Things to do / Travel Guide
There are four main airports travelers can choose to fly into in the eastern North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland region. Norfolk and Richmond are served by the major national carriers, and are the busiest and most popular airports in the region. Many travelers departing from East Coast cities find it most convenient to fly into Richmond, whereas the Norfolk airport is a popular destination among travelers from across the country - including the East Coast, the South, the Midwest, the Southwest, and the West Coast. Newport News-Williamsburg is a less popular alternative, mainly for budget and commuter airlines. Wilmington is served by regional carriers and is the most convenient option for reaching the southern reaches of the region.
Norfolk International Airport (ORF) in Norfolk, Virginia is serviced by nearly every major airline in the U.S. Many travelers opt to fly into Norfolk international specifically when traveling to Williamsburg, Virginia or to North Carolina's Outer Banks. Norfolk Airport Express shuttles are available between Norfolk International Airport and Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk as well as Williamsburg, Hampton, Newport News, Jamestown, and Yorktown. In addition, The Connection shuttle company offers door-to-door van service from Norfolk International Airport to nearly every Outer Banks community (costing from $125-$330 a person depending on your final destination).
Richmond International Airport (RIC), also called Byrd Field, is also serviced by nearly every major airline in the country. Ground transportation from Richmond International is available in the form of rental cars, taxis, limousines, or a 24-hour van service with Groome Transportation into downtown Richmond and Williamsburg. Public buses run from the airport during weekday mornings and rush hour travel times - they will take you downtown and throughout the Richmond metropolitan area.
Newport News Williamsburg International (PHF) in Newport News, Virginia is serviced by US Air, Delta, and Air Tran, and is also a popular choice for people traveling to Williamsburg, located just 15 miles from the airport. During the summer months, visitors to Williamsburg occasionally opt to fly into the Newport News-Williamsburg airport to bypass the congested highways and tunnels around the Norfolk airport, which often clog with beach traffic.
On the North Carolina shore, Delta, US Air, and America West fly into Wilmington International Airport (ILM). Taxis, limousines, and rental cars are available for transportation from the airport to Wilmington, Cape Fear, and other towns in the southern part of the eastern North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland region. Travelers who are going to the southern towns and areas of the North Carolina shore and wish to avoid a several-hour drive from the Norfolk area should consider flying into the Wilmington airport. The Wilmington airport will get you closest to your destination if you are plan to go to New Bern, Beaufort, Shackleford Banks, Morehead City, or the coastal towns of Surf City, Topsail Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, or Kure Beach. Take into consideration, however, that because Wilmington is a smaller airport with significantly fewer daily flights, plane tickets may be considerably more expensive than those from the same departure city to Norfolk or Richmond. The selection of North Carolina Hotels near the airport is sparse.
U.S. Highway 13 is the gateway to the main communities on the Delmarva Peninsula. From the north, the highway enters the region from Wilmington and Dover, Delaware, crosses the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, and continues south into North Carolina.
I-95 travels a north-south path through the region connecting with most major cities along the eastern seaboard. From West Virginia and points further west, your main access road into the region is I-64. I-40 travels a ragged west-east course cutting into North Carolina from Tennessee, and dipping south into Wilmington. Wilmington can be accessed from the South Carolina coast via U.S. Highway 17.
The following represent approximate distances and driving times from major cities outside the eastern North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland region to the region's major cities:
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Richmond - 340 miles, 5 hours 40 minutes; Norfolk - 355 miles, 6 hours; Wilmington - 75 miles, 1.5 hours
- Greensboro, North Carolina: Richmond - 205 miles, 3.5 hours; Norfolk - 235 miles, 4 hours; Wilmington - 210 miles, 3.5 hours
- Charlotte, North Carolina: Richmond - 300 miles, almost 5 hours; Norfolk - 330 miles, 5.5 hours; Wilmington - 200 miles, 4 hours
- New York City: Richmond - 340 miles, 6 hours
- Philadelphia: Richmond - 250 miles, 4.5 hours
- Washington DC: Richmond - 110 miles, 2 hours
- Baltimore: Richmond - 155 miles, 2 hours 40 minutes
Greyhound Bus Lines offers bus service to many places on the Delmarva Peninsula, including Ocean City and Salisbury, Maryland, and Exmore, Virginia. In eastern Virginia, Greyhound's fleet reaches Norfolk, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg. On the North Carolina shore, Greyhound makes stops in Edenton, Elizabeth City, New Bern, and Wilmington.
Amtrak's Carolinian/Piedmont line (New York-Raleigh-Charlotte) and the Silver Service/Palmetto line (New York-Washington DC-Charleston- Savannah-Jacksonville-Orlando-Tampa/Miami) both make stops at Richmond, Virginia's Staple Mills Road depot at least once a day. The Regional Line (Boston-Springfield/Providence-New York-Washington D.C.-Newport News) also stops in Richmond, (both the Staples Mill Road and Main Street stations), and continues on to Williamsburg and Newport News, Virginia. Generally Amtrak trains take about six hours to reach Richmond from New York City, 4.5 hours from Philadelphia, and approximately 2 hours from Washington DC, with Savannah about 9 hours away from Richmond to the south.
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry runs a vehicle and passenger ferry service year-round between Cape May, New Jersey and Lewes, Delaware on the Delmarva Peninsula. The ferry arrives in Cape Henlopen State Park, where from the docks, you can choose from among several shuttle and public bus services that will drop you off at neighboring Delmarva Peninsula beach towns including Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland.
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry leaves about four times a day during the week and between seven to nine times per day on the weekends, with slightly fewer departure times during the winter months. The ferries take approximately 80 minutes from start to finish. From November-March, a passenger fare costs about $7, and the cost for a vehicle (and driver) is about $23. From April-October, the fare for passengers increases to about $9 and the price for vehicle (and driver) increases to about $29. There is no charge for bringing a bicycle aboard.
Airports Serving Richmond, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, North Carolina's Outer Banks
Norfolk Regional Airport (ORF)
Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU)
Richard E Byrd Flying Field Airport (RIC)