If you’re on the hunt for things to do on Ocracoke Island, boredom is the least of your worries. Ocracoke Island is a recreational wonderland, and finding fun here never takes long. The most popular attraction by far is the beach. Once you see and experience these clean, wide-open, undeveloped beaches, you'll understand why Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, named Ocracoke's Lifeguard Beach as the #1 beach among his 10 Best Beaches in the USA in 2022.
Other things to do on Ocracoke enable you to know this island and its community and culture, from historic ghost walks to charter fishing trips to kayak tours and hiking through nature preserves. Keep in mind that on Ocracoke Island you will need a car, bicycle or golf cart. There’s not a traditional taxi service here, but there is a free tram in the village in the summer months. The island way of getting around involves walking, biking or a cruising in a golf cart. The village area can easily be covered in a matter of minutes.
The primary things to do on Ocracoke Island – attractions and outdoor recreation – stay pretty simple and unfettered. The setting and community provide the entertainment on Ocracoke. Enjoy a guided walk through the woods, listen to local musicians performing at live shows or gather around the old-timers to hear the stories of years past.
Unwind with Things to Do in Ocracoke
It seems that when people are here, they content themselves with less stimulation than what’s found in the hustles and bustle of cities. Things to do in Ocracoke celebrate simplicity: quiet walks on the beach (Cape Hatteras National Seashore), fishing and clamming, looking for shells, building a sandcastle, strolling around the village, sitting on the porch swing, observing nature or chasing ghost crabs in the moonlight. If you’re looking for more, walk or bike to the Ocracoke Campground on the new paved bike trail, stroll over to the Ocracoke Lighthouse (the oldest in North Carolina and still operating) and the Preservation Museum, or go out and visit the ponies and take a little hike. Another favorite activity is taking a daytrip to Portsmouth Island, an unoccupied island with remote beaches and old village buildings to explore. Learn more about Portsmouth Island here.
One last note to remember, when we refer to the locations for things to do on Ocracoke Island, Irvin Garrish Highway is also known as N.C. Highway 12.