Things to do on Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke is a great destination for those who love pristine beaches, rich maritime history, and vibrant local culture. There is an array of activities to suit every interest, such as exploring historic landmarks, embarking on fishing charters, indulging in water sports, or simply relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty of this coastal paradise. We'll be highlighting the best things to do on Ocracoke Island to help you discover the magic that awaits on this enchanting barrier island.


Hike at Springer’s Point: This scenic trail through maritime forest and salt marshes has historical ties to the pirate Blackbeard. In this peaceful and protected nature preserve, enjoy panoramic views of Pamlico Sound and native wildlife.


Location: On Loop Road at the end of Lighthouse Rd. Parking is available on Lighthouse Rd.


Hammock Hills Nature Trail: This relatively short and easy trail winds through a maritime forest, offering a peaceful retreat for birdwatchers and nature lovers. It is perfect for spotting local wildlife and enjoying the island's coastal ecosystem.


Location: Parking lot off Hwy 12 across from the NPS Campground




The Ocracoke Lighthouse:  The 2nd oldest operational lighthouse in the U.S., has guided mariners through Ocracoke Inlet since 1823. Standing at 75 feet tall, this whitewashed brick tower is a beloved landmark in the village of Ocracoke.

Location: 360 Lighthouse Road


Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum: This museum offers a captivating glimpse into the island's rich maritime history and local culture. Housed in a historic mid-1800s home, the museum features exhibits and artifacts showcasing Ocracoke's fishing traditions, shipwrecks, and island life.

Location: 49 Water Plant Rd


British Cemetery: This cemetery commemorates four British sailors who died during World War II. Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, it serves as a poignant reminder of the island's wartime history and international connections.

Location: 234 British Cemetery Rd


Ocracoke Banker Ponies: Descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought by early European settlers, roam freely on Ocracoke Island. Managed by the National Park Service, these hardy and resilient ponies are a cherished symbol of the island's maritime heritage.

Location: Route 12 heading towards Hatteras Ferry


Enjoy some relaxation and rejuvenation during your stay on Ocracoke Island. Treat yourself to a soothing massage or yoga class. Take in the tranquility of the island by watching the sunrise and sunset at the public boat ramp located at the South end of Highway 12. You can see the sky light up with vibrant colors as the sun sets or watch the dawn break over the calm waters of Pamlico Sound. These natural spectacles offer unforgettable moments of reflection and awe during your island vacation.

Trips and Tours

Ghost and History Tours Explore Ocracoke Island's captivating history and legends on Ghost and History Tours led by Philip Howard of Village Craftsmen. Hear fascinating stories of maritime heritage, pirate legends, and local folklore while wandering through the historic village streets and atmospheric locations.

Beach tours with Ray Stallings: Explore Ocracoke Island's stunning beaches with guided tours led by Ray Stallings, offering insights into local wildlife and secluded spots. Discover pristine shores and unique coastal landscapes while learning about the island's natural beauty.

Ocracoke Parasailing: Enjoy thrilling rides above Pamlico Sound with breathtaking island views and coastline views. Experience the excitement of parasailing while enjoying stunning vistas guided by experienced professionals.

Sail in Blackbeard's Wake with Capt. Rob Temple Join Captain Rob Temple for a unique sailing experience on Ocracoke Island, where you'll explore waters once sailed by Blackbeard the pirate. Sail aboard a traditional vessel, hear captivating stories of Blackbeard's exploits, and learn about the island's rich maritime history.

Portsmouth Island Boat Tour: Adventure to the historic and uninhabited Portsmouth Island, where they can explore the abandoned village and learn about its maritime history and natural beauty. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour provides a memorable experience rich in history and coastal charm.

Outerlore - Embark on a journey through the maritime forests and historic streets of Ocracoke Island and uncover the coastal lore that has shaped this charming region.

Salty Dog Adventures - Eco Tours, Sunset Cruises, inshore fishing, clamming, sandbars, dolphin watching

Wynning Charters - Sunset cruises, Inshore fishing and more!

Fishing Charter


The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries mandates a NC Coast Recreational Fishing License for individuals aged 16 years or older. You can obtain either an Annual License or a 10-day License online or at a local tackle shop, with varying prices for NC residents and Nonresidents. For additional details, please visit


Tradewinds Tackle Shop: This is a go-to destination for anglers, offering a wide selection of fishing supplies, gear, and bait. Conveniently located near the harbor in Ocracoke Village, Tradewinds provides everything you need for a successful fishing trip, including rods, reels, tackle, bait, and fishing licenses.


Fishing Charters: Fishing charters on Ocracoke Island led by experienced captains offer exciting opportunities to catch a variety of fish species in the Outer Banks' abundant waters. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice, these charters provide a thrilling adventure and a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of Ocracoke's coastal waters.


Head to the habour and check out:

  • Captain B
  • Gecko
  • Free Ranger
  • Dream Girl
  • Salty Dog Adventures
  • Wynning Charters

Night Life

Aside from the many restaurants open for dinner and drinks there are other things to enjoy at night in Ocracoke. Beach fires are a popular activity on Ocracoke Island, offering a memorable way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Outer Banks after sunset. Ocracoke Beach Fires provides a convenient service where they set up and maintain a safe and legal beach fire for you, complete with wood, chairs, and s'mores supplies. Alternatively, you can obtain your own permit from the National Park Service and set up your own beach fire, allowing you to relax by the crackling flames under the starlit sky and create lasting memories with friends and family. Whether you choose the hassle-free option with Ocracoke Beach Fires or opt for a DIY experience with your own permit, beach fires offer a magical and intimate way to unwind and connect with nature on Ocracoke Island.


The Breeze Night Club: The Breeze Nightclub on Ocracoke Island is a popular venue for live music and entertainment, featuring performances by local and visiting musicians in a lively atmosphere. Enjoy a night of music, dancing, and socializing with locals and visitors alike at this vibrant nightlife spot in the heart of the village.