Ocracoke Island, North Carolina: 15+ Exciting Activities

The little community of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, is located near the southernmost tip of the Outer Banks. This short 16-mile section of the island offers a variety of enjoyable beach activities in addition to a fascinating historical backdrop. Its magnificent beaches, excellent eateries, and panoramic views are unmatched.

During the early 1700s, Ocracoke Island played a significant role in the active trade route. Large ships were forced to dwell on the island and transfer cargo to mainland ports because they could not transit the shallow Pamlico Sound. Pirates, such as the notorious Blackbeard, were drawn to the island because of its treacherous seas. More pirates continued to utilize the region as a makeshift base even after he died in 1718.

Over the following two centuries, Ocracoke Island enjoyed expansion and wealth. It was a vital port of entry into Pamlico Sound in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and during World War II it housed a covert training center for the US Navy’s elite amphibious division.

Ocracoke Island has endured all of this, and even though tourism is now the major source of income for the community, it has managed to maintain its charm.


Due to the lack of roads, the only ways to travel to Ocracoke Island are by boat or small plane; ferries are the most popular mode of transportation. Every day, three large boats go for Ocracoke. The ferry departs in three different locations: Cedar Island, Swan Quarters, and Cape Hatteras. Every ferry is capable of carrying both passengers and cars.

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina: 15+ Exciting Activities

More About Beaches


From the lovely seaside shops and eateries to the amazing outdoor activities, Ocracoke Island offers many exciting discoveries. We put together this list to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. This is a comprehensive reference of activities on North Carolina’s Ocracoke Island.


360 Lighthouse Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960

There are five lighthouses in the Outer Banks, including the Ocracoke Lighthouse. Constructed in 1823, this 75-foot-tall lighthouse was meant to help mariners traverse Pamlico Sound. A popular tourist destination on Ocracoke, the stunning white brick lighthouse welcomes hundreds of tourists each year. The surroundings and base of the lighthouse are open to visitors. Nevertheless, no one is permitted to climb the lighthouse owing to safety concerns. Among the activities to do on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, is seeing the lighthouse.


Ocracoke, NC 27960

Beautiful sandy beaches of kilometers may be readily accessed from Ocracoke Village at Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach. The only beach on Ocracoke with a lifeguard on duty full-time is Lifeguarded Beach, which is staffed from Memorial Day to Labour Day. Because of its size, plenty of parking, accessibility, and beach activities, it is regarded as one of the best beaches on the Outer Banks.

One of the most well-liked pastimes on Ocracoke Beach is beach driving. Driving on the beach requires a permit, which you may get from the National Park Service. There are day licenses and seasonal licenses for sale. Please remember that driving over sand should only be done in off-road or four-wheel drive cars.


Address: 104 Loop Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960

On Ocracoke Island, there is a stunning 132-acre wildlife park called Springer’s Point. The island is home to fish, a variety of animal species, meadows, salt marshes, hiking routes, a maritime forest, and red cedar woodland.

The best choice is to park close to the Ocracoke Lighthouse and walk because there is no parking at Springer’s Point Preserve. Teach’s Hole is a location in the sea close to Springer’s Point where it is rumored that renowned pirate Blackbeard met his demise during his last confrontation with the British Royal Navy.


Ocracoke, North Carolina 27960

Similar to Corolla’s wild horses, Ocracoke has a few wild ponies. While the horses in Ocracoke are kept in a sizable (180-acre) enclosure for their safety, those in Corolla are allowed to wander freely. In the pen, they also have regular feeding times, stables, and paddocks.

Everyone is welcome to stop by the horses, say hello, and take pictures. However, entry to the enclosure is restricted to National Park Service employees.


Ocracoke, NC 27960, 234 British Cemetery Rd

British ships scoured the North Carolina coast for German submarines during World War II. Thirty-seven British Royal Navy personnel perished when the British ship was sunk. Over the following several days, the bones of four of these men washed up on Ocracoke’s shoreline and were interred here.

At the cemetery, everyone is allowed to pay their respects and discover the background of the occurrence. The United States Coast Guard, the Royal Navy, and the National Park Service host a memorial service each year to honor the fallen troops.


34 School Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960

In Ocracoke Village, there’s a little bookstore and gift shop called Books to Be Red. The store offers a range of goods, including handcrafted presents, souvenirs, and children’s books.


216 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960

Despite Ocracoke’s modest size, it is so dispersed that walking is not an option, therefore getting around is considerably simpler if you own a car. You can drive your automobile on the boat today. Hire a golf cart from Ocracoke Island Golf Carts to simplify and ease your travels.

Four- and six-person open-air golf carts are available for rent from Ocracoke Island Golf Carts by the hour, day, weekend, or even weekly.


Unnamed Road, Ocracoke, North Carolina 27960

The 34-mile walking track known as the Hammock Hills Nature Track has stunning vistas and a varied topography. The hike offers breathtaking views of the Pamlico Sound and salt marshes as it passes through a pine forest. A simple walk that is great for families is the Hammock Hills Nature Trail. Leash-wearing dogs are welcome.


