To start your trip it’s only right to visit the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina. First stop is the Oak Island Lighthouse built-in 1952 replacing the Cape Fear Lighthouse. Made out of concrete long and skinny tower had the brightest light in the United States from 1958-1962, standing on Bald Head Island since 1817. Old Baldy has rightfully earned its right to be the first stop.
2. Cape Lookout Lighthouse
The next lighthouse on our list is on the beautiful Crystal Coast we have Cape Lookout. This lighthouse is on the Outer Banks in the southernmost part and it’s painted for directions with black facing north and south and white east and west. If you’re lucky you might even spot some wild horses!
3. Ocracoke Lighthouse
As simple and remote as the Ocracoke Lighthouse may seem it had been guiding sailors and boats since 1823. The lighthouse stands 75 feet tall, diameter narrows from 25feet at the base to 12 feet at its peak. Being one of the most remote stretches of the Outer Banks, this could be a full-day experience from seeing Ocracoke Lighthouse to exploring the island.
4. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Can’t miss the tallest brick lighthouse in the US and we are lucky to have it right on the North Carolina coast on Hatteras Island. Originally built in 1803 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was built as a ‘guiding light’ to help sailors navigate through the graveyard of the Atlantic. There are 269 steps from the group level to the lens of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Always impressive to see the brick lighthouse standing at 210 ft.
5. Bodie Island Lighthouse
The Bodie Island Lighthouse has been replicated three times since 1872, standing 156 feet tall. It is located on the Roanoke Sound, it is located amongst the marshland. The view from the top is incredible and totally worth it.
6. Currituck Beach Lighthouse
Currituck stands out being the only natural-brick lighthouse on the coast with 1 million bricks. Towering over the northern Outer Banks historic Corolla Village making for a beautiful sight at the top with expansive views of the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Currituck is the largest of seven Fresnel lens sizes being known as a first-order lighthouse.
7. Roanoke Lighthouse
We are at our last stop of the trip often one of the most overlooked Outer Banks lighthouses we have Roanoke LIghthouse. Don’t be discouraged by it being tucked away in the quiet east end of Manteo waterfront with small stature and limited visibility, it’s still a lovely sight to see. It jets out 40 yards into the Roanoke Sound with a prim white exterior with black shutters and red shingled roof, capped off by a 2′ ft., 4″ in. the tall lens gives this lighthouse a classic coastal look. Enjoy the fantastic waterfront view and stroll the wooden boardwalk to explore the exterior.
We have completed our North Carolina Lighthouse tour! We hope you had fun and enjoyed our roomy Equinox, be sure to stop back again for another road trip!
The Cause CARE is a multidimensional tool that addresses the grief associated with hearing loss for individuals, families, communities and professionals.
The CARE Project is a North Carolina based nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing hope to families who have children and/or adults with hearing challenges through counseling experiences aimed at the processing of the emotional stages of grief.
Family retreats are organized, funded and hosted by the CARE Project across North Carolina. These retreats are 2-3 day experiences full of informational seminars, family support and bonding time, social activities and breakout groups for moms, dads, siblings and children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Dr. Johnnie Sexton, Au,D., Founder and Executive Director has had a vision to build a permanent site for The CARE Project with 3 clear-cut purposes:
Provide accommodations for families that require overnight stays in southeastern North Carolina
Reaching the goal of having a permanent home requires “brick and mortar” and land. The search is currently underway in southeastern North Carolina and we envision building 30 cottages as well as a conference center.
Your first stop on the trip heading south on 95 should be South of Border. For over 50 years South of the Border has been a landmark of the southeast. Pedro the lovable grinning mustachioed caricature mascot stands 97 feet tall making him the largest freestanding sign east of the Mississippi, you can even drive through his legs! When driving on I95 you see Pedro talking to you from the signs for miles telling you you’re almost to South of the Border. Mexico Shop East and West have tons of souvenirs, everything you can think of. A summertime favorite, fireworks start at the South Carolina state line, Pedro’s Rocket City has a huge selection with all the favorites! Don’t forget about the best Mexican food in northern South Carolina at Sombrero Room Restaurant. There are other food choices if you do not want Mexican or a sit-down restaurant. Pedro’s Casateria offers food in short order making it quick and easy to get back on the road. There’s also Pedro’s Southern Fried Chicken which looks like an antebellum mansion with rocking chairs and a giant chick on the roof. Then there is Peddlers Steakhouse shaped like a Mexican hat very hard to miss. Before getting back in the car be sure to ride to the top of Sombrero Tower in the glass elevator. If you decide to stay at South of the Border there is RV campgrounds and 300 motel rooms spread of 135 acres which allows access to Pedro’s Pleasure Dome with indoor pool, steam room, jacuzzi, bar and wedding chapel.
