Hatteras & Ocracoke Islands, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Hatteras & Ocracoke Area Features

What's New on Hatteras and Ocracoke?

Hatteras and Ocracoke are quiet islands where the status quo is preferred. It’s a peaceful island life and instead of busy streets filled with people, the small-town feel of the lower Outer Banks flourishes. Still, there are always new things happening on the islands. Make the most of your Hatteras and Ocracoke vacation by reading on to see what’s new in the area.

The 300th Anniversary of Blackbeard’s Death

According to some accounts, Edward Teach (a.k.a. Blackbeard) was shot 5 times and stabbed over a dozen times before losing his head to the British and THEN swimming around the ship on which he was killed. This is one of the many tales that surround the infamous pirate who was known for his theatrics, but it probably did take a lot of manpower to bring him down on November 22, 1718. In 2018, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is commemorating Blackbeard’s death with a traveling exhibit of artifacts from the pirate’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. From June 2 to July 29, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will showcase these items to the public. Later in the year, homage will be paid to the man who is credited with killing Blackbeard, Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Events including a traditional English tea party, an oyster roast and pig-picking fundraiser, and a memorial service at Springer’s Point with special guests from the British Royal Navy will take place Nov. 21-23. Stop by these places to relive a piece of history and explore the local legend.

For a fun celebration of the pirate’s life and death, make plans to attend Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Oct. 25-28. See reenactments and cannon demonstrations off the shores of Ocracoke Island. Meanwhile, pirates will be invading the island and bringing their (fun and festive) mayhem with them. Jamboree attendees will also be treated to live music and have the opportunity to purchase merchandise, food, and beverages from local vendors. Make sure to dress up as a swashbuckler and practice your pirate drawl! Throughout the rest of the year, be sure to stop into the new brewery that just opened this past spring in Ocracoke. Locals eagerly awaited the opening of 1718 Brewing (the year of Blackbeard's death) that houses the brewery, tasting room and the Plum Pointe Kitchen restaurant.

Oregon Inlet Bridge Grand Opening

Two years ago, ground broke for the construction of a new replacement bridge between Bodie Island and Hatteras. The project is near completion and is projected to open in late 2018. The existing Bonner Bridge, dedicated in 1963 and named after Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, has been badly damaged over the years, particularly in 1990 when a barge destroyed a large segment during a severe storm. The new bridge is designed to be substantially more durable to survive the rough Carolina coastal waters and is expected to last 100 years. It’s been one of the most talked about projects on the Outer Banks and it’s almost finished!

Ocracoke Express

A new passenger ferry is coming to the area! Prepare to board what locals call the “Ocracoke Express,” a large, catamaran-style ship for a 70-minute trip between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village. This $9 million project has been in the making for over three years. Completion and launch was expected in July 2018 but has been postponed to the fall. The boat features indoor seating for nearly 100 people, and a second story with 26 seats, bicycle racks and a concession stand. Plus, this ferry takes reservations so passengers can choose the best time for them. Check online at ferry.ncdot.gov to check updates and (when complete) book passage.

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