Island Ferry when leaving since that gave us an extra hour on island the last day.

According to mapquest, it worked out about even when we would get home since Cedar Island is a bit closer to home.

We are driving up to Nags Head area to start first 3 nights, then ending with last 4 in Ocracoke.

Raleigh NC
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2. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

I would think Cedar Island would be the way to go. If you make Wilmington in four hours than count on another three to get to Cedar Island. The road from Wilmington to Morehead is four lane the whole way with mainly 55 mph (other than Hampstead and Jacksonville). You used to be able to cut through the Marine base and save about 20 minutes but they stopped that a few years ago so now you do have to go through Jacksonville. You route would be 17 to 24 to 70 going toward Cedar Island. It actually should not be a bad drive other than Wilmington, Jacksonville and Morehead traffic wise.

Going to SQ would only make sense if you were taking 95 up to Rocky Mount. Hatteras makes no sense given the direction you are coming from.

You are seeing the affect of the NC State budget cuts, that is why the ferry runs are reduced, even Cedar Island would normally have more than the ones you are seeing.

Good luck and hae fun, September is a great month to visit.

Kirk

Augusta, GA
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3. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Thanks for your prompt reply. SQ really isn't an option if we have to get to that ferry 1/2 hour before. We'd have to leave at 4:00 a.m. to make sure that we had plenty of time to stop, eat and make the last ferry out. If we miss that 12:30 ferry, we'll spend the rest of the afternoon trying to get to Ocracoke.

Barnesville, Georgia
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4. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Hey Kirk

We are from Middle Ga. Going up to Rocky Mount on I-95 and staying at Rocky Mount before driving over to Nags Head for a few days before ending in Ocracoke.

On way home we are coming via Cedar Island Ferry on Sat afternoon. I was actually thinking of driving 70 toward Goldsboro and catching I-95 there. We are also going through Augusta on I-20 to head toward home.

Is going through Wilmington quicker to get to I-95 and points south or faster drive? We could then take 74 from Wilmington to I-95.

We are going to try to drive home Sat evening so a half hour less one way or the other would be nice as we are looking at getting home after midnight.

Raleigh NC
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5. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

I would think a better option might be to take 24 from Morehead until the intersection with 95 west of Clinton. Both 70 and 24 are four lanes most if not all the way to 95 (I'm not certain all of 24 is four lanes but I know most of it is). In either case, you will go through some small towns (pay attention to the speed limits, they love out of towners) but the vast majority will be 55. Hwy 70 does have about a 25 mile stretch were it is 70 mph. The thing I don't like about 70 is it is taking you WNW so you intersect with 95 probably close to 50 miles north of where you would if you took 24. So much of the answer will depend on traffic. I don't travel 24 very much but my perception is that it will have less traffic than 70 particulary on a weekend. Hwy 70 carries a full load in the summer on the weekends as it is the main route from Raleigh to Morehead. Hope this helps.

Kirk

Barnesville, Georgia
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6. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Kirk

I did think about the 24 route too. And it does look shorter and quicker, but only if we drive on beyond the interstate through Clinton on the 2 lane straight to Fayetteville. It looks like this route is short enough to be quicker even if slower than going up the one interstate and then down I-95.

What are your thoughts on just continuing on 24 through Clinton?

It was the big triangle up and down the other interstate that made me think going up 70 was better.

Anyway, I appreciate your comments and help.

We are four days out from Nags Head and 1 week out from Ocracoke. Hard to wait!

Virginia Beach...
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7. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Have a fabulous trip-we have to wait for June!

Barnesville, Georgia
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8. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Thanks Lynn. We were talking last night and realized that at that time next week we will be in Ocracoke our first night.

Still thinking of trying Portsmouth Village one day. Concerned about insects in first week of May after reading an account of one visitor from June timeframe. He mentioned some were wearing mosquito netting on head and torso and that he and his party were having problems even with DEET repellant.

So, just how bad should be expect Portsmouth to be first week of May?

Wonder if some area stores might sell this netting. Would like to get it up near Manteo before we hit the islands.

Raleigh NC
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9. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

ScottE,

Thats what I was saying, taking 24 through Clinton until you get to 95. That is short of Fayettville and I believe the road will be 4 lane most if not all the way.

The bugs can get bad on Portsmouth but I can't imagine needing netting. I assume when you talk about going you are taking one of the guides or skiffs that run people over? The three biggest factors for bugs will be how wet it has been recently (the bugs are at their worst after a long dry spell that than gets rain), the time of day and the direction of the wind. If you are in the village, you want a north or east wind so it is coming off the sound. If you do the beach ATV ride some offer you want a southerly wind so the wind is coming off the water (see a theme here?). I assume you would not be there at dusk so that should not be an issue. I really don't think the bugs will be that bad in early May. While it has been warm in Raleigh the last week, the ocean waters keep Ocracoke much cooler this time of year (90's versus mid 70's).

Kirk

Barnesville, Georgia
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10. Re: Driving & Ferry coming from Augusta, GA

Kirk

We took 24 all the way back to Fayetteville. Worked out great. I did get lost a bit and ended up on some road south (908?) just before Clinton. Still don't know how that happened, but we were able to scoot up the highway to Clinton and get back on track. Thanks for ou suggestions. For the most part it was a fast way to go, but a few places have lower speeds near some small towns. But not bad on an early May Saturday.

Thanks for you suggestions.

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