Ocracoke in the famed Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to a wide variety of things to do to fill a day, a few days, or even a week in town. Local history can be found at the Ocracoke Lighthouse, while the Springer’s Point Land Preserve offers natural beauty in abundance, as well as a place to possibly spot wild horses and other wildlife. The Ocracoke Island Visitor Center offers a great place to start to learn about the area’s nature, wildlife, and fascinating history, including stories of pirates. There are many great restaurants as well. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Springer's Point Preserve
Springer's Point Preserve in Ocracoke, North Carolina is a beautiful nature preserve that boasts a rather legendary history. Open to the public and populated for centuries, the small area on Ocracoke Island is one of the island’s last undeveloped tracts of land and is carefully preserved by the Coastal Land Trust. The nature preserve encompasses approximately ninety acres of maritime forest near South Point along the Pamlico Sound. Springer's Point is supposedly the site where Blackbeard met with fellow pirates not too long before he died in 1718. Today, visitors will find opportunities for nature walks and wildlife viewing.
104 Loop Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 910-790-4524
The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the country’s second oldest lighthouse in operation. This whitewashed, sturdy tower stands at seventy-five feet tall and is built out of brick and an exterior of concrete veneer. Construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1823 with the walls being five feet thick at its base. The beacon of the Ocracoke Lighthouse has shown across the island and the Atlantic Ocean for more than two hundred years, weathering many hardships and countless storms. The bright light can be seen for approximately fourteen miles at sea and has guided several generations of sailors safely home.
360 Lighthouse Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-473-2111
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© Ilona Lablaika/stock.adobe.com
The history of Ocracoke includes German submarines positioned right off the North Carolina shore during World War II. THe Royal Navy sent the HMS Bedfordshire to assist the United States Navy in 1942 in anti-submarine efforts. Unfortunately, U-558 fired torpedoes at the ship and caused it to sink nearly immediately, resulting in the loss of the entire crew. The bodies of two sailors were seen in the surf off of Ocracoke Island and buried in a small cemetery, followed by two more found a week later. This well-kept cemetery, known as the British Cemetery, flies a British flag in perpetuity.
234 British Cemetery Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-473-2111
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4.Ocracoke Island Visitor Center
The Ocracoke Island Visitor Center provides a great place for visitors to start their exploration of the Ocracoke area. The center offers a quick overview of the town’s points of interest, regulations, lifestyle, and more. Visitors will find exhibits on the role of Ocracoke Island during both World War I and World II, the rich pirate history along the North Carolina coastline, lighthouses on Ocracoke and Hatteras, the wild ponies, and more. Along with the assortment of exhibits, the Ocracoke Island Visitor Center also includes a gift shop with everything Outer Banks and a bookstore carrying a wide variety of books.
38 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-475-9701
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5.Teach's Hole Blackbeard Exhibit
© Teach's Hole Blackbeard Exhibit
Established in 1992 on Ocracoke Island by Mickey and George Roberson, the Teach's Hole Blackbeard Exhibit aims to teach tourists and locals alike about Edward Teach, one of the most notorious pirates in history, in both an informative and fun way. More widely known by the name of Blackbear, Teach was captured and then killed in Ocracoke on November 22nd of 1718. In addition to the exhibit, there is also the Pirate Specialty Shop offering an interesting selection of items. Teach's Hole Blackbeard Exhibit is open on a seasonal basis from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday to Saturday.
935 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-1718
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6.Eduardo's Taco Stand
© Eduardo's Taco Stand
Eduardo's Taco Stand serves regional, authentic Mexican fare that is creatively prepared using organic ingredients and locally sourced seafood whenever possible. The small dining establishment prides itself on the innovation and quality of its Mexican cuisine. Visitors shouldn’t be misled by the food truck setting of Eduardo's Taco Stand. The food here is lovingly prepared, gourmet Mexican food. The unique restaurant in Ocracoke, North Carolina is open from 8:00am until 2:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday, and from 5:00pm until 8:00pm Tuesday through Saturday. The menu includes burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and several Eduardo's specialty dishes.
10 Lawton Ln, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-0234
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Zillie's in Ocracoke, North Carolina is a popular place in the Outer Banks to relax with a refreshing drink, have a bite to eat, and watch the rest of the world go by. The locally owned and operated casual restaurant has a good selection of beers, microbrews, and wines from all over the world, as well as cheeses, gourmet snacks, premium cigars, and gift items. Guests are welcome to just hang out with friends on the deck, which provides a perfect spot to relax after a day at the beach. Zillie's is open from noon until 8:00pm, seven days a week.
