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Ocracoke Island Area Attractions
Hundreds of ships were lost during stormy weather along the coast of North Carolina. Early mariners relied on compasses and sextants to navigate these waters. The first lighthouse at Ocracoke Inlet was located on Shell Island just inside the inlet. It was completed in 1798, but was soon rendered useless due to shifting channels. The land where the Ocracoke Lighthouse now stands was given to North Carolina in 1790 by several Ocracoke residents. Since the initial construction of the lighthouse and the keeper's dwelling in 1823, gradual improvements have been made. The structure is still in use today and is the oldest lighthouse (and shortest at 75 feet tall) in operation the North Carolina coast. The 8,000 candlepower electric light can be seen 14 miles out to sea. The lighthouse is the first thing most visitors want to see when they come to Ocracoke.
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust - Springer’s Point on Ocracoke Island
Residents and guests of Ocracoke Island are fortunate to share in the beauty of the Springer's Point Preserve. The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust enriches the coastal communities of North Carolina through the acquisition of open space and natural areas for conservation, education and the promotion of good land stewardship.
Opened to the public on May 20, 2006, Springer’s Point offers more than 120 acres of maritime forest, tidal red cedar forest, salt marsh, tidal ponds, grasslands and sound front beaches. Springer's Point has been designated as one of the state's significant natural heritage areas because of its unique maritime forest and importance to coastal birds.
Springer's Point is open to the public. Visitor’s are invited to enjoy paths through this unique maritime forest which lead you to sound front beaches which include an area that overlooks the infamous Teach’s Hole. Please plan to travel to the Preserve by foot or bicycle. Parking is not available at the Preserve.
The Springer’s Point Preserve was the dream of many. Overwhelming community support and donations from individuals and organizations have enabled the Coastal Land Trust to complete maritime forest restoration work, hire a local Preserve Steward and open the Preserve to the public.
We encourage you to visit the Coastal Land Trust's website to learn more about Springer’s Point and consider making a donation.
Legend says that today's ponies are descended from spanish mustangs left behind by explorers in the 16th and 17th centuries. The ponies may have escaped shipwrecks on the shoals of Carolina, or been deliberately thrown overboard to lighten the load. The ponies were permanently penned in 1959. Today the herd numbers nearly 30 horses. The pen is on Hwy. 12 between the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry and the village.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located off NC Highway 12 in Buxton. With its black and white spiral pattern, this is the most famous and the most photographed Outer Banks landmark. At 198 feet, it's the tallest lighthouse in the United States. Open to the public Easter through October. The Visitor Center, a restored assistant lighthouse keepers cottage, is open daily 9-5.
Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station
This piece of history is also located off Highway 12, in Rodanthe. Built in 1874, this is the Outer Bank's most famous lifesaving station and the only one still open to the public. The station and small gift shop is open on Tues., Thurs. and Sat., May through October. In the summer a re-enactment of shipwreck rescue is done on Thursday at noon.
Located across the inlet from Ocracoke, Portsmouth was once the largest settlement on the Outer Banks. The Civil War and savage storms played a big part in making it the ``ghost" village it is today. Partially restored, it offers the ultimate in solitude. It is accessible only by boat, and be prepared for mosquitoes. Repellent is a MUST! Call the Austin's at 252-928-5431 to book a trip.
Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum, near the ferry docks in the village is a refurbished Ocracoke house built in 1890. It has a history research library and information on fishing. There is also a gift shop. Open daily. Teach's Hole (928-1718) on the Hwy. 12 in the village houses a pirate exhibit focusing on Blackbeard. It also has old weapons, maps and costumes of the period.
Ocracoke Area Activities
The diversity of birdlife on the island makes it a ``birder's paradise". It is a wintering ground for tundra swans, Canadian geese and over 25 species of ducks. In the summer, herons, egrets and a wide variety of ducks make their home here. During Spring and Fall the island transition houses many various species of birds and ducks. Bird books are available at island stores.
A dock or pier is a good place to catch Blue Crabs, but anywhere along the shore will do. Tie a fish head or raw chicken leg to a piece of string and let it go in the water. Sit quietly while the crabs gather, then scoop them in a dipnet and place them in a bucket. Nets can be purchased at many island shops. Steam crabs until they turn red. Meat is sweet and tender.
Around 4:00 p.m. when the charter boats return from a long day's fishing expedition, islanders and visitors alike line up at the docks to view the days catch, such as tuna, wahoo and dolphin. The boats also land billfish such as blue and white marlin and sailfish, but release most as a conservation measure. Look for the white and blue flags on the boats.
Ocean Edge Golf Course in Frisco is the closest course. It is a 9-hole executive course open 7 days a week. Along the Outer Banks from Corolla to Nags Head are several other 18-hole courses including The Currituck Club, a Rees Jones course, The Nags Head Links in the Villages at Nags Head and Sea Scape in Kitty Hawk. You should, of course, call ahead for tee times.
Hang gliding lessons are offered at Jockey's Ridge in Nags Head, the east coast's highest sand dune. Also offered are tandem hang gliding lessons. You and your instructor are towed up to 2000 feet behind an ultra-light plane and released to fly freely high above the Outer Banks. Beginner lessons average $70. Package lessons for beginners and advanced are available.
Kayak around Ocracoke on an eco tour or follow Blackbeard's trails. Take a trip to Portsmouth Island by kayak and paddle with the dolphins along the way. Tour the creeks of the island with experienced guides. Kayak tours are available at several locations on the island. Rates vary but average around $35 per person. Group rates are available. A fun-filled day or just an hour.
Take stunt kite flying lessons or choose one of the many beautiful kites available at stores on the island. Everyone is a child at heart when the wind is blowing and your colorful kite is sailing through the air. Single line and quad line kites are also available for the more experienced kite enthusiast. Kiting contests are held on the Outer Banks several times a year where kites from around the world compete.
Along Highway 12 in Avon and Frisco are several delightful miniature golf courses that will delight the kids and the young at heart. Go karts are also available in Frisco. Take a day trip or plan to spend the late afternoon and early evening before catching the ferry back home. Be sure to check ferry schedules BEFORE you leave home! Golf costs average around $6 per person.
Sailing the waters off Ocracoke make some people decide to chuck it all and move here permanently! You can play with a school of dolphin or just let the wind billow the cobwebs out of your mind. Charters are available at several locations along the harbor and cost around $10 - $15 per person.
Ocracoke Island Realty
P.O. Box 238
1075 Irvin Garrish Hwy
Ocracoke, NC 27960
Local Phone: 1-252-928-6261
E-Mail: Sales | Rentals
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Office Location and Affiliated Companies
Silverwater Traders LLC dba Ocracoke Island Realty is licensed to practice real estate brokerage in the state of North Carolina.
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Description: Information about things to do on Ocracoke Island and surrounding area.
Title: Ocracoke Area Activities and Attractions
Terms: Ocracoke Activities, Ocracoke Attractions, About Ocracoke Island
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