Hatteras & Ocracoke Islands, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Hatteras & Ocracoke Area Features

A Teen’s Perspective on Ocracoke

Hi! I'm Shannon, and on a recent trip to Ocracoke Island with my parents and my friend, I discovered a vacation destination I absolutely adored. My friend, Harmony, and I (both 15) set out to explore some areas of the island along with my parents, but we also ventured out by ourselves.

One of the main reasons Ocracoke is such a great place to visit with teenagers is that it’s remarkably safe and quiet. My parents, Jill and Jeff, felt at ease letting me and my friend wander the island and do the activities we wanted to do as long we acted responsibly. We rode our bikes everywhere we needed to go and ended up with some incredible memories. We learned to use hand signals and had no difficulty getting around the island.

My favorite excursion was a Ghost Walk Tour operated by historian Philip Howard, owner of the Village Craftsmen gift shop. While on the tour, we stopped at locations where stories were told of Blackbeard, ghosts of the Ocracoke lighthouse, and other tantalizing tales containing both historic and the supernatural aspects. The tour was creepy but awesome!

We rode our bikes to Springer’s Point Preserve and followed a path to the beach that Blackbeard himself is said to have used. The path is still intact and takes hikers through the maritime forest. At the entrance to the preserve is a bike rack—and yes, your bike should be perfectly safe. A nearby church is also kind enough to allow vehicular parking if you would like to take a car or golf cart. Of course we loved the other beaches in Ocracoke as well. While there, we swam in the great waves and took in the beautiful beach scenes. One sunny day, we even went on a drive on the beach in a rented 4-wheel-drive (operated by my parents).

The rain almost kept us from experiencing a fantastic sailing adventure. Fortunately, the weather cleared and we had the opportunity to steer a chartered sailboat in the Pamlico Sound. It was much harder than I originally thought it would be, but I had a great time! Another day was spent exploring Portsmouth Island. We took a skiff over and wore mosquito nets. I remember pretty clearly how bad the bugs were and I recommend lots of clothing and bug spray. Despite the insects, I did enjoy visiting the abandoned town and seeing a glimpse of the past.

There were also a few food and beverage options that the we recommend to other teens. The Ocracoke Coffee Company was really good and they have amazing cinnamon rolls. I mean amazing cinnamon rolls. Eduardos Taco Stand has great burritos—perfect for teenagers on a budget that needs to include funds for souvenirs. I came home with sea-turtle themed gifts and an Ocracoke hat as well as a couple eclectic items from the dozens of art shops.

Overall, we had a great time on the island. Even though I have traveled extensively I believe Ocracoke is a once in a lifetime trip. Families with teenagers may want to consider this destination for their own future vacations.

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