Enchanting Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Visting the Outer Banks of North Carolina affords the traveler an opportunity to take in a wide variety of historical and recreational activities. Ocracoke Island, situated in the Morehead City area, is one such destination that is big on both. See why this “not too easily accessible” island is a favorite for many, including you.

You know that Ocracoke Island is unusual when you find out that it is not accessible by car. Ferry service from nearby Cedar Island brings visitors to the island five times per day and in the summer months a free ferry, run by the state, brings visitors from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke every half hour.

As a barrier island, Ocracoke is rich in history. Blackbeard, the pirate, frequented Ocracoke and shopping — as it is for many visitors — was his chief aim. Too bad that he did not actually pay for his plunder and, ultimately, he met his demise off of Ocracoke Island in 1718 at the tender age of 38. Truly, his sins found him out.

Lighthouse admirers will find a real treat on the island. In 1803, the first Ocracoke lighthouse was built [it actually stood on nearby Shell Castle Island], but it was done in by lightning in 1818. In 1823, a new lighthouse was built and it still stands today. Ocracoke Light is also the oldest working lighthouse in North Carolina, its light warning ships with a fixed beam that reaches 14 miles into the Atlantic.

Beyond historical interest, Ocracoke Island offers what most people want when visiting the ocean: beaches. As part of the Hatteras Island National Seashore, the island boasts 16 miles of clean, windswept beach property. Swimming, boating, and fishing are chief activities, but birding, cycling, and camping are also strong pursuits. Visitors can choose to swim in the ocean or in more sedate Pamlico Sound; both locations are popular for birders, fishermen, and boaters as well.

If you are planning to visit the North Carolina coast, then Ocracoke Island is worthy of a look. Collect some seashells and sand dollars, do some shopping, and visit the lighthouse. You can stay in a bed and breakfast inn, a cottage, a motel, or a condo. You will go away from Ocracoke feeling refreshed and relaxed, exactly what every vacationer deserves.