If you thought that the main barrier island that makes up the Outer Banks was minimally developed, wait until you see Ocracoke Island! It’s only accessible by air or water so most people take the free ferry from Hatteras Island. Expect to spend the whole day getting to, exploring on and getting back from Ocracoke.
We waited for about 40 minutes to board, and the ride over to the island lasts for 45 minutes. The ferry is a huge part of the experience though. The boys loved exploring the boat, watching the wake and seeing the seagulls hovering above.
We had promised the boys a beach stop, so we randomly chose a beach access point close to town that had a bathhouse. It was a windy day so the waves were super rough but the water was warm and they had a blast being knocked around a bit.
After getting some ice cream we stopped at the Ocracoke Lighthouse and headed to Springer’s Point for a little hike. The main downside to this adventure is that there is ZERO parking near the trailhead. Because the town of Ocracoke is small, most people own or rent golf carts to get around so I’m guessing that’s how people normally get there, but we had to park at a church around the corner and walk to the trail. We discovered a beautiful little beach at the point and were wishing we had our swimsuits on!