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.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Springer's Point Preserve

Springer's Point Preserve
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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

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2.Ocracoke Lighthouse, Ocracoke, NC

Ocracoke Lighthouse, Ocracoke, NC
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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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3.British Cemetery, Ocracoke, North Carolina

British Cemetery, Ocracoke, North Carolina
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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

Ocracoke Island Visitor Center
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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.Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum

Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum
© Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum

The North Carolina island of Ocracoke has a wonderfully interesting history which you can learn about when you visit the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum. The society was formed in 1983 to safeguard and showcase the intriguing history and culture of the island and is currently headquartered in the historic David Williams House which was built in 1900 and moved to its current location in 1989. The museum is filled with interesting photographs, documents, period furniture and exhibits from the past on the ground floor and there is a research facility on the top floor. There are also a number of outdoor exhibits including a traditional fishing boat and vintage cistern.

49 Water Plant Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960, 252 928 7375

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6.Eduardo's Taco Stand, Ocracoke, North Carolina

Eduardo's Taco Stand, Ocracoke, North Carolina
© 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 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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7.Zillie's, Ocracoke, North Carolina

Zillie's, Ocracoke, North Carolina
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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.

538 Back Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-9036

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8.Dajio, Ocracoke, North Carolina

Dajio, Ocracoke, North Carolina
© Dajio

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

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9.Howard's Pub, Ocracoke, North Carolina

Howard's Pub, Ocracoke, North Carolina
© 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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10.Ocracoke Pony Pens

Ocracoke Pony Pens
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Ocracoke Island has long been associated with seafaring and played a prominent role in trade, piracy and warfare over the centuries. Hundreds of years ago a shipwreck off the coast left a herd of Spanish mustang horses stranded on Ocracoke Island. Over the centuries the descendants of the wild horses thrived. Many were tamed and used by the early colonists for transport and to patrol the beaches during WWII. Today the ponies are restricted to a 188 acre area where they are protected and cared for by the National Park Service. You can meet the famous Ocracoke Banker Ponies at the Pony Pens located off Hwy 12.

NC -12, Ocracoke Island, NC 27960

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11.Portsmouth Island

Portsmouth Island
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One of the largest settlements on the Outer Banks was established on Portsmouth Island in 1753. The last of the Portsmouth Island inhabitants left in the 1970’s, and the remaining buildings are now cared for by the National Park Service. Many of the historic buildings have been restored and are open to the public. A visit to the church, the school house and the post office offer visitors a glimpse of island life as it was in the early days and many of the houses have been kept exactly as they would have been back then. There is a small Visitor’s Centre with restrooms. You can access the island by private boat or join a guided tour.

Portsmouth Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina

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12.Outer Banks National Scenic Byway

Outer Banks National Scenic Byway
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Visitors to the North Carolina coast are encouraged to embark on a wonderful scenic drive along the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks National Scenic Byway is one of just a handful of designated National Byways and traveling some or all of its length will be an unforgettable experience. The byway stretches for 138 driving miles and incorporates 25 ferry-traveling miles, crossing several of the Outer Banks islands, crossing 2 inlets and visiting no fewer than 21 charming coastal villages. Highlights of your scenic tour will include Bodie Island Lighthouse, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.

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13.Hammock Hills Nature Trails

Hammock Hills Nature Trails
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If you would like to enjoy a scenic walk during your visit to Ocracoke Island, you can make your way to the Hammock Hill Nature Trail. The trail winds between some of the most elevated points on the island and offers walkers some great views as well as the chance to do some wildlife watching. Visitors can find the parking area just off Highway 12, opposite the Ocracoke Camp Ground. As you reach halfway along the 0.75 mile trail you will find a boardwalk which leads to a scenic outlook over Pimlico Sound and the marshes. Dogs on a lead are allowed to join you on the trail.

Hammock Hills Nature Trail, Highway 12, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

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14.Ocracoke Coffee Company

Ocracoke Coffee Company
© Ocracoke Coffee Company

Peacefully located along Back Road, the Ocracoke Coffee Company is the perfect place to meet up with friends, enjoy a brilliant cup of coffee or just relax between activities. The coffee shop/bakery has a wonderful outdoor deck shaded by a massive cedar tree and their coffee, smoothies and Sell your Soul Muffins are famous all over the island. In addition to a changing selection of at least 15 types of muffin, they also make decadent Ocracoke Scones, Cinna-Yum Buns, Donuts and a selection of gluten-free treats. If you prefer something savory you can order a delicious bagel with your choice of filling.