Head to “The Track Too Tough to Tame” at Darlington Raceway. Even if there’s not a race going on when you visit you can still take a walk through the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum. Not only will you see the history of Darlington Raceway but also the entire sport. Whether you’re a long time race fan or new to the sport the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame offers a unique stroll through the history of NASCAR. Darlington Raceway gift shop, NMPA Hall of Fame and Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Be sure to stop by, who knows you may even spot some Jeff Gordon history!
Next on the stop is the Wood Bay State Park, get out and stretch your legs while enjoying some time in nature! Wood Bay offers one of the last remaining large Carolina Bay on the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. The 1,590-acre park features a wide range of habitats such as marsh, sandhills. Oak-hickory forest and shrub bog. There is much wildlife to see and great for bird watching especially during migration seasons. The park can be explored by taking the nature trail which circles the mill pond or walks the length of the 1,150-foot boardwalk, where you can see the alligators in the cypress-tupelo swamp. If you want to make it a longer adventure the best way to see the park is by following the canoe trail which will take paddlers pas the Carolina Bays to the elliptical depressions.
Just a short drive down the road from Wood Bay State Park is the Congaree National Park. The Congaree National Park offers a wide range of biodiversity with the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forever remaining in the southeastern United States. There is so much to do at Congaree, with canoeing through the beautiful rivers, camping, fishing, hiking, nature watching, you’re sure to enjoy time with the family while taking a break.
Another great State Park is the Santee State Park sits along Lake Marion, and is known for its abundant population of large catfish. Other activities include hiking, biking, pontoon boat tours, kayaking, boating and a whole lot more! If you want to camp on the lake there is lakeside camping, if you prefer indoors there’s also 10 cabins that sit on the piers overlooking the lake.
In the small town of Bowman, SC with less than 1,000 residents is the UFO Welcome Center. Bowman resident Jody Pendarvis has been building the UFO Welcome Center for the past 25 years. Pendarvis graduated from Bowman High School in 1970 then he went on to serve in the Air Force from 1973 to 1984, where he gaining a military education working on computers. Following his service in the military, Pendarvis attended South Carolina State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1990. Four years later he began working on the welcome center. The UFO Welcome Center consists of a 42-foot-wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic, in 2003 a smaller saucer about 20 feet in width was added on top of the original structure. There is everything that an alien might need if they are to visit, Pendarvis envisions himself as an ambassador for aliens. During the summers the top saucer is cooler than Pendarvis’ mobile home so he stays in the top saucer. There is a wooden container near the sentence that is painted blue saying “Tips” as the admission fee. There is a sign near the entrance that reads “Space People Only. Enter at Own Risk, Danger” then you walk in there is a book which asks you to write down your name and the planet that you come from. Bowman Mayor Marion Glenn would like to make the UFO Welcome Center more a true town welcome center, however, Pendarvis is indifferent about it, for now, it will remain Jody’s Welcome Center. When visiting the UFO Welcome Center like all places be sure to watch your step, stay safe, and take a lot of photos. Who knows you might be there to welcome the aliens.
The Carolina Heritage Outfitters just outside of Walterboro, SC is the perfect night getaway especially after being on the road. At the Carolina Heritage Outfitters, you can enjoy canoeing and if you plan to stay you will be able to stay in beautiful tree houses. The tree houses offer the perfect relaxation with the privacy which is only accessible by canoe, it is a beauty to take in the longest free-flowing blackwater river with sandy banks and a shallow sandy bottom perfect for swimming and picnicking. When the water is higher during the winter months you can paddle right into the forest of cypress trees.
