The character of an island community 24 miles offshore can differ dramatically from that of a mainland town, and the observation has been made that no one feels ambivalent about Ocracoke. This site is your personal guide to this enchanting town and island. Did we really just use the word “enchanting”? Yes, and it fits. There is an enchantment to Ocracoke – almost as if time has found a way to stop and we, the lucky people who find our way here, get to exist in that anti-9 to 5 world.
Certainly, the things there are to do and see on Ocracoke help create the Brigadoon veil. Ocracoke things to do, along with Ocracoke attractions, center around the water that surrounds and buffers and on the unfiltered natural world. Lighthouses, wild ponies, pirates, cemeteries, local music, nature trails, deserted islands, water sports, Ocracoke fishing adventures, hiking, the wide open beach and everything to do with it, spas and yoga, ghost stories…you’ll be as entertained and active on Ocracoke Island as you want to be.
Finding a place to stay on Ocracoke Island is easy (well, unless it’s the middle of summer…plan ahead, people!). Ocracoke accommodations are found all over the island – except, thankfully, oceanfront – and range from down-home B&Bs to restored island homes to upscale condos. Also thankfully, you’ll find no mega-mansions here. There are several Ocracoke vacation rental companies with very helpful staff people who will assist. These same few companies also offer Ocracoke real estate if you become so smitten you don’t want to leave.
You might think that an island such as this would offer fewer options for dining and shopping, but that’s not the case. Again, in keeping with the magic that is Ocracoke, you’ll find absolutely no chains among Ocracoke restaurants. Not a single one. How many towns can boast that anymore?! You will, however, find restaurants that offer incredibly well-prepared, imaginative food. There are waterfront, outdoor establishments, casual sandwich-type spots and more than a few places whose food rivals any great restaurant you’ve ever been to. Honest. It’s all island casual in dress and atmosphere. As far as Ocracoke shopping goes, the entire island puts out the welcome mat. A charming aspect of Ocracoke Island is that the shops are located along most of the meandering streets, not in shopping centers. You get to hop on a bike or walk around the island on what is surely the most relaxed shopping experience/exploration around. Gifts, clothes, great art, wonderful books, outdoor gear, home decorations, jewelry – it’s all here, and nothing is superstore copied.
Not surprisingly, getting married on Ocracoke is a choice that many couples make to link into the enchantment. Ocracoke weddings take some planning, but there are professionals here who have helped with many a nuptial who know how to help you pull it off.
What makes Ocracoke so different? It’s clear that there are businesses, cars, people and stuff here just like anywhere else. And there are other islands that are part of the Outer Banks. Yes, all true. Yet there’s a slowness, a connectedness, a shrugging off of convention that opens up space on Ocracoke Island. You just have to come see for yourself.