North Carolina — Transportation
North Carolina Taxis and Car Rental
North Carolina is one state where you will absolutely want to have your own wheels. Even if you only plan to visit one city like Asheville or Wilmington, a car will prove essential for reaching any of the natural and historic attractions that are inevitably located on the outskirts of town. As a bonus, the state’s 76,000 miles of highway and rural road are extremely scenic whether cruising the coastline or winding through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Car rental outfits can be found at all of North Carolina’s airports as well as the downtown districts of all notable tourist towns. The larger cities have taxi companies for travelers who are just in town for the weekend. In Charlotte, Diamond Cab (+1-704-333-3030) is a good choice. The capital Raleigh has US Taxi (+1-919-802-2209) and even Asheville has Yellow Cab (+1-828-253-3311) on call 24 hours. You need to carry the taxi phone numbers with you and call for a pick up whenever needed. They use meters for the fares, which are reasonable, but don’t drive around looking for customers.
North Carolina Water Taxis
North Carolina’s ferry system is the most extensive on the east coast, with 24 ferries in operation year round that transport over 2.5 million people and over one million vehicles. The ferries run along the rivers and sounds of the Outer Banks and Southern Banks, and many are free. You can check the exact routes and their schedules at http://www.ncdot.gov/ferry/.
North Carolina Trains and Buses
The Amtrak trains are an excellent way to reach North Carolina from other cities along the east coast if time is not an issue. There are 12 daily lines that run through the state, stopping at 17 different cities. This gives travelers plenty of options for rail travel, even between cities like Raleigh and Charlotte. But there is no access to the mountainous western part of the state. Amtrak trains are very comfortable and always scenic.
The Greyhound bus company provides even more extensive service throughout North Carolina and surrounding states. The bus is the cheapest form of transport and will get you to more remote towns in the west like Asheville and Boone. No journey within North Carolina takes more than a few hours, so the ride will be comfortable enough.