Now we continue south to Georgia where our first stop is Savannah, a city with a lot of history and so much today is a coastal city separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. Take a trip to Savannah Historic District with tours of the downtown and water tours you can see the history and beauty of Savannah. Or head over to City Market for fine dining, shopping, and fun entertainment while taking in the historic town.
Just 20 minutes outside of Savannah is Tybee Island is the perfect sandy getaway. Tybee Island is home to Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse which you can take a tour of, you can also visit Fort Pulaski where the Union Army successfully tested a rifle canon in 1862 during the Civil War. If you want to get into nature and enjoy the water Tybee has boat rides where you can see the dolphins, kayaking, paddle boarding and all of the beach favorites!
Another stop along the Georgia coast is Cumberland Island. Cumberland Island is much different than Tybee Island. While Tybee Island is beautiful and there’s a lot to do it is made for the tourist. Whereas Cumberland Island is the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia. It offers over 17 miles of secluded white sandy beaches, wild horses and other island wildlife freely roaming throughout the ruins and along the beach. A beautiful scenic escape Cumberland Island has a lot to offer from history to nature. If you’re interested in riding the ferry it is recommended to book a reservation prior to arriving.
Now we have made it to Florida, there are a lot of stops to make in Florida along the coast, so get ready for a fun-filled journey as we venture down the beautiful coast of Florida!
St. Augustine lays the claim to being the oldest city in the U.S., being known for the Spanish colonial architecture and Atlantic Ocean beaches. The history is a must see when visiting St. Augustine. First, we will head to Castillo de San Marcos which symbolizes the clash between cultures. The St. Augustine Light Station is a site to see as it is still an active working lighthouse. Who doesn’t love treasure and pirates, right? Check out the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum to be transported back to the Golden Age of Piracy over 300 years to Port Royal, Jamaica. Cannot miss the beautiful white sandy beaches of St. Augustine to get to the beach cross over the Bridge of Lions. Bridge of Lions spans the Intracoastal Waterway, it connects downtown St. August to Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay, it is a site to see for sure! Visit any of the beaches in St. Augustine you won’t be disappointed!
Now we have made it to the “World Center of Racing” Daytona International Speedway! Go to the place where Jeff Gordon 4 time NASCARCup Series Champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer won not one but three Daytona 500s! There are 3 types of tours that you can do of Daytona International Speedway. In addition to tours, fans can also access the new Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, which now house the DIS Ticket and Tours Building, as well as take part in NASCAR Racing Experience. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America showcases and honors all fours of motorsports: Stock Cars, Sports Cars, Open-Wheel, Motorcycles, Drag Racing, Land Speed Records, Powerboating, and Aviation. In addition to Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach has much to offer! If you’re looking to get away from the crows check out Tomoka State Park. Tomoka State Park is a 2,000-acre State Park located along the Tomoka River, where your visitors can camp, hike, and boat. Of course, when visiting Daytona visitors must enjoy the World’s Most Famous Beach. There is so much to enjoy in Daytona.
Ponce Inlet is a beautiful beachy town in Volusia County, Florida, located on the southern tip of a beach peninsula just south of Daytona Beach. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light is the tallest lighthouse in the state, beautiful stop for sure! Smyrna Dunes Park is a vast public park where pets are allowed on the leash and fun for the whole family! Go-Kart City is a fun-filled day for the whole family with a lengthy go-kart track, 7-stall batting cages, and a colorful, fun 18-hole putt-putt course because who doesn’t love putt-putt, right? Ponce Inlet has much to offer and is just a short drive from Daytona!
Along the coast, there are many stops in Florida that visitors can stop and not be disappointed in. Now we continue south because our trip must come to an end to Homestead Florida.
Just south of Miami Homestead has much to offer. Of course, a Jeff Gordon or NASCAR fan must stop by Homestead-Miami Speedway. Another stop is Coral Castle created and structured by Latvian-American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin, who single-handedly and secretly carver over 1,100 tons of coral rock. Everglades Alligator Farm the farm features snakes, alligators, caimans, and crocodiles plus airboat tours. Another fun place to see wildlife is the Monkey Jungle it is a 30-acre wildlife park in 1933 for the exhibition and study of endangered monkeys in their semi-natural habitats.
