Press Release
Despite closure of Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches, Ocracoke remains a vacation paradise, with lodging, shopping, dining, and recreational activities available to visitors.
Ocracoke Village: Open For Business!

Due to the government shutdown that took effect at 12:01 a.m. on October 1, 2013, the National Park Service on Ocracoke has been ordered to close the beach access by gating, chaining, or barricading the ORV ramps and parking lots. Ocracoke’s sixteen miles of wilderness beach will be officially off-limits until Congress reaches a budget agreement.

Although Ocracoke Village is a gateway community to the National Seashore, it’s also a thriving, historic maritime village with plenty to recommend it besides the ocean beach. The residents and business owners of Ocracoke invite you to discover the fun to be had in the village and surrounding waters.

Your adventure begins with a ferry ride. The ferries are state-run and the Federal shutdown will have “absolutely no effect on ferry service,” reports the NCDOT.

Want to go fishing?  The captains of our charter fleet are ready to take you out in their boats, for in-shore or Gulf Stream angling. You can even wet a hook off the Community Square dock or other privately-owned waterfronts.

Or you can rent a skiff, jet ski, kayak or paddleboard to explore Pamlico Sound on your own.

Here are other ways to enjoy our little island:

Perfect day for a stroll down Howard Street
Perfect day for a stroll down Howard Street

Stroll through the quiet streets and visit the many unique shops and eateries.

Take in some live music performances.

Rent a bicycle or golf cart to get around the village the way the locals do.

Walk to the lighthouse and take a picture.

Walk a little farther and check out the Springer's Point Nature Trail.  When you come out on the sound beach, you could take a quick dip in Teach's Hole where the infamous Blackbeard was killed and beheaded in 1718.

Sign up for a Ghost Walk and learn some Ocracoke history.

Check out the Working Watermen's Exhibit in the Community Square.

Visit the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum.

A couple of Ocracoke icons on display at the Working Watermen's Museum.
A couple of Ocracoke icons on display at the Working Watermen's Museum.

Take a yoga or fitness class, then get a massage or facial.

Go down to the Community Square dock and check out the historic skipjack, Wilma Lee.

Take a sightseeing tour by sailboat or motorboat, or even parasail!

Visit the Fish House and find out what our commercial fleet is catching. There’s nothing better than a fresh-off-the-boat seafood supper! 

Watch the sunset over the harbor and wait to see the lighthouse start shining.

Take some time to chat with some older folks – islanders or visitors – you'll be richer for the experience.

Enjoy Ocracoke! With or without the cooperation of the Federal government, the ferries still run, the sun still shines, and the island still beckons!

About Ocracoke Village: At just a little over a mile square, and surrounded by water, everything within Ocracoke Village is conveniently located for walking or biking. Explore the tiny village and discover the many shops and restaurants tucked away on twisty, tree-lined streets. 

Ocracoke Village is on the National Register of Historic Places, with houses and buildings dating from the 1880's, interspersed with more recent additions under the dappled sunlight of live oaks, cedars, and yaupons.

Find out how to plan your visit at, the official website for Ocracoke Civic and Business Association. For information about the ferry schedules and fees, please visit