Enjoy the Journey – Great Places to Stop on the Way to the Outer Banks
While living in Hampton Roads offers its own gorgeous beaches and shorelines, sometimes it is nice to get away from the hustle and bustle to see the Atlantic from a new perspective. When you need to take a break, the Outer Banks is a popular destination to relax in the summer months. As someone once said—life is about the journey, not the destination. On your way to the Outer Banks why not stop and see the views, there are a plethora of places that you can enjoy.
Outer Banks Here We Come—South on the Caratoke Highway
Heading to the Outer Banks there are a whole bunch of hidden treasures just waiting for you to dig them out!
Currituck Welcome Center
Just across the VA border is the Currituck Welcome Center in Moyock. Immediately you will be able to find some of that good old-fashioned southern hospitality. The friendly workers at the Welcome Center are an open group, ready to tell you all about the best summer sweet corn and melons. Plus, you can find brochures and flyers for local attractions and businesses to stop and visit.
Powell’s Roadside Market
Further down the Caratoke highway, you can find Powell’s Market. Filled to the brim with fresh and local fruits and veggies, you can stop by for a little road trip snack. Powell’s market also sells jams, sauces, salsas, and anything pickled—from eggs to watermelon rind. With signs announcing its arrival for miles—you absolutely cannot miss this place.
Morris Farm Market
Alcohol, live music, and food trucks—oh my! You can find it all and more at the Morris Farm Market. Morris Farm is a local farm owned by the Morris family that offers fresh produce, pies, fruit bread, wine, jams, pickles, relishes, and other products. Stop by their picnic area to let your dog out and enjoy a little time out of the car.
Roberts Ridge Farm
Remember that sweet corn we mentioned? Well, get ready to jump off the highway! When you see a sign for 158 (i.e. Shortcut Road), take it. Down the road, is a local treasure selling the best sweet corn in Currituck County—Roberts Ridge Farm. With fresh corn and melons picked every day, it is worth the extra time to find it.
Digger’s Dungeon—Home of Gravedigger
If you have a kid (or kid-at-heart spouse) you will have to stop at Digger’s Dungeon. Home of the famous monster truck Gravedigger, this place has a diner, a market, and photo opportunities with Gravedigger and other Monster Trucks.
Grandy Greenhouse & Farm Market
Pack a cooler if you want to stop at Grandy Greenhouse and Farm Market! The produce is always fresh and delicious and perfect for beach sandwiches. Grab some extra and stuff them in a cooler for a beach day during the week. Plus, Allie’s Frozen Yogurt has delicious fresh fruit flurries.
New to the area is the H2OBX waterpark! A hit with kids and adventurous parents, this waterpark is perfect for families looking to add a few thrills to their beach vacation. With an 8-day vacation pass at $49.99 per person, you can pop over the bridge and have multiple days of fun. (according to the website June 2022)
Carolina Charm Plants and Gifts
If you are looking to provide a lovely abode for local wildlife, stop by Carolina Charm Plants and Gifts for birdhouses, bat houses, and beehouses. Not only will you be helping the wildlife, but you will be helping a local business. Plus, they sell a variety of outdoor gifts such as flowers, plants, birdfeeders, and more.
There’s No Place Like Home—North on Caratoke Highway
Your beach vacation is over and it’s time to head on home to Hampton Roads. Let the vacation vibes linger and stop to shop and eat along the way.
Simply Southern Kitchen
Order up a traditional southern lunch at Simply Southern Kitchen. This restaurant prides itself on good, down-home food, like fried chicken, pork chops, jumbo shrimp, mac and cheese, collards, corn on the cob, and hush puppies.
Lammers Stained Glass Gifts & Antiques
Looking for a trinket to bring home from your vacation? Find something unique at Lammers Stained Glass Gifts and Antiques. Owned by the Lammers, this shop is located in the Historic Grover Cleveland Newbern House. Hidden within the cracks and corners of the gorgeous home are a variety of antiques and vintage gifts. You can find stained glass, food, quirky kitchen utensils, vintage comic books, posters, vinyl records, license plates, seashells, pottery, driftwood, seashells, antique gumball machines, and loads more!
Want to keep the party going? Stop at Sanctuary Vineyard on your way home. This vineyard offers wine tasting, live music, and fun events all located in a chic converted barn. What more could you ask for?
Cotton Gin and Thyme & Tide Café
Owned by the same family as Sanctuary Vineyard, the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg is one of four locations. Cotton Gin is a delightful gift shop offering top brands and cute Scout bags. Plus, if you need a little snack the Thyme & Tide Café within Cotton Gin is open until 6 pm during the summer.
Raise your hand if you have a sweet tooth. Cindy’s Kitchen is about to become your favorite stop on this list. Not only do they carry salads, soups, and other yummy foods, they are famous for their 12-layer chocolate cake. Not a cake person? They also have cookies, pecan bars, pies, banana pudding, and fresh apple crumble.
Currituck BBQ Company
A hop, skip, and a jump away from Cindy’s Kitchen is the Currituck BBQ Company. As any true Carolinian will tell you, real BBQ is filled with vinegar. From their brisket to their pulled pork, the Currituck BBQ Company is good BBQ. Grab a sandwich and eat in the convenient pavilion outside, or eat it in the cozy restaurant inside—no matter where you eat it, it’s gonna be good.
Southland Trading Center
Finally, right before you reach the Virginia border, stop at the Southland Trading Center. Established in the early 70s, this trading center prides itself on true southern hospitality. They have everything—a tobacco and vape Outlet, a full-service family restaurant, a fast-bite Snack Bar, an old-fashioned General Store, and an Artisan Gift Shop. With the range of products and goods available, you will want to make this your last stop on the way home!
Home At Last
You’ve crossed the Virginia line and you’re home at last. Your cooler is probably filled to the brim with desserts, fresh produce, jams, and other goodies. Your stomachs are full of delicious BBQ and wine, and your memories are filled with good times, sunshine, and friendly company. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax, and do it all again next year.