NP Campground Review – Oregon Inlet, Hatteras National Seashore (OBX), NC
A somewhat busy (and noisy) primitive National Seashore campground in a great location to explore the northern part of Hatteras National Seashore along the Outer Banks of NC
Link to campground here: Oregon Inlet Campground, Hatteras National Seashore, NC
Link to map location here: Oregon Inlet Campground, Hatteras National Seashore, NC
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
Decent site quality here with just a few dings. This is a very open campground with sites arranged in 3 simple loops (A, B, C). All sites are pretty much identical -> flat, long (around 40-feet) paved sites with no hookups. Fairly decent separation plus picnic table and grill in each “sitting area”. Main dings are the road-noise (the campground is right next to Hwy 12 so there is *some* road-noise almost all the time) and no vegetation, so not much in the way of privacy (and no protection from the wind). No hookups but generators are allowed outside of quiet hours. Loop A is tent only, whereas loop B/C are open to all. Sites right next to the dunes have a little less road-noise and are a tad more protected, but otherwise they’re all very similar.
Note/ You can’t book a specific site here (only a space), so you simply chose your campsite upon arrival and let the office know which site you want when you check-in.
- Facilities = 2/5
Somewhat odd facilities. Decent flush toilets, but the showers are primitive pull-chain-type cold showers where you have to keep the chain pulled to get any water. Also they have no-where to really place your stuff (one hook, but that’s it) and are located outside in stalls which are not completely closed so you’ll feel the breeze as you shower. Let’s just say showering here is an “experience” LOL. On-site dump station and water (across the road at the marina).
- Location = 4/5
As far as exploring the northern part of Hatteras National Seashore this is a very decent location. Oregon Inlet is only 4 miles from Bodie Lighthouse and just a short drive from the popular resort towns of Kitty Hawk & Nags Head (including the Wright Brothers Memorial). Plus it’s less than 1 hour to the very northern tip of the Island (Currituck Light and wild horses). The main negative is that the campground is right next to Hwy 12 so it’s somewhat noisy (mostly the wind drowns it out, but there is constant road noise) plus the next-door beach allows cars so you have to share your beach-walk with vehicles (this also means the sand is not as pristine as you might expect.).
- Pet Friendliness = 4.5/5
A good spot for doggie. Decent space by camp, plus you are a short dune-walk away from a dog-friendly beach. Also this campground has very few few stickies/burrs (a common problem along the OBX) so it’s not too painful for paws. Only slight ding? Cars on the beach mean you have to watch out for vehicles while walking doggie in the sand.
Overall Rating = 3.5
BONUS ALERT = Camp only 4 miles from Bodie Island Light!
Video Overview: Want to see it in living color? Apologize for the wind interference in this video (especially in the beginning!), but we’ve got a quick ~7-min overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwTLZ0qtkEw
Summary: We chose this campground as our base to explore the northern section of Hatteras National Seashore, and for that it worked out great. It’s just ~20 minutes south of the popular resort towns of Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, a short 4 miles from Bodie Lighthouse, and only ~1 hour to the very northern tip of the island, so you’ll have easy access to everything there is to see and do in the area. The campground itself is a basic, primitive campground with 3 loops. Sites are all nicely flat, paved sites around 40-foot long with picnic table and grill (no hookups) and pretty decent separation. No vegetation so not much in the way of privacy (and not much protection from the wind), but not too many stickies/burrs either (some, but they weren’t terrible) so pretty decent for hanging outside and with paws. The biggest dings were next-door road noise (from Hwy 12) and the fact that the local beach allows cars. The noise wasn’t too bad (and mostly drowned out by the constant wind) but it was there, and the cars on the beach (lots of them) meant our local beach-walking was not as pristine and relaxed as we hoped. Still we were happy the beach was dog-friendly and definitely enjoyed the easy access to town and all the sights in the area. Given the limited choice of reasonably-priced camping in the area, we’d probably chose to stay here again.
Note/ There were only a few skeeters during our time here (late Oct), but I gather they can/do get bad in summer, so be prepared if you come earlier in the year.
