Ocracoke Island is a great getaway for young couples and old and you can get lost in yourselves.
Couples getaways often take you to Miami, Florida, or maybe a cabin in the mountains but Ocracoke Island on the NC Outer Banks is just as good.
Everyone knows about the Outer Banks, a strand of islands off the eastern coast of North Carolina. It is here that we find Cape Hatteras National Seashore. A famed location for movie productions and backdrops. Stuck off by itself, however, is Ocracoke Island where you can get lost in yourselves. It’s a perfect getaway for the young couples and old who simply want time together.
The island is three feet above sea level and is only 9.6 miles with 8.6 of those miles actually on land. There are only two ways to reach the island, both require a ferry. From Hatteras, you can jump on the thirty-minute ferry with your car or RV and head over to the north side of the island or from the south, you can take one of two ferry’s that leave Cedar Island or Swanquarter. This is a 3-hour ride across Pamlico Sound and it is very relaxing. There is a cabin area to get out of the heat in summer.
As you arrive from the south, you may see dolphins outside Ocracoke Harbor, and off to the north, you can see the Ocracoke lighthouse. But the best part of the island is exploring it on your own.
For whatever reason, the beaches on Ocracoke are never really busy like most other beaches along the U.S. east coast. There have been plenty of times that I haven’t even seen others on the shoreline. There are opportunities to walk the beach and look for shells, especially after storms.
Depending on the time of year, you can find skate egg cases. These small black pouchlike purses have twisting strands on the four corners of the shell. Don’t worry, they are empty but make for a good talking point.
Ocracoke offers a great sunrise and sunset opportunity without having to go anywhere. While the town itself has plenty of touristy locations, all located near the south ferry harbor entrance, the beauty of the island lies on the north side away from the town. The long stretch of road lies between the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic.
At night, it’s all about you. Most restaurants don’t stay open late and there are no “bars” or nightclubs to dance at until two in the morning. Everything on the harbor side is in walking distance to any hotel and there are fishing excursions and horseback riding that you can indulge yourself in.
Want to get off the island for a day trip? You really can’t beat the Hatteras National Seashore. Take the ferry from the north to Cape Hatteras, From Hatteras you can travel the entire OBX to Currituck on the extreme north of the NC strands.
This trip will take you through Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and Corolla, the famed island of wild horses whose legacies date back to a Spanish ship that had crashed off the coast centuries ago.
Whether you are looking to just relax in a quiet atmosphere or explore the treasures where Blackbeard the pirate once roamed, Ocracoke is a great weekend or weeklong getaway you won’t regret.
For those wanting to take your children, well you can do that too. I take mine with me all the time and with the hours the island stays alive to tourists, children haven’t made a dent in the serenity and peacefull flow of the island so your trip won’t be interrupted by screaming kids.