Kody and I decided that it would be a good idea to get our run out of the way so that we wouldn't have to run in the heat. When I got back we started loading the car onto the ferry, but Kody was still out on his run.Kayte, Zach, and I started to get a little worried that he was not going to make it before the ferry left. Shortly after, we saw Kody racing towards the boat. It was a close call but he did make it and we soon took off for the Island. The ferry ride itself was an adventure. It is a little over two hours and takes you, your vehicle, and the other passengers across the ... Sound. Then, you dock in a quiet little fishing town, Ocracoke Village, and enter the wild Outer Banks.
When we arrived to the island we drove our car off the ferry and headed for the National Seashore campground. The campground is 4 miles north of the village. It is far enough away to be out of the town and close enough to where you can travel back easily. Be prepared for the heat if you plan a summer trip. Also, pack a good amount of food for camping. The park has bathrooms and showers and is located on the other side of the sand dunes. Walking the beach in the evening is lovely, because there are few other people staying in the area. It almost feels like a deserted beach. One reason we picked Ocracoke for our camping trip was that we read that open fires on the beach we allowed. However, there is only one beach on the island that you can have an open fire on the island, and it is located closer to the town.
Open Beach Fires
The Ocracoke day use beach is the only location on the island that fires are permitted. We discovered that the warmth of the fire attracts ghost crabs. The little guys are quite interesting and we found that they enjoyed s’mores just as much as we did. Many of the shops in town have free wood for sale, so you wont have any troubles finding wood. Make sure when you're done having a fire you properly cover the fire with sand and pick up any trash. Having a fire on the beach legally is not allowed on most beaches so, be respectful to this one! I suggest bringing some music, making snacks, and having a relaxing evening at the Ocracoke day use beach.
Fishing on the island was a blast for us. We brought a bait net and drove down the road a little ways to a small creek that leads into the ocean. There was a little bridge there, and an access to the creek. We walked down to the edge, through our net in, and quickly found that this was a jackpot for catching bait fish. We loaded up our bucket and headed to the inlet located in Ocracoke Village. There we casted our lines and caught several types of native inlet species. It turned into a great evening and we were eager to go back for more. Tradewinds Bait & Tackle is a small local fishing store on the island that has anything fishing related and they give good tips for fishing on the island.
Our favorite food place on the island was Howards Pub & Raw Bar. We ate here the first night we stayed on the island and hadn't had much food in our bellies for the day. The food is delicious and the sweet tea is to die for. I would make a trip back to Ocracoke Island just for the sweet tea at Howards Pub. I suggest any newcomers order "The Works" from the Raw Bar menu because the fresh seafood is delicious. Dajio and SmacNall's are two other local places with good quality food. A few mornings we stopped by the Ocracoke Coffee Company to indulge in some craft coffee. The atmosphere is nice and they have free wifi which is exciting when you haven't used the internet for awhile.
Ocracoke Island Lighthouse
The prize possession on the island is the Ocracoke Lighthouse. It is the oldest lighthouse in the outer banks. Climbing the lighthouse is not permitted but it is still nice to walk around and take pictures.