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Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

somerset, england
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Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

We are travelling from the UK for a holiday in the outer banks early July and will be renting a car from Washington DC to drive down across the Chesepeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and down to the Outer Banks. The end of our holiday will involve a bit of a road trip right down to Ocracoke and back up to Washington DC at the end. Our problem is that we are spending the majority of the holiday with some family from the US who are renting a beach house in Corolla which i understand is only accessible by 4x4. The problem being is that none of the car rental companies in Washington will guarantee us a 4x4 will be available. They say we can rent a mid-size or full size SUV class car which may (or may not) be a 4x4. Someone else has told us that "all wheel drive" is no good and it must be "4 wheel drive". can anyone give us some advice on this? Also, will we need to book the ferry in advance to get back to the mainland from Ocracoke? We have already booked our accommodation but any other advice would be most appreciated!

Outer Banks, NC
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1. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

Carova, not Corolla, is in the 4x4 country. Corolla has roads.

somerset, england
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2. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

Sorry - it is Carova we are staying in! So I guess i do need 4x4 then and not "all wheel drive"?

Yorktown, Virginia
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for Machu Picchu
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3. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

Some of the agencies renting homes in Carova will allow you to park a non-4x4 in their office parking lots in Corolla. Then, your family members who do have 4x4 vehicles can run shuttle & come to pick up you & your gear from that parking lot. Whoever is arranging the rental property should check into this for you.

I have also heard that you must have a 4x4, not all-wheel drive. IMO, this is one of the problems with renting a house in the 4x4 area -- not everyone is so equipped.

Edited: 15 April 2012, 01:32
Virginia
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for Virginia Beach
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4. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

You do need to know about tires, driving ...or not...in nice soft sand, following the tide charts carefully because there are no roads up there, hence the 4X4s, and following the sunset schedule since there are no lights. Your family will hopefully be aware of all this and have things you might need like a shovel in case you get stuck, a lamp of some sort in case you misjudge return time, etc.

Virginia
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for Virginia Beach
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5. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

In the little empty box by "Search In" atop these posts type in 4x4, also carova, also tire pressure (a topic that will bring up other things as well)

somerset, england
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6. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

Thanks so much for your advice guys! Much appreciated!

Camden, North...
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7. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

There are some wonderful trip stops on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, just do some quick research on the forums. Another great stop once in NC is Merchants Millpond State Park although it will cost you an additional 45min driving but well worth it.

Depending on where you are in Carova, the beach traffic can be heavy and in my option not relaxing, make sure to travel south to the many wild life preserves (Pea Island). Hope you have a great trip.

8. Re: Driving holiday to Outer Banks from Washington DC

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