Camping In The Outerbanks, North Carolina

The original plan we had in mind, was camping in Manteo, North Carolina. We chose (what we thought) was a neat campground right outside of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The campground, called “County Line” in East Lake, North Carolina, has no website, or reviews but I figured it was probably a neat campground. It was described online “primitive campsites, freshwater pond/lake, electrical hookups” I also called the owner to ask how her campsites were, She told me that you can camp in the woods, and you’re near a lake – there’s wide open space and plenty of room to pitch a tent, also she said there are paddle boats and all kinds of fun things to do. So we packed our gear and headed south. Manteo is a really neat town. I hear of a really awesome aquarium and there are lots of old marinas in Wancheese, which is just south of Manteo, Probably a really great place to get fresh seafood and a few old fisherman tales. After driving two and a half hours, we start to pass driving trails of Alligator River Refuge, I just can’t wait to go and check them out! Well, we get to the campground and it looks like its someone’s back yard…but most campgrounds that are private are usually their “backyard” so we get out and read the sign, it tells us to put money in a mailbox and go find an area and leave enough space for a car to get by. We decide to take a loop around to check this place out. We passed one camper at the back of the “pond” and that was pretty much the only site. If you had a one or two man tent, you could probably set up around the water, or maybe back towards the bushes but there was definitely not enough space for our 16×16 tent, let alone our camping trailer and the jeep! So we hopped back online and tried to find another campground because that place was a joke! Too bad there aren’t any more campgrounds in the Manteo area that aren’t RV camping resorts, because it is a really beautiful area.
After searching the net for a bit under Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge we decided that we would head North a bit and check out two other campgrounds, Joe and Kay’s Campground being the first. It’s located on the sound, just behind the Wright Brothers National Memorial. This was more like a permanent camper/trailer campground. There were a few tent campsites on the water, near the boat ramp…It was nice, but we wanted something a little more private. The campsites were decent size, but no privacy what so ever. It was starting to get dark, so we definitely needed to find something soon. We just bought this new tent and needed to make sure we could put it up. We had one more campground in mind and were hoping to god this one would be a little better than the others that we had visited. The campground was called Adventure Bound! Sounds fun right? Wrong. It was a big open field behind a hostel/apartment complex. There were a few sites in the woods, but you couldn’t park your vehicle near your site. We decided we would make the best of it and just camp there for the night since there were only two other campsites taken up and they were in the back, under the trees behind the bathhouse by the peacock cage, yes I said peacock. The bathhouses were clean and had warm showers; each campsite had a grill and a picnic table. We set our tent up facing the trees in the field near the Jeep and not to far from the community campfire. It was going well, we set our new tent up in less than ten minutes, started dinner and a nice campfire. We talked to a guy who was camping with friends. They were on a bike trip from Boston, Mass. to the Florida Keys playing shows. They have a band named Attica! Attica! We chatted for a bit, then headed back to his camp. We had the “campground” to ourselves – it was great! Then, a boy scout troop came in, they set up all their tents and we no longer had the campground to ourselves. The next morning the boy scouts were up at the crack of dawn and we decided we were leaving to go to another campground, this time to one we had been to before. Frisco Woods Campground! Frisco Woods is on Hatteras Island on Highway 12. They have electric water sites, primitive sites, and one & two bedroom cabins. We got a site that was near the sound and near the bathhouse, that day is was 90 out and the skeeters were so bad! as the day progressed we set up camp and relaxed. We noticed some clouds rolling in and realized that it would rain. We weren’t sure how the tent would hold up in the rain and didn’t know how hard it was going to rain…we decided to call the office up and see how much it would cost us to upgrade to a cabin. We ended up taking down the tent and packing into a cabin. It didn’t rain very hard, and we probably would have been fine in a tent. It was windy but we managed to still make a fire. We met some neat chicks staying in a cabin next to us. They were sisters and were very nice! We absolutely love Frisco Woods. I would highly recommend staying in this campground if you ever have to camp in the outer banks. Most campgrounds in that area are wide open, no privacy and mostly RV sites. This one is wooded and has nice bathhouses, a pool, camp store, and a beautiful sound. A lot of times there are people wind surfing or kite surfing. It’s fun to watch.

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