|Visit Seven Carolina Lighthouses:
Three Ferry Rides and an Eco-cruise:
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Day 1 – Arrive Outer Banks – Kill Devil Hills – Two Nights
Today, you head to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Your first stop is in Corolla, NC to visit the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, known as a first order lighthouse, which means it has the largest of seven Fresnel lens sizes. The redbrick lighthouse towers above the northern Outer Banks landscape in the historic Corolla Village. You may climb the winding staircase if you want there are only 220 steps to the top. But a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks awaits those who can do it.
Then you continue travel to Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina and check into your oceanfront hotel for a two night stay. Dinner tonight is included at Peppercorns Restaurant with scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean. (D)
Day 2 – Outer Banks – Wild Horses – Wright Brothers – Lighthouses – Lost Colony
After breakfast this morning, you will enjoy a tour of Corolla’s Wild Horses. On this narrated safari you will learn the history of the Wild Horses and details of the area. You will travel behind the dunes to the neighborhoods where the wild horses graze. There are usually three to six horses per grouping and they can be seen out grazing or cooling off by the water.
Next, is a visit to the Wright Brothers Memorial. Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright here to Kitty Hawk, and here after four years of scientific experimentation, they achieved the first successful airplane flights on December 17, 1903. Exploring the grounds gives you an opportunity to see reproductions of the brothers’ 1903 camp buildings, stand at the place where Wilbur and Orville Wright first took to the air in their 1903 flyer and landed, and climb Big Kill Devil Hill to see the nation’s monument commemorating the brothers’ achievement.
After lunch, you meet a local guide for a tour of the area’s most picturesque lighthouses. Starting with the Bodie Island Lighthouse. Tucked away between tall pine trees and freshwater marshland, the Bodie Island Lighthouse is not a typical lighthouse setting. Though not as well-known as its neighbors, it remains an important part of local history. Every evening, amidst the water towers and blinking radio antennae of modern development, its powerful light beams out across the darkening waves, keeping silent watch over the treacherous waters known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
Then you visit the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, often overlooked because of its small stature, limited visibility and remote location tucked away at the quiet east end of the Manteo waterfront. Don’t forget to bring your camera. This lighthouse’s location, jetted out into the water on the outskirts of the busy waterfront, provides some exceptional photo opportunities.
You will also visit the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum located in the George Washington Creek boathouse. This working boat shop offers a look at local and regional maritime heritage through displayed watercraft, exhibits, restoration projects, and traditional skills workshops. Featured at the Museum is the North Carolina Shad boat Ella View built in 1883. The museum brings Roanoke Island boat building tradition to life in the working boat shop.
This evening you enjoy a picnic dinner followed by a Behind the Scenes look at the Lost Colony Outdoor Drama. After your backstage tour, enjoy the Lost Colony Outdoor Drama (May 25-Aug 22, 2018) . Millions have seen the compelling mystery that celebrates the 117 English men, women, and children whose dream still lives on in this American original. (B,D)
Day 3 – Lighthouses – Two Ferries : Okracoke Island – Cedar Island – Morehead City, Overnight
Following breakfast this morning you pack your bags and check out. First stop is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick beacon on the American coast with its black and white stripes; it stands at 208 feet high. Learn the marvelous history which includes its half mile move in 2000 away from the ocean.
Next, you visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, listen to a guide discuss the unpredictable ocean currents and violent storms that have made these shore the final resting place for thousands of ships and seaman.
Then this afternoon you ride North Carolina’s newest ferry service, the Ocracoke Express, from Hatteras to Okracoke Island. It will whisk you across the beautiful Pamlico Sound directly into Ocracoke Village, this the pirate Blackbeard’s favorite hiding place. Sketched into the southern tip of the Outer Banks, Ocracoke has a raw, untamed pirate-like spirit. It is an idyllic seaside village with sixteen miles of pristine ocean beaches, charming shops and restaurants – a beautiful place filled with sun-soaked charms where you spend a few hours. Here you also visit the Ocracoke Lighthouse, North Carolina’s oldest operating light. and the second oldest light in the United States. At just 65′ ft. tall, it is by far the smallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks, but it still towers over the 4 square miles of Ocracoke Village, and its beacon can be spotted up to 14 miles into the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.
This afternoon, board the Ocracoke Express to Cedar Island. Cedar Island is a small fishing village in eastern North Carolina. It is known for its seafood, wild horses and unique way of life. It is a quaint, memorable part of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Dinner is included here at a local restaurant before you continue to nearby Morehead City, NC where you will be staying at a waterfront hotel with beautiful views of Bogue Sound for the night. (B,D)
Day 4 – Old Baldy Light – Myrtle Beach Two Nights – Alabama Theater
After breakfast this morning at the hotel you depart for the 200 mile drive to Myrtle Beach. Enroute you visit take the Bald Island passenger ferry to Bald Head Island where you meet a local guide for a tram tour and visit to Old Baldy Lighthouse and the Smith Island Museum. Old Baldy Lighthouse is North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse. It has maintained its original form and location for over 187 years. The most important purpose of Old Baldy was to mark the Cape Fear River entrance for the maritime sailors.
Then stop in the Keeper’s Cottage (the Smith Island Museum of History). Learn about lighthouse keepers, pirates, surfmen, and more in this authentic recreation of an 1850’s era house.
This afternoon you travel to Myrtle Beach for a night in a beach front hotel. Tonight, dinner is included at a local restaurant followed by a show at the Alabama Theatre.
One of the Grand Strand’s favorite entertainment attractions, Alabama Theatre features an evening of singing, dancing, and comedy. Opened by country superstar group Alabama over 20 years ago, Alabama Theatre is a popular attraction bringing visitors from all over to experience a musical variety show. (B,D)
Day 5 – Myrtle Beach – Eco Cruise
After breakfast, your group will check out of the hotel. This morning you enjoy an eco-cruise near Georgetown, SC on the Carolina Rover. It sets sail on the smooth inland waters to North Island, a remote barrier island where the Winyah Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. This is a bird-watchers paradise here, and gives you a chance to also visit South Carolina’s oldest lighthouse. The Georgetown Light (1811) has lit the way for two centuries of seafarers. You will also have a chance to explore the beach. Here the sea unfolds her secrets every day depositing an ever-changing collection of sea shells opportunities.
At the end of this cruise you return to Myrtle Beach, for an afternoon of free time in the ocean. Dinner will be included for you this evening then you enjoy one last music show. You can choose from the Carolina Opry, Pirates Voyage Dinner Show, or Legends in Concert (B,D)
Day 6 – Myrtle Beach – Departure
This final day you begin your journey home. (B)