Extra Info: Good cell signal (4 bars Verizon LTE, 2 bars ATT LTE). 120 total sites, NO hookups. Only loops B/C allow RVs. Sites cost $28/night (or $14/night if you have National Parks Senior Pass). Campground open third week of April through last week-end of November. On-site dump station and water (across the road at the marina).SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Good review. My husband and I did the Outer Banks trip a week before you. We stayed at the Oregon Inlet Campground October 18-19, C loop. Be glad you missed the construction noise! While we were there the cranes and equipment were going 24 hours a day. Our last day they were pounding in pilings. The worst of the highway traffic was during shift change. I laughed at your tour and description of the shower. Given that it is unheated water and pull-chain, we concluded it must be primarily used by people needing to wash off beach sand. I was grateful for my husband who is a bit anal. Before we checked out, he drove our truck to look for the dump station before hooking up the trailer. It took some driving around and stopping to ask a couple of people for directions. It was farther than we expected. We enjoyed the many things to do in the area including all the things you mentioned and Roanoke Island’s aquarium and Lost Colony Museum. There was a lot of traffic in Nags Head and Kitty Hawk. I can’t even imagine what it must be like in the summer.
The construction (thankfully) wasn’t bad while we were there, but it was still going on. No pilings though!
Mike Clendenen says
Great review and you hit the nail on the head! It used to be a lot quieter (and darker) on this CG. Myself and my wife stayed here back in March to do some night photography, but the expanded lighting at the marina made that difficult. It is still pretty good near the Bodie Lighthouse, but if you want really dark skies, you have to head south to Frisco and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. If you head that way, look for the “UFO House” located in Frisco! Keep on truckin’…er…wheelin’
That’s exactly the route we did. My review on Frisco coming next 🙂
Brenda Williams says
Love the OBX and have been vacationing there for well over 25 years. We have stayed all the way along the OBX (renting a house with our adult children) and we love the Hatteras area the most by far. It is far more laid back and gives you the island feel. We were just there and checked in October 2nd for 1 week….unfortunately Hurricane Matthew caused us to evacuate on Friday instead of Sunday. We were about 12 hours ahead of the inland flooding (it rained non stop from the OBX to the Ohio border….pouring buckets). We were about 24 hours ahead of Matthew. When we left Frisco on Friday Highway 12 from Frisco north was already flooding. Quite the experience crossing the “lego” bridge with high waters. This area is so pristine and remote and as I say “when we cross the bridge to the OBX I feel like I am home and all the stress goes away.” When my husband retires we will be starting our RV lifestyle and plan on spending a good deal of time on the OBX.
We definitely enjoyed Hatteras too. Much more relaxed and laid-back than the northern end of the islands. Plus you can’t beat the lighthouse there 🙂 If and when we come back to the area, we’ll be spending more time in the southern end.
The beach traffic is due, mostly, to surf fishing. It goes away during the summer and after Thanksgiving. You seemed to have missed Roanoke Island, home of the first colony. Manteo and Wanchese are there along with a couple of decent brewery’s. Wanchese is a fishing village and if you are into seafood, there is no better place to find it. Something to look for next time you come through. I could go on and if I see you are headed back that way, I will.
Good info! We did indeed see a ton of vehicles and surf fishermen on the beach, but I didn’t know it was so tightly seasonal. That’s really good to know. And we did miss Roanoke Island too. We drove past, but didn’t get out to explore it. Lots left to see when we come back to the area.
Brenda Williams says
I agree about Roanoke. Manteo is a favorite stop for us….we love the Blue Moon Café and the Lost Colony Brewery. We unfortunately missed touring Kill Devil Rum Distillery due to evacuation for Hurricane Matthew. The village of Winches is a must visit for those loving seafood, a favorite of my husband and son in law. All in all this is our favorite area to visit and we have gone there for over 25 years with our children and still go with them as adults!
Brenda Williams says
That comment should say Wanchese! Sorry
Brandon Bunyea says
My family and I have stayed at Oregon Inlet Campground several times now. We plan on staying again this summer however we’ve expanded from a pop-up camper to a 40 foot bunk house travel trailer. We’ve been visiting the OBX for over 30 years and have seen this little campground improve immensely. We’re beach goers by truck so being so close to the drive out beach is a great deal for us. We’ve endured bad weather and extreme bugs here as well. Bring things to do in bad weather and lots of bug spray. The rangers are fantastic and the facilities are always clean. We’ve even had to get a handicap spot once when my wife had just undergone surgery. We look forward to visiting again soon!