Travel: Ocracoke Island

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by MCanedy.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by MCanedy.

Except for the village, Ocracoke Island is owned completely by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It’s about 14 to 16 miles long, depending on who’s doing the telling, and a half mile wide. The only way in is by ferry, private boat, or small plane. You’ll find it on the map, down there at the tip of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

But Ocracoke Island is much more than a place. It’s a state of mind.

Maybe you’ll stay at the picturesque Ocracoke Harbor Inn, or one of the town’s several bed and breakfast inns. From the village you can walk, cycle or paddle almost anywhere you need to go. You can spend time on a long, wide expanse of sand and have it virtually to yourself. You’ll definitely want to visit the Ocracoke Lighthouse. Built in 1823, it’s the oldest lighthouse still in operation in North Carolina.

Maybe the idea of staying at such a remote location is too much for you. You need just a little more action. Okay, that’s understandable. But if you find yourself anywhere near the Outer Banks, you owe it to yourself to make your way down to at least experience Ocracoke.

You might soon find all that going and doing isn’t as satisfying as relaxing and being.

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