9 days in Raleigh & Outer Banks Itinerary

Created using Klarna Trips North Carolina trip builder
Make it your trip
— 3 nights
Drive to Swan Quarter, NC, Ferry to Ocracoke
— 2 nights
Ferry to Swan Quarter, NC, Drive to Manteo
Manteo, Roanoke Island
— 2 nights
Drive to Norfolk, Fly to Des Moines


Raleigh — 3 nights

City of Oaks

Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): get to know the fascinating history of Historic Oakwood, explore the different monuments and memorials at Historic Oakwood Cemetery, then contemplate the long history of Mordecai Historic Park, and finally shop like a local with Videri Chocolate Factory. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Wed): take a peaceful walk through Clemmons Educational State Forest, then pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, then walk around Historic Yates Mill County Park, and finally hike along Neuse River Trail.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Raleigh trip planner.

Des Moines to Raleigh is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Des Moines to Raleigh is 1 hour. Traveling from Des Moines in May, expect nights in Raleigh to be about the same, around 58°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 79°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Ocracoke.
Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Trails
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 15 — 18:

Ocracoke — 2 nights

Visit Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach and Ocracoke Beach for some beach relaxation. Head to Books to Be Red and Over the Moonfor plenty of shopping.

For where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Ocracoke route planner.

You can do a combination of car and ferry from Raleigh to Ocracoke in 6.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, bus, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, taxi, and ferry. In May, plan for daily highs up to 76°F, and evening lows to 63°F. On the 21st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Manteo.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 18 — 21:

Manteo, Roanoke Island — 2 nights

Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): visit a coastal fixture at Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, then look for gifts at The Christmas Shop, then enjoy the sea views from Bodie Island Lighthouse, and finally stroll through Coquina Beach. Keep things going the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then steep yourself in history at Island Farm.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Manteo sightseeing planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and car from Ocracoke to Manteo takes 5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in May, and nighttime lows around 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.
Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 21 — 23:

Outer Banks travel guide

Lighthouses · Historic Sites · Piers & Boardwalks
A trip to Outer Banks takes visitors to a string of barrier islands just off the North Carolina coast. A holiday in Outer Banks is a chance to explore 320 km (200 mi) of state parks, open sea beaches, and wreck diving sites. It's also the perfect chance to visit Roanoke Island, England's original settlement in the New World. For those looking to add a bit of adrenaline to their experience, a vacation in Outer Banks delivers many different fishing options and methods, some of which hark back to the first European settlers in this part of the world.