As a base for our Outer Banks adventure, the CurbCrushers stayed at Ocean Waves Campground located in Waves, NC. We got there by traveling from Orlando to Rocky Mount, NC on I-95, turning right on US-64 and heading to Manteo, NC. Right outside of Manteo, you come to NC Highway 12, which runs the length of the Outer Banks. Heading south on NC-12 for about 30 miles you travel through parts of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and finally reach Waves. From this location, it is a 30 mile or so trip down to the ferry that will take you to Ocracoke Island, and about 60 miles from Corolla, which is where NC-12 becomes a beach.
The area around Waves has three campgrounds, Camp Hatteras, a KOA and Ocean Waves Campground. When Lady CurbCrusher was researching our trip to the Outer Banks, she had found that of the three Ocean Waves was the cheapest, and had the best reviews at rvparkreviews.com. Ocean Waves does not however have any online reservations. They are also closed from October through April of each year. So the reservation process involves mailing in an application for a space that can NOT be postmarked prior to January 1st of the year you are planning to stay. So we mailed our reservation form in back in January, and were rewarded with reservations.
The campground is very nice, and is run by a very nice couple. It is located between NC-12 and the dunes. All sites are level, paved, and there is well kept grass between the sites. There is full hook-up (water,electric and sewer) and all sites have cable TV for an extra $2.00 a day. A number of the sites have 50-amp service. There are four tent sites right before the dunes. There is a camp store, a pool and small playground. A number of the sites in the front loop area even have some shade. If we were to return to this area, we’d definitely ask for sites 19 21A as they had shade and more space. There was adequate spacing between sites, you didn’t have large empty spaces, but you could put out awnings and dining flies without feeling like you were right on top of your neighbors.
The atmosphere was the most unique thing about this campground. As we wandered between the pool, our site and the beach we talked to a number of our fellow campers. This is a place the people return to year after year. At the pool we met a fellow that had been coming there for twenty straight years. He had been in years prior to his streak, as he’d made the trip to this campground repeatedly as a kid. There was a whole group that traveled from their hometown to Waves each year during July and August. Another fellow camping closer to us said he’d been coming for over 30 years. As a matter of fact when I asked him how long he’d been coming his answer was My first trip here my mom was pregnant with me, and I’ve been here every year since them. What was sort of funny about this is that both of these folks asked us how we’d gotten reservations. Apparently this place has so many loyal return visitors that it is out of the ordinary for new people to show up.
All in all, Ocean Waves is a nice place to camp. It makes an ideal location to visit all of the Outer Banks attractions. If we head back up in this direction, we’ll definitely stay here again.