Washington to Ocean Isle Beach Road Trip Guide


One doesn’t get tired of living in or visiting Washington, DC, the capital city of the United States of America. Washington has a ton of preserved history and no one should part ways without visiting the Smithsonian museums, the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Tidal Basin.

But if you have already seen all the traditional Washington D.C attractions then you need to delve deeper into territory unknown to tourists. Some of the hidden gems of Washington D.C. include the Spanish Steps, the Hillwood Estate, Albert Einstein Memorial, and the Dumbarton Oaks.

Most people would prefer to head towards New York from Washington D.C. and spend the weekend exploring the Big Apple. However, the diversity and excitement of driving from a city with high-rising skyscrapers to a peaceful little town of dreams is a different experience altogether. Get your RVs onto Intersection-95 for an exciting adventure all the way to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

The end destination of your road trip is the complete opposite of Washington DC. Nuzzling the southeastern corner of North Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach is a small seaside town with cute houses and a fairy-tale-like ambiance.

The town is uncrowded and offers a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach, SC, and Wilmington, NC, located some 30 miles away. This sleepy town has some of the most magnificently unspoiled beaches in the country and makes for a great family destination.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: family

Point of Interest

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Your first stop on this epic road trip is the capital of the state of Virginia -Richmond. The reason why this stop is necessary is that it is home to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which exhibits a collection of over 33,000 multicultural works of art. Works of some of the biggest and most legendary artists of the world are displayed here.

You’ll find yourself in awe of the talent, skills, and creativity of the legendary European artists and their 20th-century artwork. Be prepared to be blown away by the works of Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has such a fine collection of art that it can give any big city a run for its money. Iconic French artists aren’t the only ones who have had their work displayed here; a huge collection of Indian, Tibetan, and African artists are also present here in addition to the five stunning Fabergé eggs.

Virginia Zoological Park

Norfolk is another beautiful city in Virginia and one of its best attractions is the Virginia Zoological Park, also known as the Virginia Zoo. The zoo was established in 1892 and stood out from others because animals here were kept in habitats that were natural replicas of the landscape that they would be used to in the wild. Both locals and tourists love this place and it is often found crowded by animal lovers.

The zoo is home to elephants, giraffes, tigers, lions, monkeys, bison, Watusi cattle, Eurasian Eagle Owls, rhinos, kangaroos, orangutans and many species of reptiles. All the animals are kept in spacious and well-spaced enclosures.

The zoo has an elevated boardwalk above some of the enclosures and you can get a clear view of your favorite animals below. When you are tired and hungry from all the walking around, you can also enjoy a good quick meal from the restaurant present on site.

Dismal Swamp State Park

It makes sense for your first stop in North Carolina to be in Elizabeth City, also known as the “Harbor of Hospitality”. While the entire city is tour-worthy, one of its most gorgeous attractions is found in its natural surroundings.

Dismal Swamp State Park inspires you to awaken the artist within, pick up those brushes and start painting the breathtaking scenery before you. In fact, it has been a source of inspiration for many artists and writers including Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote his well-known poem The Raven after he visited the park in the 1800s.

The state park is home to over 200 species of birds and the majority of its visitors are birdwatchers. It is also part of the famed North Carolina Birding Trail. While birds are its major attraction, the state park is also home to numerous species of reptiles and animals and a source of endless recreational activities.

Lejeune Memorial Gardens

Located on Montford Landing Road and Lejeune Boulevard in Jacksonville, NC, Lejeune Memorial Gardens pays homage to all those who sacrificed their lives and put themselves at the frontlines so we all could continue to live in peace.

There are numerous memorials in the gardens including the Beirut Memorial which is the largest memorial ever to be funded privately by citizens as a gift. The 9/11 Memorial Beam, the Montford Point Marine Memorial, and the Onslow Vietnam Veterans Memorial are also found here.

The gardens also have an eye-catching Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Statue over a reflective pond, indicating the beginning of the future Museum of the Marine and many more memorials to come. It doesn’t matter where you are from or who you are, visitors, military members, and residents come here to pay their respect to the dead.


The sleepy town of Ocean Isle Beach has the ability to settle down in your heart and lure you to it again and again. This seaside town is home to sandy uncongested beaches that make up much of southern North Carolina.

This quaint little town and its beautiful and clean shoreline have been voted as the third best beach destination in the entire nation. Ocean Isle Beach is mainly known for being a family-friendly destination.

Apart from spending time at the beach, visit the Museum of the Coastal Carolinas to learn all about sharks, sea turtles, and surfing. For some outdoor fun, head over to Shallotte River Swamp Park and Outdoor Center and hear all about the ghosts of Ocean Isle Beach on a one-of-a-kind ghost tour.

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