538 Back Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-9036
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The locally owned and operated Dajio has been providing a unique dining experience in Ocracoke, North Carolina since 2008, serving both brunch and dinner in its pleasant main dining room. The restaurant also offers daily specials, live music on occasion, and a casual bar area, all of which have helped make Dajio a local favorite on Ocracoke Island. With a focus on sustainability and sourcing locally, the menu here changes with each season to ensure guests are getting the finest ingredients the sea has to offer, as well as the fresh ingredients from the backyard garden or the farm.
305 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-7119
© Howard's Pub
Howard's Pub welcomes local residents and visitors alike to its own “little corner of paradise,” catering to everyone both old and young, from honeymooners to anglers. The casual and fun loving neighborhood eatery is open for both lunch and dinner from the early part of spring through late fall. Most of the dishes served at Howard’s Pub are made from scratch and everything is made to order. The pub also offers cocktails, wine, and a rather extensive list of beer, including craft beers from throughout North Carolina, draft beers, and bottled beers from other parts of the world.
1175 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-4441
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9 Best Things to Do in Ocracoke, NC
More Ideas: Ocracoke Harbor Inn
Set in the of Ocracoke Village, NC overlooking the picturesque Silver Lake Harbor, the Ocracoke Harbor Inn is a charming, laid-back hotel that offers a relaxing seaside getaway. The relaxed Inn features welcoming guest rooms with modern décor and comfortable furnishings, and deluxe suites with kitchenettes, whirlpool tubs and private balconies with spectacular views.
A hearty continental breakfast is served every morning, and the Inn has outdoor showers and a barbecue area for alfresco dining under the stars. Situated on Ocracoke Island, which is nestled at the southernmost point of North Carolina’s famous Outer Banks and is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Ocracoke Harbor Inn is a mile away from the Ocracoke South Ferry Terminal and a short walk from the historic Ocracoke Lighthouse.
The Ocracoke Harbor Inn features 16 beautiful rooms and eight deluxe suites with stylish décor and contemporary furnishings, en-suite suite bathrooms, and modern amenities. Guest rooms have two queen-size beds or one king-size bed dressed in designer linens and duvets and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, thick towels and bathrobes, and organic toiletries. Modern conveniences include flat screen televisions with cable channels, individual climate control with cooling and heating, coffee makers, hairdryers, telephones with voicemail services, and complimentary wireless Internet. Deluxe suites have en-suite bathrooms with whirlpools or whirlpool tubs and separate showers, fully equipped kitchenettes with microwaves, fridges, toasters, blenders, and coffee makers, spacious living areas with queen-size sleeper sofas, and private balconies with beautiful views. The Inn also offers two beautifully decorated studio-style suites and a luxury two-bedroom suite.
The Ocracoke Inn also offers five private multi-room cottages for families that provide luxurious comfort and a home-away-from-home appeal. Located in the Inn, the clapboard cottages have lovely views and are within walking distance of the island’s shops and restaurants. Cabins are fully furnished houses with multiple bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms with baths and showers, fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living spaces, and back and front covered porches. Other amenities include central air-conditioning and heating, televisions, laundry facilities, outdoor showers, and gas grills for al fresco dining. Private boat docking is available upon request, as well as charter fishing, and bicycle rentals for exploring the island.
A complimentary continental breakfast is served on the waterfront deck every morning including fresh fruit, juices, cereals, yogurt, freshly baked bread and pastries, and hot beverages such as coffee and tea.
Amenities and Recreation
The Ocracoke Harbor Inn offers an array of amenities including private decks with beautiful ocean views, a delicious complimentary breakfast every morning, rental bicycles and golf carts for exploring the island, and a range of concierge services such as restaurant reservations, excursion bookings, and special tours. Complimentary boat docking is available at the Inn with advance reservations, and there are outdoor showers for use after a day at the beach.
Set on the historic Outer Banks of North Carolina, Ocracoke Island offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities and outdoor adventures for the whole family. Boasting miles of unspoiled white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters for swimming, surfing, boating and fishing, Ocracoke Island is owned by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and provides an idyllic summer getaway. Other seaside activities include shelling, beachcombing, bird-watching, biking, and kayaking, along with other things to see and do away from the beach range from strolling around the quaint shops of Hatteras Village, Swan Quarter and Cedar Island.
144 Silver Lake Dr, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-5731
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