An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

July 21, 2010

Ocracoke Village

The small village of Ocracoke is the only community on isolated Ocracoke Island. The first people to live here were likely pirates, followed by ship's pilots who knew how to navigate the waters of Pamlico Sound. Later islanders continued to make their living from the sea as waterman, with the Coast Guard or Navy. Today however, most make their money from tourism during the warmer seasons of the year. Despite the summer influx, the town still retains most of the charm that draws people there in the first place. There are no Olive Gardens or McDonalds here, no Holiday Inns or Gaps, just locally owned places to sleep, shop and eat great seafood. Once on the island most visitors park the car and head out on foot, by bike or on golf carts to explore. There is a happening local music scene and the whole place has a quirky, salty, eco-friendly, bohemian kind of vibe.

Okarakcoke Light


Don't Bother Getting Up

Howard St.



My unexpected favorite find was Springer's Point, a 122 acre preserve on the edge of town owned by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. Springer's Point has trails that lead past salt marsh wetlands, Eastern Red Cedars, Yaupon Hollies and through a windswept Live Oak filled maritime forest.
Organic Fence 1

Jerome's Shell

Quercus virginiana 2



Morning Glory 2

Once through the forest you are on Pamilco Sound at Teach's Hole. Edward Teach was better known as Blackbeard. In 1718 the governor of Virginia dispatched Lt. Robert Maynard to Carolina to apprehend Blackbeard who was caught off guard, shot 5 times, cut in 27 places, beheaded and his body thrown into the water here at what would be known as Teach's Hole. His head was put on the bowsprit of Maynard's ship and brought back to Virginia and displayed as a warning (not the Disney version).

Turn Left at Teach's Hole

Organic Fence 3

Teach's Hole 3

Organic Fence 4

This was my fourth trip to Ocracoke Island and my first visit in nearly 15 years, and I enjoyed sharing it with my son. Hopefully I won't wait so long to return.

(My complete photo set from the Village and Springer's Point is here.)


  1. Love the blue flower.

  2. Oops I meant purple flower.

  3. Beautiful pictures, Les. I never would have known of Ocracoke if not for you.

  4. I had the pleasure of visiting Ocracoke several years ago, and I couldn't agree more that it is really a magical place. Hopefully the challenges of getting there will keep it that way for future generations!

  5. Les, What a wonderful treat~your photos are delightful!

  6. Fascinating pictures and descriptions. Love it when you take us along on these journeys. I've only been here once or twice and not in a long time. Now I wanna go.

  7. Beautiful and mysterious and intriguing!

  8. Beautiful shots Les, you have a great eye for capturing interesting things. Looks like a really place to take a vacation. :)

  9. It's really really beautiful and your pictures show it all.

  10. It sounds as though you camped.
    Can you recommend any of the B & Bs
    in the village?

    (especially if there is one where that gorgeous bulldog might be in residence)

    Marci (in C-ville)

  11. Wow. Thanks for introducing me to a beautiful part of your world!

  12. Looks like a great place to visit. I haven't been out of the house much this summer. I need to get out of town!

  13. Great photos as usual Les. We are going to the Outer Banks in a couple of weeks. I'm going to try & talk the wife into going down there for the day.
    Love the photo of the bull dog. He looks like he has it made.

  14. Rene,
    That flower would our native Passion Flower. I had one in my garden but had to take it out due to its thuggish nature.

    Thank you. It is a very special place, and I almost hesitate letting anyone else no about it.

    Let's hope so!

    Thank you very much!

    I am glad you commented, especially since this is a North Carolina treasure.

    Yes to all three.

    It is a very nice place to vacation, and there are lots of options beyond camping.

    Thanks for the comment, but there is more to see than what I showed.

    We did camp, but there are several hotels, B&Bs on the island. The dog was at the Island Inn, and both looked a little tired and saggy. The Thurston Inn, The Silver Lake Inn, Ocracoke Harbor Inn all "looked" nice, at least from the outside.

    We are back to that mountain/ocean thing. You are welcome for the intro.

    Yes you do!

    You should definately go. The ferry ride is fun with great views, the island offers plenty of shopping and eating and the bike rentals are cheap fun.


  15. Thanks for the trip to the beach today! Your pictures are awesome from the great shots of the seagulls to the sky views. Some look like paintings....

  16. What a magical place. It's nice to escape to such village and spend some time there, without seeing billboards, big box stores, crouds, etc. We just came back from Alaska where we enjoyed visiting old villages. Thank you for your great images, they are superb!

  17. Skeeter,
    Thanks for the very nice comments.

    Yes it was a great escape. Thanks for stopping by.