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Ocracoke Island is one of the barrier islands of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.


Rated the #1 beach in America for 2007, the island of Ocracoke abounds in natural pleasures. The 16 mi (26 km) of unspoiled beaches and salty ocean breezes offer great opportunities for solitude, serenity, and peace of mind. The expansive vista of ocean and soundfront marsh provides a closeness to nature highlighted with her variety of beach vegetation and bird life. The proximity to the Gulf Stream, and consequent warm southern waters, make for perfect swimming and excellent fishing (gulf stream, surf, and sound). There are also water sports and a colorful history to explore. Ocracoke offers a great medium for quality family time. The slow pace and warm, southern hospitality round out a perfect island vacation; one that insures peace, rest and relaxation.

Get in[edit]

The island is only accessible by ferry, boat or private plane. The free Hatteras ferry is a 40-minute ride that runs roughly every 30 minutes in the summer. There are two other ferry routes: Cedar Island, 2 hr 15 min, which runs from the southwest, and the Swan Quarter 2 hr 30 min, which runs from west of Ocracoke. $15 for a passenger car call for reservations +1-800-byferry Ocracoke Ferry information online:

By private plane: W95 is owned by the US Park Service and operated by the NC Department of Aviation. Flight planning facility available, walk to the beach, Howard's Pub monitors unicom and will pick you up. Brush upon your crosswind technique.

Get around[edit]

You can best get around Ocracoke' charming village on foot or by bicycle. There are several places in the village to rent a bike or scooter.

There are sidewalks in the village but they are narrow.

  • Beach Outfitters, 1055 Irvin Garrish Hwy (five doors down from Howard's Pub), +1 252-928-6261. 9-5. Rentals of bikes for adults and children, linens, baby equipment, beach gear and more including TVs, DVD players and grills. Adult bikes can be outfitted with child trailers, child tandems and baby seats. Youth helmets are available at no additional charge. Free delivery and pick-up is available for all orders over $50 (Ocracoke Island delivery only). Orders under $50 incur a $10 delivery charge.
  • Ocracoke Island Golf Carts, 216 Irving Garrish Hwy (Route12) (at the intersection of Hwy 12 and British Cemetery Rd.), +1 252 928-0090. Rent a golf cart and cruise the quiet tree lined streets. Carts can be driven anywhere in the village of Ocracoke.


  • 1 Ocracoke Island Lighthouse. C1823. North Carolina's oldest lighthouse still in operation, just off Lighthouse Road in Ocracoke. Easy to bike or walk to, not open for climbing. Ocracoke Light (Q4286368) on Wikidata Ocracoke Light on Wikipedia


  • Watersports are also a popular outdoor recreation. Surfing, kite boarding, kayaking

Sport fishing and surf fishing. Boating. Beach combing. Sunbathing. Swimming. Read a book. Have a nap in a hammock. Well, in Ocracoke you really don't have to do anything but relax.


  • Ocracoke Restoration Company, Spencer's Market (Route 12), +1 252-928-2669. 10AM-5PM. An eclectic - and sometimes whimsical - merging of old and new. Featuring antique stained glass, antiques and gifts.


  • Howard's Pub and Raw Bar. At the north end of the village. Specializes in fresh seafood, burgers and steaks.
  • Back Porch is a popular local restaurant specializing in seafood and other American-style cuisine.
  • Slush Stand ice cream stand
  • Jason's Restaurant Pizza, salad, sandwiches, etc..


  • Sweet tea is always good in the South anywhere you can find it. Note that if you ask for "iced tea" or even just "tea," you will probably get sweet tea. Ask for "unsweetened tea" or "hot tea" if that's what you want. Also note that if "sweet tea" is too sweet and "unsweetened" tea bland for you, you could ask for "half and half" to get moderate sweetness.


Stay safe[edit]

  • Pay attention to the road rules that apply everywhere. Bike on the right, walk on the left. There are no sidewalks, so there is traffic congestion on the busy one-lane Highway 12.
  • There is no crime recorded on the island except for a few stolen bicycles from your favorite late-night hangout.

Go next[edit]

Deepwater theater and Music Hall The Jolly Roger on silver lake, great music, great sunsets.

Routes through Ocracoke
Nags HeadHatteras ← ferry ←  N NC 12.svg S  → ferry → Cedar Island → Jct W US 70.svg

This city travel guide to Ocracoke is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.