226 Back Road, Ocracoke, NC 27960, 252 928 7473

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14 Best Things to Do in Ocracoke, North Carolina

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.

Guest Accommodations

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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Hotel Spotlight: Blackbeard’s Lodge in Ocracoke, NC

Blending the past and present, Blackbeard’s Lodge boasts an Old World grace and charm in the heart of Ocracoke. Located on the remote barrier island of Ocracoke, North Carolina Blackbeard’s Lodge features elegant accommodations in the form of guest rooms, luxury suites, and family apartments, top-notch facilities, including a lovely swimming pool, a well-equipped games room, and lush gardens.

Established in 1936 as the Wahab Village Hotel, Blackbeard’s Lodge is the region’s most historic hotel and the oldest operating lodge on the Island. Beautifully restored to its former glory, the hotel, which once boasted a movie theater and a skating rink, is a popular choice for solo travelers, couples, and families to the island.

This quaint family-run inn is conveniently situated close to some of Ocracoke’s most beautiful beaches, the Silver Lake Harbor, and the historic Ocracoke Lighthouse, and is within walking distance to the village’s best restaurants, shops, and attractions.

Blackbeard’s Lodge offers 36 well-appointed guest rooms, suites, and apartments, each of which is individually decorated and furnished to reflect its own character and charm. The pet-friendly accommodations offer comfortable, warm surroundings with historic charm and traditional southern hospitality and feature modern conveniences such as private bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, air-conditioning, coffee makers with gourmet coffee and teas, flat screen televisions with premium cable channels and complimentary wireless Internet throughout. Some rooms and suites feature king-size beds, fully equipped kitchens with utensils and appliances, jetted bathtubs in the bathroom and private balconies with stunning views.

The Boyette Suite offers two separate sleeping areas with a queen-size bed and two twin beds, separated by a bathroom area with shower/bath combination. The suite also has a spacious sitting area with small refrigerator, two flat-screen televisions with premium cable channels, air-conditioning, coffee makers with gourmet coffee and teas, and complimentary wireless Internet.

The North and South Apartments are perfect for families with pets and feature one queen, one double and one twin bed, with a queen-size pull out sofa in the sitting room and a dining table for six. A fully equipped kitchen has a microwave and coffee maker and is ideal for self-catering. Modern amenities include two flat-screen televisions with premium cable channels, air-conditioning, coffee makers with gourmet coffee and teas, and complimentary wireless Internet.

The Manager’s Apartment offers added levels of luxury and space with three separate bedrooms, two bathrooms with showers and a Jacuzzi tub in the master, separate living and dining areas a dining table for six, comfortable sofas and a fully equipped kitchen. A private screened porch has tables and chairs and overlooks the swimming pool. Modern amenities include two flat-screen televisions with premium cable channels, air-conditioning, coffee makers with gourmet coffee and teas, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Located on the third floor of the Lodge, the Wahab Suite, also known as the Presidential suite features a king-size bed and private en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower, and a fully furnished living and dining area with six-person dining table, queen-size pullout sofa. A full kitchen has all the appliances, and utensils need for comfortable holiday living and a wet bar area has a microwave and coffee maker. A semi-private balcony boasts beautiful views over the village.

There are several excellent restaurants within walking distance of the Lodge in the town of Ocracoke.

Blackbeard’s Lodge has lovely amenities that add to the relaxed ambiance of the cozy hotel. A sunny porch with tables and chairs offers a place to relax and soak up the beautiful garden views, while an elegant indoor lobby has a grand piano and wood-burning stove dating back to the 1800s for snuggling up in front of on cold winter nights.

A swimming pool is surrounded by tall cedars and bicycles, and golf carts can be rented for exploring the area. An indoor games room has billiards, and foosball tables, an air hockey table, a games arcade and various board games and a free shuttle service are offered to the airport and harbor. Complimentary high-speed wireless Internet can be accessed throughout the property.

The village of Ocracoke and the surrounding area offers a variety of attractions, activities and interesting things to see and do. Visit the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina, the Ocracoke Lighthouse and learn about the island’s maritime history; see the famous Ocracoke Wild Banker Ponies about five miles north of the village; and take a tour of the ghost town of Historic Portsmouth, once a former shipping center that was later deserted.

Hike the Hammock Hills Nature Trail, which winds through several diverse ecosystems from salt marshes and dunes to low maritime forests and enjoy a range of water sports around the island, from sailing, clamming, kite-boarding and parasailing.

Back to: Romantic Weekend Getaways in North Carolina.

111 Back Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, Phone: 252-928-3421

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