About The Area
The village of Ocracoke and its island stretch a narrow ribbon of sand between Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The name itself suggests history, enchantment, even magic. Some of the earliest recorded names for the island (Wokokon, Wocokon) reflect the island’s Native American connection. Eventually the “W” was dropped and spellings such as “Okok” and Ocrcok” evolved into the present day. Ocracoke is famous for the natural beauty of our sand, sun, and surf.
With sixteen miles of pristine, undeveloped, wild beaches, the island always has the perfect spot just for you. From the north end to South Point, the beach offers plenty of wide open spaces for all to enjoy. Surf fishermen, kite-flyers, kite boarders, sunbathers, shell-seekers, surfers, boogie-boarders, sandcastle-builders, nature lovers – and everyone else – will find that Ocracoke’s beaches are among the best in the world. (Don’t just take our word for it… Dr. Beach thinks so, too!) Dr. Beach Rating
All of the ocean beach is owned by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Parts of the beach are open to Off-Road Vehicles; please check the park map to find out which ramps are open to driving. Seasonal closures for bird and turtle nesting may be in place.
Most of the soundside of Ocracoke is undeveloped as well. The wetlands, marshes, and marine estuaries make the island a happy and healthy home for birds, fish, turtles, shellfish, and other wildlife. Over 400 species of birds have been spotted on Ocracoke – start your list and see how many you can find.
A glimpse of the island’s wildlife usually begins with your trip over on the ferry. The gulls follow close behind the boat hoping for a handout, and, if you’re lucky, bottle-nosed dolphins will put on a show for the ferry passengers.