Day Trips to Ocracoke Island

Day Trips

A day full of adventure awaits on Ocracoke Island.

Whether you’re on a nearby island like Hatteras and need to escape your family for a quick trip, or you and a special someone are on the mainland but ready for kite surfing or parasailing, a day trip to Ocracoke is the answer.

Start by following NC 12 South across the magnificent Bonner Bridge above Oregon Inlet, all the way down to the south end of Hatteras Island. You’ll find yourself at the Hatteras Inlet ferry terminal, where a modern fleet of state-owned car ferries are standing by. They’ll take you on an exhilarating 5-mile cruise across the reef-strewn shallows of Hatteras Inlet to the historic island of Ocracoke. And the cost? Not a single cent!

The Village of Ocracoke, at just over a square mile, has everything conveniently located for walking or biking. Golf carts, scooters, and bicycle rentals are available to make getting around even more fun as you enjoy Ocracoke’s many unique boutiques and restaurants.

Every trip to Ocracoke should include a visit to the picturesque Ocracoke Lighthouse. Built circa 1823, this beacon is one of the oldest lighthouses still in active service in the US and provides the perfect backdrop for your favorite vacation photos.

A sample itinerary for your day trip:

Catch the 8 a.m. ferry if you can, from Hatteras. You’ll be on the island by 9 a.m. and can be sure to take full advantage of a full day of exploring the unique shops and restaurants, interesting historic attractions, the beach, and whatever else suits your fancy.

The 5-mile trip takes generally about 45 minutes to an hour from Hatteras. It’s the perfect amount of time to soak in the smell of the salt air, decompress and just “be.” Slow down and look for the dolphins frolicking in the wake, or maybe watch the birds. If you happen to be coming to the island via the Cedar Island or Swans Quarter ferries, making a reservation is strongly recommended. Check out the NC Ferry System or call 800-BY-FERRY for more information.