Are you looking for the best things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids? You’ve come to the right place!
In 1715, Ocracoke was established as an official port of North Carolina. After a couple of centuries of being a productive port island, ferries began running to Ocracoke in the 1950s and a full water system was installed in the 1970s. Since then, Ocracoke has been labeled as a perfect Outer Banks destination for tourists. When it comes to things to do on Ocracoke Island, you won’t be disappointed.
Ocracoke has a lot of interesting historical events that took place on and off the coast of the island, making it a great place to visit for nature lovers. Fishing, jet ski rentals, hiking trails, fishing, and other outdoor activities make the island great for nature lovers as well.
Is Ocracoke Worth Visiting?
Oh my goodness, yes! Ocracoke is bursting with historical significance and otherworldly beauty. You won’t regret a trip to Ocracoke Island!
How Do I Spend A Day On Ocracoke Island?
You can easily see a great portion of the island in just a day. A good day trip includes a little bit of everything, some good food, time spent in nature, and learning about the history of the island. Keep reading to learn about some of the best things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids!
Things To Do On Ocracoke Island With Kids
Go on an Ocracoke Ghost and History Walk
Ghost and History Tour on the island are available on the island for every type of traveler. These tours will save the exciting history of the island and the ghost encounters that have been had there as well.
Indulge your sweet tooth at Ocracoke Fudge and Ice Cream Shop
If you are visiting Ocracoke in the summer, then you will for sure be looking for a way to cool down from the hot southern sun. Swingings by the shop for a cold refreshing treat is the way to go!
Rent a golf cart from Ocracoke Island Golf Carts to drive around the island
You may be wondering, “can you drive golf carts on Ocracoke Island?” The answer is yes! Ocracoke Island Golf Carts has hourly, overnight, multi-day, and weekly rentals for you to choose from. This is one the most fun things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids and a must for any Ocracoke bucket list!
See the Ocracoke Lighthouse
The Ocracoke Lighthouse is seventy-five feet tall and is one of the shortest lighthouses in North Carolina. This lighthouse is one of seven coastal lighthouses in the Tar Heel State. Here are the answers to some common questions about the lighthouse.
Can you climb the Ocracoke Lighthouse?
The lighthouse is not open for climbing.
How far does the Ocracoke Lighthouse shine?
The National Park Service says that with a Fresnal Lens on the lighthouse, like can shine all the way to the horizon. This is more than twenty miles away!
When is the Ocracoke Island discovery Center open?
From mid-March to October 20th it is open from 9am-12pm and from 1pm to 4pm. Times vary throughout the year.
Eat at the Ocracoke Bar and Grille
The Ocracoke Bar and Grille is a sustainable surf bar that offers more than 200 craft beers, local seafood, and Baja Mexican food. This restaurant is both relaxing and delicious!
Watch the boats go out to sea at the Anchorage Marina
You can watch the boats go in and out of the marina and enjoy the lakefront views. The Anchorage marina is part of the Anchorage Inn & Marina. If you choose to stay at this hotel you are sure to enjoy your hotel room views!
Collect shells on Ocracoke Beach
One of the best places to go shelling on Ocracoke Island is on Ocracoke Beach. This beach is ranked as the number 3 on the Beach’s 10 Best Beaches in the USA list!
Rent a Jeep from Beach Ride Rentals
You can experience Ocracoke’s beaches in a unique and exciting way by renting a Jeep or 4×4 to explore the island’s beaches! Renting through this company gives you the off-road driving permits that you need to drive on the beaches legally.
Relax at the Stillwater Spa and Wellness
Update: This location has been permanently closed!
Listen to live music over dinner at the Dajito Restaurant
If you are looking for amazing seafood on Ocracoke Island, you can find it at Dajito! They have been offering their guests fine dining and fresh seafood since 2008. This is a must-do on Ocracoke!
Eat at the famous Howard’s Pub
This delicious and budget-friendly restaurant on Ocracoke Island is an absolute treat! Howards Pub has been around for a long time and has seriously amazing food. The interior is decorated with license plates and you will love the screened-in porch and roof deck.
Be brave and take a ride with Ocracoke Parasail
If you feel like being adventurous during your time spent on Ocracoke, you should try out Ocracoke Parasail! This is a unique and exciting experience to try out on the island. The staff is super friendly and encouraging. They are sure to make your experience even more fun!
Explore and navigate the open waters with a boat rental from Restless Native Boat Rentals
One of the coolest things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids is to rent a boat and explore the open water for yourself! Of course, staying on land is awesome, but there’s nothing like taking a boat out on the water.