Ocracoke, NC 27960, 49 Water Plant Rd

The unique history of Ocracoke is to be preserved and shared via the non-profit museum, Ocracoke Preservation Society. Excellent historical antiques, antique furniture, artwork, changing exhibits, and a gift shop are all featured in the museum’s collection.


Ocracoke, North Carolina 27960

Stretching 138 miles, the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway boasts two ferry crossings, 21 coastal settlements, and some of the most breathtaking ocean views on Earth. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful roads in North Carolina.

With Ocracoke Island about in the middle, the byway begins at Whalebone Junction in Nags Head and ends in Beaufort, North Carolina.


259 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960

A great spot to shop if you’re searching for the ideal beach-themed present or memento is Mermaid’s Folly! They sell a variety of items, including toys, apparel, souvenirs, and other items with marine themes.


538 Back Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960

For all you need to know about wine and beer, visit Zillie’s. They provide a wide variety of international wines, beers, and microbrews, some of which are sourced from North Carolina. A wonderful selection of cheeses, deli meats, cigars, and small snacks are also available for purchase. Enjoy your sweets to-go or unwind on the terrace outside.


These are some excellent places to dine and drink while taking in the sights of Ocracoke Island; we can’t cover them all.


305 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960

Dajio is a little cafe with a Southern feel that serves inventive takes on traditional fare. They offer one of the most gorgeous outdoor patios in the area in addition to serving wonderful meals and hosting live music.

Melon Flying

181 Back Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960

Family-friendly Flying Melon serves up wonderful Creole and Southern fare, including seafood that is fished nearby. They have a cozy ambiance and a large wine variety.

Sandwiches made with old salt

950 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960

When at Ocracoke, old-salt sandwiches are a must-try. They provide some of the greatest burgers in town, along with hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and kid-friendly meals that come with animal crackers and a beach bucket as a memento. They also provide dinner for your dog so the whole family can eat together.

Jason’s Dining Room

1110 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960

For many years, Jason’s Restaurant has been a mainstay in Ocracoke. Only open seasonally, the eatery on Ocracoke’s north end serves up delectable pizzas, salads, sandwiches, wings, and seafood specialties.

Jason’s Dining Area

Ocracoke, NC 27960 1110 Irvin Garrish Highway

On Ocracoke, Jason’s Restaurant has long been a mainstay for the community. Only open seasonally, this north-end Ocracoke restaurant serves delicious pizzas, seafood dishes, sandwiches, salads, wings, and other fare.

Ocracoke Oyster Co.

621 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke, NC 27960

For fresh, locally sourced oysters and other treats, visit the Ocracoke Oyster Company. Traditional American BBQ is also produced with their fig wood smoker. Excellent family-friendly establishment including a full bar, lawn games, and plenty of seating on the patio outdoors.


Want to visit the Outer Banks and depart from Ocracoke? These must-see locations around Ocracoke should be at the top of your list of things to do when visiting North Carolina’s Ocracoke Island.

Portsmouth Town

Portsmouth Village, North Carolina

Located right below Ocracoke on Portsmouth Island, the Portsmouth hamlet was once a fishing and maritime settlement. With a tourist center, the settlement is now recognized as a historical and archaeological monument. It is open to visitors to ride a boat to the island and view the exhibits that depict the way of life for fishermen and their families in the past. On Portsmouth Village’s beaches, camping is also allowed.

The Atlantic Museum’s Graveyard

59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras Island, NC 27943

A free museum honoring marine shipwrecks that occurred along the Outer Banks shoreline is called The Graveyard of the Atlantic. New and fascinating exhibitions on maritime history, with artifacts, ships, and rubbish, are often held. Families and kids may enjoy a treasure search at the museum that culminates in a gift.

The Graveyard at the Atlantic Museum is now closed for renovations. Their scheduled opening is for the autumn of 2023.

Lighthouse on Cape Hatteras

Buxton, NC 27920, 46379 Lighthouse Rd

Among the five lighthouses on the Outer Banks, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is one of the most well-known and frequently visited in the state. With 269 steps up to the top and a height of 198 feet, this lighthouse is the highest in all of America. Its eye-catching black-and-white stripe pattern running down the sides is well recognized.

Normally, visitors are free to climb the many stairs to the lighthouse’s summit and take in the breathtaking view. On the other hand, the lighthouse is now closed for maintenance and won’t likely reopen until 2023. It is still possible for tourists to explore the area around the lighthouse.

Native American Museum & Natural History Centre in Frisco

53536 North Carolina Highway 12, Frisco, NC 27936

The Outer Banks’ history was greatly influenced by Native Americans and the nation they knew before Spanish and English settlers arrived.

A non-profit dedicated to conserving the Outer Banks tribes’ history and culture is the Frisco Native American Museum. In addition to viewing antiques, artifacts, photographs, and paintings, visitors to the museum can participate in interactive educational activities.

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina: 15+ Exciting Activities



Not even the neighboring seaside communities of the Outer Banks can compare to Ocracoke Island’s uniqueness. Undoubtedly, the small island enchants everyone who visits with its sanctuary of peace, relaxation, and amazement. Whether you want to stay for the entire day or spend a full week exploring Ocracoke, you won’t be let down. It’s quite the sight.

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