Hello my traveling friends!
If you missed my last post, I explained that I would be featuring the beautiful Outer Banks this month. Last week, I featured Hatteras Island. This week, I am featuring an island that is full of all the island vibes that you’d expect, but this island also surprises travelers with charming and unique qualities that catches me off guard every time I pay a visit, Ocracoke Island!
Unless you travel by private boat or small plane, Ocracoke is only reachable by ferry. Taking the ferry boat from Hatteras Island is the only way I’ve traveled to Ocracoke. For me, it just adds to the experience of visiting! I always remember the hour long ferry ride being shorter than it actually is, I think because I enjoy it so much! Ocracoke Island is sixteen miles long and is in the southern part of the Outer Banks. It is known for gorgeous underdeveloped beaches and is only populated at its very tip. It is also known to be the place where Blackbeard, the pirate, finished his last days. There is actually a small exhibit on the island about Blackbeard. I’m all about promoting small businesses but I just can’t, in good conscience, tell you that it’s worth the visit. Let’s just say our group was underwhelmed.
Where to explore on Ocracoke Island
Might I suggest first finding a parking spot, then renting a bicycle to explore the island. We have always decided to walk, but I regret not renting a bicycle every time! You still get an up close feel with the convenience of not having to find parking at each destination; plus, you still get in some exercise. Renting a scooter might even be more your speed?! Definitely pay a visit to the Ocracoke Lighthouse, it’s literally like walking up to a postcard, so picturesque! I love stopping in all the antique/gift shops located all around the island! Last time, we stopped in a little place called Over The Moon. There were some unique gifts, some by local artists. I believe the store attendant informed me that actually 150 artist were represented in that one little shop! You may also like to visit the British Cemetery. During World War II, several British ships sank and the bodies of the British sailors were washed ashore and buried in this little cemetery right on the island.
I just love looking at charming house after charming historic house; some complete with a white picket fence and an English garden. To give you an idea of how charming this little town actually is, on our last visit, we saw a trail of the cutest baby chicks crossing the street with their mama after just previously seeing a sign warning you to watch out for them crossing! I mean, just adorable! My nine year old was in baby chick heaven!
After you have had enough of exploring the local life on Ocracoke, spend some time on those beautiful beaches I mentioned earlier! Maybe fishing, relaxing in a beach chair, or flying a kite, like we did! I really have to say that the beaches on Ocracoke Island are some of my favorite! I just love how naturally preserved they are and the feeling of seclusion doesn’t hurt either. I’ve never seen the beach crowded in Ocracoke.
Where to eat on Ocracoke Island
The last two times I visited Ocracoke, we ate at Dajio’s. It is the home of the best grilled cheese you’ll ever taste in your life! With something like four cheeses, peppers, and bacon…your taste buds will sing! They also serve a great local fish sandwich and shrimp and grits, however, it took the bartender three times to get the mojitos right. It’s okay! All is forgiven when you serve the best grilled cheese, like ever, haha! I’ll be back for more.
We also get ice cream on our way back to the beach or ferry at a little local place called Sweet Tooth. The lemon chiffon ice cream is delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day. Don’t expect to use the restroom there, though, it’s a port-a-potty. *crinkle nose up in disgust* We walked over to the gas station across the street to use their restroom instead. We got an ear full from the owner asking us if the ice cream shop owner sent us over? We said “no” but he continued to complain that the owner at the ice cream shop was trying to get his ice cream sign outside banned because she wanted to be the only one to sell ice cream, haha! Small town rivalry at its finest. He was nice enough, told us that if we could fit it into our belly, we could eat as much salt water taffy as we wanted for free! To bad we were already full from the ice cream. Thankfully, my father in law bought water and snacks there…made me feel better for using his bathroom.
Where to stay on Ocracoke Island
Sorry to say that I don’t have any recommendations for you as of yet. I have only stayed on Hatteras Island or in Corolla. If I did stay on Ocracoke Island, I think I would want to be a guest in a little B&B like The Cove Bed and Breakfast.
What about you? Where would you suggest staying, eating, or exploring on Ocracoke Island?