Ocracoke Island LightAfter visiting the ponies, we headed into the Village of Ocracoke. Coming from Hatteras, the first thing you see when you get to Ocracoke is just road and dunes. Once the island widens out, you get through the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and you reach the Village of Ocracoke. Of all the towns in the Outer Banks, Ocracoke has the most character. The small size of the island causes the village to be kind of tight with cars sharing the roads with golf carts, and in some cases, pedestrians and bikers too. There are quirky shops, boutique hotels, and interesting restaurants all without walking distance of each other.

Located in the heart of Ocracoke Village is the The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse, the second oldest operating lighthouse in the US. It is the smallest of the lighthouses of Cape Hatteras Lighthouses, standing at only 75 feet tall (NPS). Like Hatteras Lighthouse, it is an inland lighthouse, but unfortunately, The Ocracoke Lighthouse is not open for climbing. If you plan to check out the lighthouse, be aware there are only 2 or 3 parking spaces nearby. If possible, I would recommend walking or biking to the lighthouse.

Located in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a short drive from the Village of Ocracoke is the Ocracoke Campground, where we camped for two nights. One nice thing about this campground is that they have a generator-free loop, meaning you won’t be hearing air conditioning all night long. It seemed like when we were there, most people chose that loop, so we traded generator noise for people noise. We chose a dune-side site so we were able to walk over the dunes right onto the beach which was really nice. One thing that was tough about all of these National Seashore campgrounds is that there was no tree cover and our second day at Ocracoke was rough because it was 92 degrees at ten in the morning and we had to pack everything up. The heat was really starting to take it out of me. I don’t know that I would tent camp on the beach in the summer again. Luckily, we had an hour ferry ride back to Hatteras to cool down and relax.

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