On a couple of recent trips to the Outer Banks, my family has packed up the car, left early in the morning, and headed south on a day trip to the island of Ocracoke, which is the southern tip of the Outer Banks. From our house, it’s usually about an hour and a half drive plus a 45-minute ferry ride. My mom, my best friend Sydney, her mom, and I had so much fun on the most recent trip and I thought I’d share it with you!
Date of my trip: June 14th, 2016
We left about 9 in the morning, making sure to pack plenty of snacks. As we drove through Hatteras, we decided to stop and climb the Hatteras Lighthouse. It’s the tallest lighthouse on the Outer Banks, and the views from the top are spectacular!
We then stopped at a farmer’s market to browse, and, of course, upon seeing the fresh peaches, I was obligated to buy some (what’s a southern girl without her peaches??). This stop was a rookie mistake – when we got to the ferry dock that would take us across to Ocracoke, we were informed that it would take two to three hours.
View from the ferry
Of course, we had nothing else to do but sit in the car, wander around the parking area, and eat ice cream. It was a long, tedious wait, but once we loaded onto the little ferry, I was in my element. The wind in my hair and the open ocean ahead got my heart racing. I absolutely loved the whole ride. I love boating, and while a ferry is hardly a speedboat, it was the closest I’d been in a long time. I loved it.
Once we arrived on the island of Ocracoke, we sped away from the end of the island where the ferry docks and headed for the town on the opposite end because it was nearly 4pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet. We chose a sleepy little cafe called Dajio and we not disappointed. After we finished eating, we hit up a few local shops (Stuff, Ride the Wind Surf Shop, and the Island Ragpicker) before they began closing for the evening. Next we drove over to the Ocracoke Lighthouse (quite different from the one in Hatteras and unclimbable) before going to look at a historic British cemetery.
It was getting late, and, expecting a line on the way back as well, we headed back toward the northern tip of the island. But we had one last thing we wanted to do: get out at one of the glorious beaches and go swimming! Since it was late, we elected not to swim, but I waded in pretty far (and got pretty soaked in the process).
When we arrived back at the car line, it was a lot longer than expected. Sydney and I took a half mile walk to the front of the line and back and got bitten to death by mosquitos. Getting restless, we decided to climb out and back onto the beach to watch the sunset. It turned out to be a fantastic photo op! The sunset was beautiful and we posed for each other and her mom.
We got back onto the ferry around 8:45pm, starting to get hungry for dinner. Sadly, we were pretty much out of luck for the next 45 minutes, having exhausted all our snacks hours earlier. Sydney and I climbed out of the car and stood at the back of the boat, snuggled together in a beach towel to keep warm. It felt pretty Titanic style to me 🙂 The ferry ride in the dark was beautiful as we watched the warm glow of Hatteras approaching. When we finally arrived back onshore, we rushed into a pizza shop, Rocco’s, for dinner. The owners probably weren’t too pleased with us, as it was 15 minutes before their closing time, but to our ravenous stomachs, the otherwise mediocre pizza tasted heavenly. We piled back into the car and headed for home, finally getting there after midnight, but filled with happy memories of a crazy day of fun.