1953 Ocean Highway Tourism Map (Courtesy of
|Formed as an
opportunity to promote tourism of the various beaches up and down the Atlantic
Coast, the Ocean Highway has longed survived the 'Interstate Era' and in
many states the highways and byways of coastal routes from New York to
Florida still carry the name. This essay will focus on the route
in the Tar Heel State from Elizabeth City to New Bern and down to Shalotte.
It will cover the various towns, people and history that can be found along
the Ocean Highway, otherwise known as US Highway 17.
The twenty-first century is already seeing major changes to the Ocean Highway. Bypasses in New Bern and Elizabeth City are open. Plans for bypasses of Wilmington and Jacksonville are either under construction or being planned. The purpose of the route has progressively from a slow coastal tourism highway to a high speed through route along the Atlantic Coast. This page and the pages that follow will allow you to see both the old and the new at the same time, something you can't do by car.
Travel the Ocean Highway
A historic inlet town and her three routes of the Ocean Highway
The Ocean Highway
may have been a successor of the old South Atlantic Ocean Highway.
A 1926 Rand McNally Junior Road Map of North Carolina (below right) shows
the South Atlantic Ocean Route.
Currently, my research is in the preliminary stages. However, this project cannot be a success without the enthusiasm of readers like yourself. If you have stories or photos or links that you would like to be included in this essay, please e-mail me.
Page Created: May 20, 2002
Last Updated: November 3, 2007
© 2002-07 Adam Prince