Best Time to Leave Outer Banks on Saturday During the Summer

Beach Road NC 12 Kitty Hawk North Carolina

Crossing over the Wright Memorial Bridge that connects Kitty Hawk to Point Harbor can be a real test of your patience, especially if it’s a Saturday during the summer.

Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to help you avoid sitting in traffic for hours on end.

Please note that if your stay occurs after Labor Day and before Memorial Day, you really shouldn’t have any issues with Saturday morning traffic.

These tips are mainly for vacationers staying on the Outer Banks during the busy summer months!

If you can, try to get across the Wright Memorial Bridge by 7:00 am in the morning. 

I know, I know, that means you’ll have to wake up really early – especially if you’re vacationing on Hatteras Island.

If you’re able to cross the bridge that early in the morning, you should have no problems with Saturday morning traffic.

Plan to fill up on gas on Thursday or Friday.

Once you get going, you’ll want to keep going to stay ahead of the traffic. And if you make the mistake of trying to fill up the car on Saturday morning, you may be stuck waiting for your turn at a gas station on the island.

Stay calm. If you do get stuck in traffic, try to remain calm. 

Take deep breaths… deep breaths! Try to imagine you’re still sitting on the beach with a cold drink your hand, watching the waves calmly break along the shore.

Sitting in traffic can be very frustrating at times, try to make the most of it! There are some great local radio stations to listen to while you wait.

If you’re coming from a town south of Kitty Hawk (Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island) consider taking the bridge on US 64 to Roanoke Island that leads you to Manns Harbor and mainland North Carolina. 

This may be a bit out of your way, but there is significantly less traffic when you take this route. This isn’t the most efficient option for everyone (all depends on where you call home) but it is an option to consider, especially if you aren’t able to cross the Wright Memorial Bridge before 7 am.

A surefire way to avoid Saturday traffic when leaving the OBX is to not leave the area on a Saturday! 

Stay with me. If you are able to, book a Sunday to Sunday stay in a vacation rental home or condo.

Most rentals offer Saturday to Saturday, but there are some that will allow you to check out on Sundays. No doubt about it, there is significantly less traffic when leaving the Outer Banks on a Sunday.

Prepare and eat breakfast before you begin your drive. 

Don’t rely on the McDonalds in Kill Devil Hills to prepare your breakfast in a timely manner… they’ll only slow you down!

If you aren’t able to eat before you leave your rental property, stop for a bite close to the North Carolina/Virginia border; by that time, traffic shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

So that’s it! We hope these tips will help you avoid Saturday morning traffic when leaving the Outer Banks during the summer.

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