There you have it you have made it! You have seen I-95-South in its entirety!
From the beautiful coastline to the grand mountains, North Carolina is rich with off-road trails and terrain. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet has the best car for all of your off-road adventures with the ChevroletColoradoZR2.
No matter your skill level North Carolina is sure to have terrain for you with the beaches and the mountains.
Uwharrie National Forest in Troy, North Carolina has several public OHV Trails, a pass is required there is the option for a $ 5-day pass or $ 30-year pass. The trails are open from April-December. Uwharrie was founded as a national forest in 1961, prior to becoming a national forest the land was used for hunting, gold mining, logging, and farming. From prior activities, a collection of roads and trails were made which are now used by off-road enthusiasts and has become the foundation of for the OHV trail systems.
Dutch John (TR90) is an easy-moderate 2.1-mile trail with diverse terrain and scenery which includes several creek crossings, trenched hill climb, which has become one of the picturesque locations in Uwharrie.
Falls Dam (TR96) is an easy 2.8-mile OHV trail located in Uwharrie National Forest. Drivers are exposed to almost every terrain while winding their way through the forest. This trail is ideal for beginners and anyone who wants to take in a gentle ride and soak in the brilliant surroundings. The “soup bowl” is toward the northern end of the trail and one of the more notable attractions in Uwharrie. The “soup bowl” is a deep pool of muddy water that is technically named “Lake Leigh”. There is a degree of risk if you take the plunge, the entire pool including the rim is slick clay, and the water level can exceed four feet in areas at times, so be safe but have fun!
Rocky Mountain Loop (TR92) is an easy-moderate 1.9-mile OHV trail located in Uwharrie National Forest. Unfortunately due to the closing of one of the sections the Rocky Mountain loop no longer makes a complete loop. However, it circles around the northern part and intersects with Sawmill (TR93), Slab Pile (TR79), Dickey Bell (TR91) and Daniel (TR390) along the way. This trail can be explored by any skill level, and if you spend the day in Uwharrie National Forest you’re sure to run into it.
Sawmill (TR93) is an easy 0.9-mile OHV trail in Uwharrie National Forest. Although it is a relatively short trail it carries drivers through the wide mix of terrain and connects them to other trails of varying difficulty with beautiful sceneries.
Slab Pile (TR79) is an easy but fairly rough 1.1-mile OHV trail. Slab Pile is a scenic trail that can be driven with any level of a vehicle. It takes you by “poser rock”, which is a massive rock that sits in the middle of the clearing is a popular spot for people to push the vertical limits of their vehicle to the extreme. This is one place on the Uwharrie bucket list that you shouldn’t miss!
Wolf Den (TR89) is a short easy 0.95-mile OHV trail that provides an opportunity for novice drivers. Wolf Den is popular to experience Uwharrie’s magnificent landscape on wheels and access other trails.
Conditions permitting the rustic 8-mile road of the Smoky Mountains at Parsons Branch Road has 18 creek crossing and tough mountain terrain making for a field day for experienced off-roaders. This road also connects to “Tail of the Dragon,” which is notorious for having 318 curves in 11 miles.
The only OHV area in the Pisgah National Forest is Brown Mountain offering 34 miles of designated trails. It is close to Morganton and Lenoir, passes are required for purchase $5 a day or $30 a year.
With the beautiful coastline of North Carolina, it is time to take a drive to the beach. There are many driveable beaches all along the coast. Lowering the tire pressure it is recommended to lower their tire pressure, that off-roading on the beach will want to bring a low-pressure tire gauge, as well as a jack and a shovel, as required by the National Park Service.
In Wilmington, we have Freeman Park with beautiful sand dunes, wildlife, and the majestic beach. At Freeman Park, there is overnight camping at the beach which must be reserved in advance and passes must be obtained for driving on the beach. It is a trash free park, so no littering, we want to keep our beaches safe and beautiful.
If you’re actively fishing night driving as well as overnight parking is accessible year-round on Corolla. During peak vacation time between the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day, a parking permit is required.