Take a tour from a native of Ocracoke with Portsmouth Island ATV Tours
Taking a tour with Portsmouth Island ATV is a great way to explore the island in a fun and unique way. These exciting tours will leave you feeling full of life and with many stories to tell about your adventures on Ocracoke Island.
Get On The Water With a Rental From Ride The Wind Surf & Kayak
Ride The Wind Surf & Kayak shop has stand-up paddleboards and kayaks for rent by the hour, daily, or weekly. There’s nothing like exploring the waters around Ocracoke. You will be paddling where pirate ships once sat and where explorers once cheered as they were about to make landfall.
See the British Cemetery
If you are wondering “why would there be a British Cemetery in North Carolina?”, you aren’t alone. The people on the island wanted to honor men who died there. The small plot of land can be found on British Cemetery Road.
Attend a community event or festival at Ocracoke’s Alive Deepwater Theater and Music Hall
This performing arts center on Ocracoke hosts small local talent and productions. If you enjoy supporting locals when you travel, a visit to the theater to watch a local production is the way to go!
Walk the Springer’s Point Trail
The Springer’s Point Nature Preserve trail is a lightly trafficked loop trail that is only 0.8 miles. The trail is a great way to explore the coast of the island and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. If you are traveling on the budget, Springer’s Point Trail should be on your radar as it is one of the best free things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids.
Visit The Pony Pen
The Ocracoke Banker Ponies can be seen at the Pony Pen. This is another one of the best free things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids! You can access the pen easily via NC HWY 12. One of the first questions we get asked about the island is “are there still wild horses on Ocracoke Island?”
The answer is no. They once roamed wild on the island but now are penned and are being cared for by the National Park Service.
Buy super nifty souvenirs from the Village Craftsman
When it comes to shopping on Ocracoke Island, you will want to check out the Village Craftsman. This shop has items like pottery, books, shirts, and more. Shopping at this shop is a great way to support locals and grab something unique to take home with you from your time spent on the island.
Walk the Hammock Hills Nature Trail
Hammock Hills Nature Trail is a moderately trafficked loop trail on the island. It’s only 0.8 miles and is dog-friendly! There is a marsh viewing platform and you get to see so much of the natural beauty of the island from this trail.
Visit the Down Creek Art Gallery
This art gallery on Ocracoke Island has tons of paintings, photos, and pottery work on display. You will enjoy browsing the aisle ways as you get inspired by the beauty of the island through the eyes of others.
Take a dip in the ocean at Point Beach
Point Beach is located at the very end of the island on the Hatteras side. This is another great beach to visit if you want to go shelling on Ocracoke Island.
Go fishing on a charter boat
There is great fishing off the coast of Ocracoke. You have several companies to choose from depending on your needs. Fish Ocracoke, Dream Girl Sport Fishing, and Gecko Sport Fishing Charters are options. Keep in mind that a saltwater fishing license is required for everyone over the age of sixteen.
Book a Chinese Acupressure session at Massage Therapy and Reiki
You can find true relaxation on Ocracoke Island. After your massage or acupressure, head to the beach and relax while you soak up the vitamin D on the beach.
Take a surfing lesson from Ride The Wind Recreational Activities
Take classes and go on adventures with Ride The Wind Recreational Activities. Take SUP lessons, attend a surf camp, try your hand at SUP yoga, and more! These guided classes and tours happen at sunrise, midday, sunset, and during the full moon. The classes can accommodate groups of ten so family travelers are welcome!
Visit the Blackbeard Exhibit at Teach’s Hole
Update: permanently closed
Rent a bike from Coast and Go & tour around the island
One of the best ways to get around Ocracoke is by bike! You can ride along the coastal wetlands and by lively shop fronts as you enjoy the fresh air.
Where To Eat On Ocracoke Island
If you are looking for places to eat on Ocracoke Island, we’ve got you covered! Although you have already seen a few recommendations for places to eat on Ocracoke Island on the list above, here are a few additional favorites to add to your list.
Helios’ Hideaway is a Mediterranean restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. You can find breakfast sandwiches, fresh shrimp, and more on their menu.
MacNally’s Bar & Grill
MacNally’s Bar & Grill serves up traditional American fare in a relaxing open-air space. While you enjoy your food, there will be live music and you will have views of the lake.
Ocracoke Oyster Company
The Ocracoke Oyster Company is exactly what you would expect it to be, with a little twist. Yes they have amazing oysters, but they also have traditional American BBQ and other comfort foods which you can enjoy out on the patio. They also have games and bar seating to add to your experience on the island.
How To Get To Ocracoke Island
The most common way of getting to Ocracoke Island is via ferry. The ferry is free and you can read about the whole process of getting to the island here.
Which of these things to do on Ocracoke Island with kids will you do first?
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