If you ask an Outer Banks local for directions, you are likely to hear a reference to Outer Banks Mileposts. Since the OBX consists of narrow islands that stretch for miles and miles, milepost system is very convenient, when it comes to giving directions. At the same time, mileposts can be somewhat confusing, if you are not familiar with the mile-tracking system. Here is how it works.
In Dare County, milepost (MP) count starts at Dare County/ Currituck County border line (on Wright Memorial Bridge) and runs south, along Hwy 158 and then along Highway 12 towards Cape Hatteras. Ocracoke also has milepost markers, but they are part of Hyde county mile-tracking system. Wright Memorial Bridge connects the Currituck mainland to Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores, and shortly after you get off the bridge coming into the Outer Banks from Currituck and Virginia, you will see the MILE 1 green and white sign.
Here is a list of approximate locations of Outer Banks Mileposts, from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras:
Milepost 1: Wal-Mart, ABC store, Starbucks Coffee shop, Food Lion
Milepost 2: Outer Banks Welcome Center, Highway 158 and Highway 12 intersection (that’s the road leading to Southern Shores, Corolla, and Duck)
Milepost 3: Brew Thru drive-through shop, Bank of America
Milepost 4: Kitty Hawk post office, Seven Eleven
Milepost 5: Henry’s Restaurant, right before the Outer Banks Paradise Fun Park
Milepost 6: Milepost 6 Shopping Center (look for Chip’s Wine & Beer Market and Chip’s Tasting lounge signs), less than 1/2 mile past Wells Fargo bank
Milepost 7: Kmart, R/C Movie theater, Belk, Food Lion
Milepost 9: Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonalds, Pizza Hut – area also known as “French Fry Alley”
Milepost 10: Harris Teeter, Ben Franklin, Rite Aid
Milepost 11: Outer Banks YMCA
Milepost 12: Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Milepost 13: Surf Side Plaza, Nags Head Post office
Milepost 14: OBX Hospital, Applebee’s, Outback
Milepost 15: Nags Head Links golf course, Salt Water Taffy Store “Forbes Candies, Inc” (closer to MP 15.5)
Milepost 16: Tanger Outlet, The Dunes Restaurant, Owens Restaurant, Jennette’s Pier
Milepost 17: go on to causeway towards Pirates Cove Marina and Manteo attractions or go South towards Rodanthe (approx. MP 45), Waves (approx. MP 47), Salvo (approx. MP 49), Avon (approx. MP 63), Buxton(approx. MP 70), and Hatteras (approx. MP 79).
Next time, when you ask an OBX local for directions, you should be well prepared to hear: “It’s at Milepost _, next to _.” The Outer Banks Mileposts system has been working well for us, and we hope it will make it a little easier for you to find your way around the Outer Banks.
As always, please feel free to ask any questions about Outer Banks, we would love to hear back from you Enjoy your Outer Banks visit!