Just south of Corolla is Kill Devil Hills a beautiful location which only allows driving between October 1st and April 30th. All vehicles must have insurance, registrations, current safety inspections and driving permits which can be obtained through the
Town of Kill Devil Hills or Nags Head. Nags Head is just south of Kill Devil Hills and they share the same requirements along with the schedule for beach driving. They will both honor each other’s beach driving permits.
Cape Lookout is just a 3-mile boat ride off-shore where horse watching, shelling, fishing, birding, camping, lighthouse climbing, and touring historic villages can be experienced. To drive on the beach you must obtain a permit and a free ORV certificate.
On the Outer Banks, there are 17 vehicle access ramps along the shores of Cape Hatteras.
While off-roading can be a lot of fun remember it can also be dangerous so be sure always let someone know where you will be and when you expect to be back because some location may not have cell service. Check with the National Park Service to make sure it is safe to ride the trails or beaches. Stay in the designated areas as some areas are protected wildlife and could be dangerous to you or others if going off the trails.
April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day – a day where monuments and landmarks around the globe are lit up blue in support of the cause. Even though Jeff Gordon’s award-winning dealership in Wilmington is not (yet) considered a historic landmark, it will be joining the rest and lighting it up blue with its puzzle piece display, now up near South College Road! Every night throughout the month of April, these pieces will be illuminated to show support for Autism Awareness and get the word out for the dealership’s annual fundraising campaign. If you’re local to the Chevy dealership and see the display, snap a pic (only if it’s safe!) and post it with the hashtag #JGCFamily so we can see it!
Jeff Gordon Chevy’s Annual Fundraising Campaign
For the fourth consecutive year, Jeff Gordon Chevrolet has pledged to donate $25 for every new and pre-owned vehicle sold throughout the month of April to Oasis NC – A local non-profit here in Wilmington, NC dedicated to providing Outstanding Autism Support & Instructional Services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families.
Oasis NC use evidence-based practices and highly individualized services & support to target a broad range of educational, behavioral, social, and communication needs. Funds raised through Jeff Gordon Chevy’s Autism Awareness campaign will go towards supporting all of these helpful practices to its students.
Help Us Support Oasis NC!
Jeff Gordon Chevy is calling on the community to help spread the word on this campaign throughout the month and there are several ways to do that:
Make a purchase! If you’ve been considering upgrading or getting an additional vehicle, now is a great time to explore your options; Not just because of this campaign either – There are some really great incentives available right now, and plenty of selection!
We understand that you may not be in the market now, or even for some time. But maybe you know someone that is… Tell them to at least come by and shop around with us! If they do purchase with us, that will mean money in your pocket for the referral as well (just make sure they mention you sent them.)
Share the Facebook Event on your Facebook profile or Twitter feed to help get the word out about the campaign! Or, just hit the “Interested” button – Every little bit helps!
Buy stuff on Amazon! When you make a purchase via Oasis NC’s Amazon Smile account, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase totals directly to them. Follow their link on OasisNC.org or log in with your existing Amazon account at smile.amazon.com and search Oasis NC to add them as your charity to support and make sure you always start on smile.amazon.com to make sure your purchases count.
Jeff Gordon Chevy is eagerly awaiting a visit at the dealership from the awesome kids and faculty of Oasis NC later this month. In the meantime, check out their visit from last year below! Feel free follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on their upcoming appearance and more throughout the month! And of course, make sure to follow and keep up with Oasis on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on the school and all the fun videos starring the students themselves.
OASIS NC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to providing Outstanding Autism Support and Instructional Services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families in southeastern North Carolina.
Wilmington, N.C. – Took the new Chevrolet 2019 Camaro LT 6-speed manual around Wilmington Tuesday. This was a fun beauty to drive around! It gets 16 city/ 27 hwy, it is priced at $38,790. Stop by today to check it out and take it for a test drive!
Wilmington, N.C- Sunday, March 31st the 11th Annual Cape Fear Corvette Show took place in Wilmington. Awards were presented for the top corvettes in all seven age groups, also special awards for best paint, best engine, best interior and best modified. It was a full day of fun with silent auction, 50/50 raffles, music, vendors and the National Corvette Museum Store! All of the net proceeds from the show benefited the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC and The Vietnam Veterans of America. Check out our full gallery to see some of the awesome Corvettes!