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Ocracoke Day Trip

Find Things to Do on Ocracoke Island: Top Attractions & Activities

A day trip to nearby Ocracoke Island is just one of many memorable things you can do on vacation. Located just a ferry ride south of Hatteras Village, this barrier island is a unique region of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and ripe for exploring.

How to Get to Ocracoke Island

To experience one of the most delightful things to do in Cape Hatteras, head south on NC Highway 12 to the Hatteras Village ferry docks and take the hour-long ferry ride. Departure time varies depending on the time of year, so be sure to check the schedule when planning your journey. While waiting to board the ferry, wander in and out of the shops and restaurants right next door in Hatteras Landing.

Tight shot of the vehicle ferry going between Hatteras Village and Ocracoke Island on a sunny day full of cars
Pink light of a sunset glows over a drone view of the Ocracoke Lighthouse with the harbor and marina in the background

What to Do & See on Ocracoke Island

When you arrive on Ocracoke Island, let the exploration begin! This Outer Banks island is filled with a variety of activities and attractions that everyone in your group will love. 

Ocracoke Beaches

Ocracoke Island has miles of coastline waiting for you to explore, whether by foot, bike, or a 4WD vehicle. A beach driving permit is required to drive on Ocracoke beaches. Cast a fishing line or comb the beaches for shells. There’s also a lifeguarded beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day and parking area just north of the village limits.

Ocracoke Lighthouse

Built in 1823, Ocracoke Lighthouse is the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the country. The small lighthouse is a popular attraction amongst those visiting the island. It has remained relatively untouched since it was first lit, but it has undergone restorative work. Once fueled by whale oil, it is now lit by automatic electric power, and the light shines 14 miles out to sea.

Ocracoke Village

Known as one of the pirate Blackbeard’s favorite haunts, this four-square-mile village features small shops and waterfront restaurants mingled with century-old live oaks and gorgeous private gardens. Perfect for exploring on foot, spend your afternoon simply strolling along the small residential streets. 

Ocracoke Island Pony Pens

The island has always been known for its wild horse population. Shipwrecks from hundreds of years ago brought these descendants of Spanish Mustangs ashore to roam in a spacious reserve supported by the National Park Service. Watch these graceful but wild Ocracoke residents at the pony pens, found between the ferry docks and the village.

Time your adventure right, and you can catch the sunset on the ferry ride back to Hatteras Island from your Ocracoke outing. Make the quick drive back to your Hatteras Island vacation home to rest up for another day of fun! Contact us today for more information about the best things to do on the Outer Banks!

Experiences Ocracoke Pony Pens Box 960X600 283K