We traveled for hours, and finally, steered toward a sign for the ferry to Ocracoke, an island off Cape Hatteras, where Ocracoke village sits on the bottom left edge. Sean didn't realize it, but this was truly romantic because, not only is Ocracoke an adorable, secluded beach village, but it's also where my parents honeymooned. I've been hearing about it and looking at pictures from the trip for 30 years! When they went, it was truly remote, and really didn't have much to do or even many places to eat. Over the past few decades, it has evolved into a sophisticated, incredibly charming island village that I'm now hoping we can return to visit every year.
Also, 2 days isn't long and there was plenty more to do, but it's also enough! We were amazed at how we were able to both do a lot and still feel totally relaxed during the one full day we had on the island.
I have many, many more pictures after the jump, if you'd like to look!
Ocracoke Harbor Inn, located smack dab in the middle of the coast around Silver Lake, which gave us spectacular views and centrally located in the 9-mile village. We stayed in a spacious one-bedroom suite with a kitchenette, but more importantly, a balcony overlooking the lake with comfy adirondack chairs. The inn rents out golf carts and bicycles, which are truly the ideal mode of transportation on the island. Everyone was riding bikes everywhere...it only lends itself to the small town movie set feeling of the place!
the Flying Melon for brunch.
The restaurant is beautiful, and has a somewhat French flair, partially due to the chef's roots in Louisiana.
I had an absolutely delicious honey lime grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and salsa verde.
Next door was Island Artworks, with a charming nautical-inspired garden, and jewelry handmade by owner Kathleen O'Neal, along with plenty of other North Carolinian artworks.
I also loved this gyotaku print of a shrimp...gyotaku is the Japanese art of fish printing, traditionally used to document fish catches.
The shop also sells these distinctive doormats made of fisherman's rope that are labeled "virtually indestructible." A fun way to bring Ocracoke home.
We then rode our bikes to the Ocracoke lighthouse, which has been continuously operated since 1823. After their honeymoon, my dad drew a picture of this lighthouse that hung in our home my entire life until I went away to college, so seeing it in person was surprisingly touching. It's really sweet-looking and simple, which I like.
We crossed the street from the pony pasture and went to the beach for a couple hours. If you're keeping track, that means in one day we: rode bikes all over town, had cocktails, saw wild ponies and went to the beach. And it felt completely leisurely! The waters are fairly clear and beautiful, and there were plenty of beautiful seashells, tall dunes and best of all: not too many people!
Dajio, a truly great restaurant with a wonderfully diverse menu and a super-charming vibe. It's a combination of a house with a wall of windows, a courtyard strung with cafe lights and a beach hut-style bar. And guess what? It's in the former location of The Pelican. Amazing!
We started with an appetizer of enchiladas stuffed with carnitas, cinnamon, raisins and almonds. Sooooo good.
The Slushie Stand.
Ocracoke Coffee Co., a place so small town and homey and perfect, it made me feel like getting my Nicholas Sparks on and writing novels about this place that are turned into awful Zac Efron films. Seriously. The menu is a fun mix of classics, smoothies with names like "the Dirty Monkey" and lattes like "The Grasshopper" (toffee + mint + coffee). Just listening to the banter between the baristas and the locals was hilarious.
After coffee, we reluctantly got back on the ferry...which by itself is really fun! Until next time, Ocracoke. I know we'll be back.