Day Trippin’ in Ocracoke
Catch the early morning ferry and enjoy the ride!
If you’ve never been to Ocracoke Island before and have your heart set on a great day full of adventure– you will want to arrive early. Catch the 8am ferry if you can, from Hatteras. You’ll be on the island by 9am and can be sure to take full advantage of a full day of exploring the unique shops and restaurants, interesting historic attractions, the beach, and whatever else suit your fancy.
The 5 mile trip takes generally about 45 minutes to an hour from Hatteras. It’s the perfect amount of time to soak in the smell of the salt air, decompress and just “be”. Slow down and look for the dolphins frolicking in the wake, or maybe watch the birds. If you happen to be coming to the island via the Cedar Island or Swans Quarter ferries, making a reservation is strongly recommended. Check out the NC Ferry System or call 800-BY-FERRY for more information.
Fuel up with a coffee and get acquainted
After you get here – stop by one of our local coffee spots – The Magic Bean, Ocracoke Coffee, or The Slushy Stand and get a feel for Ocracoke. At most any business or restaurant, you’ll find an easy to use walking map of the area – making it easier to explore, or you can navigate using our Google Map locations for all the listings on our website – right from your smart phone.
What’s your transportation of choice – golf cart, bicycle, parasail?
There are lots of ways to get around on Ocracoke Island, and if you’re here for the day, why not try out a renting a golf cart? The speed limit “village-wide” is 20 mph – so you can explore at the perfect pace, checking out all the shops, historical sites and restaurants along many of the narrow streets shared with our local cats, dogs, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists and the occasional skateboarder.
It’s easy to make a reservation for a golf cart or a bicycle rental. After you grab a coffee and get acquainted, drive down to the National Park Service Parking lot at the South End of the Island at the Silver Lake Harbor, and make arrangements to be picked up to start your adventure. See a complete list of all of the rentals available on our website under Recreational Activities – for adventure both on and off the water!
Ocracoke’s history is rich and colorful
There is no better place to learn about the history of Ocracoke Island than at the Ocracoke Preservation Museum, located in the restored David Williams house. The museum consists of permanent and changing exhibits depicting island life from days gone by. The gift shop is nice place to pick up a few vacation mementos!
Take a turn down British Cemetery Road to honor the British armed forces that made their way to the United States during WWII to help protect our shores against the Germans. For the crews of the ships HMS Bedfordshire, and the British tanker San Delfino, and unnamed others, the ocean, and the tiny hamlets of Ocracoke and Buxton, on the Outer Banks, would be their final resting place.
Shop our boutiques, shops and arts & crafts – on and off the beaten track
Amongst the numerous shops and boutiques such as Over the Moon, Annie’s Treasures and The Island Ragpicker, head back up Irvin Garrish to find two shops under one roof! Books to be Red & Deep Water Pottery is a full service bookstore with local and regional authors that also carries handcrafted pottery, carefully selected jewelry and gift and toys.
Ready for lunch?
There are several options for a delicious lunch on the Island. Try some fresh “Ocracoke Fresh” local seafood at The Back Porch or salads, sandwiches at Jason’s or a bite of Mexican at Eduardo’s Taco Stand. We have lots of options. Check out our complete list of restaurants on the island and enjoy! Want to learn more about fresh seafood in Ocracoke? Check out our “A Fresh Catch is Yours” Featured Tour.
Finish your day trip with a spa treatment or two
Why not top off your visit prior to getting back on the ferry with a relaxing spa treatment? How about a stone massage, peppermint body scrub or honey & clay facial? Ocracoke has a couple of day spas and expert technicians that would glad to meet your needs. Check out a complete listing here. If you are staying overnight with us, there are a few that will make house calls. Call for more information.
See a place you’d like to stay for a while?
Lots of our day trippers fall in love with Ocracoke and start planning their next vacation on the island. Don’t leave the without checking out some of our unique hotels, bed and breakfasts and cottages. See a complete listing here. Stop in and say hello!
Catch the ferry back from the Island…
We hate to see you go, but we know you’ll want to come back and see us in Ocracoke! Be sure to check the schedule and don’t miss your ferry back to the mainland. Thanks for coming!