Destination: Ocracoke Island
A Pirate's Paradise
Ocracoke Island is one of the northern barrier islands of the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is accessible only by boat or aircraft. Legend has it that Ocracoke was one of the pirate Blackbeard’s favorite hideouts. Teach’s Hole is a short distance from the mouth of the harbor and is one of the spots where Blackbeard supposedly buried some treasure. Therefore it is not surprising that pirate lore and pirate-themed shops are popular with tourists in the village.
Ocracoke is part of the Cape Hattaras National Seashore and the16 miles of beaches here have been nominated as some of the prettiest and most pristine in the US. Fishing, swimming, boating, parasailing, and camping are popular sports on the island.
The village of Ocracoke is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes over 100 homes and the lighthouse built in 1823. The British Cemetery contains the bodies of British soldiers who died here during the Second World War. Indeed, this area is rich in history and the small museum on the island tells the tales of people who lived and fought on and off the coast of this island during the past several centuries.
Ocracoke is also the home to many migratory birds and is a bird-watcher’s paradise. The Pony Pasture, maintained by the National Park Service, houses the island’s Banker Ponies, sturdy, wild ponies that probably swam ashore hundreds of years ago after a ship wreck off the coast. During the summer months many of the restaurants have live entertainment in the evening. Indeed, there are numerous restaurants and pubs on the island with a wide selection of good food, including just-caught seafood from the fishing boats operating out of the island. Shopping is also a popular activity. The size of the village makes it possible to walk or bike to any destination in an afternoon. Ocracoke certainly has something of interest for everyone.
Approaching Ocracoke: p>
Ocracoke Lighthouse was built in 1823 and is the second oldest operating lighthouse in the nation. It is an easy walk from Silver Lake harbor.
Dragonlady docked at the Park Service docks in Silver Lake.
A stroll down historic Howard's Lane reveals old homes, craft shops and the Howard family cemetary with headstones dating back to the early 1800's.
The dock party starts when the fishing boats return with their trophies at the end of the day.
The picture below is a view from the sound side of the island. This secluded area, named Srpinger's Point, contains a beautiful nature preserve and is easily accessible by foot trail. Portsmouth Island can be seen in the distant left.. Teach's Hole is in the body of water just off shore to the left. It's named after Edward Teach a.k.a Blackbeard the pirate. Blackbeard supposedly partied here with his fellow pirates for several days of rum drinking, a pig roast, bonfires and music shortly before being discovered in his hideout in November, 1718 and beheaded in a bloody battle. Today's parties at Springer's Point are more sedate.
The ocean side of the island is shown below. Ocracoke beach has consistently been rated as one of the top beaches in the U.S. It's about as remote as you can get.
Ocracoke MetropolisAirport boasts an advanced technology windsock.
A short ferry ride across the inlet from Ocracoke is Portsmouth Island. Portsmouth is home to a deserted village of over a hundred buildings that have been preserved in their original state. In the early 1900’s this was a thriving fishing community of about six hundred residents. The old post office, one-room schoolhouse, church, and many residences are still in good shape and open to the public, as well as the original life-saving station. This is definitely a walk back in time. There are frequent local ferries to take adventurous sightseers to Portsmouth Island.
We highly recommend one of the following bed and breakfasts:
For a more complete listing of available accommodations in Ocracoke, go to: