Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Island information

Outer Banks , USA
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Crowded in summer and desolate in the winter, Ocracoke Village is a funky little community that moves at a slower pace. The village is at the southern end of 14-mile-long Ocracoke Island and is accessed from Hatteras via the free Hatteras–Ocracoke ferry . The ferry lands at the northeastern end of the island. With the exception of the village, the National Park Service owns the island.

The older residents still speak in the 17th-century British dialect known as 'Hoi Toide' (their pronunciation of 'high tide') and refer to non-islanders as 'dingbatters.' Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard the pirate, used to hide out in the area and was killed here in 1718. You can camp by the beach where wild ponies run, have a fish sandwich in a local pub, or bike around the village's narrow streets or visit the 1823 Ocracoke Lighthouse , the oldest one still operating in North Carolina.

The island makes a terrific day trip from Hatteras Island, or you can stay the night. The island has a handful of B&Bs, a park service campground and rental cottages.

For good eats, try the shrimp basket special on the patio of Dajio (355 Irvin Garrosh Hwy; dajiorestaurant.com) from 3-5pm, followed by the to-die-for lemon berry marscapone. For drinks, savor a Grasshopper latte with chocolate mint and toffee at Ocracoke Coffee (226 Back Rd; www.ocracokecoffee) or a quaff a beer at Howard's Pub, a big old wooden pub that's been an island tradition for beer and fried seafood since the 1850s.

Want to get on the water? Take a a kayaking tour with Ride the Wind . The sunset tours are easy on the arms, and the guides are easy on the eyes.