Day Trips From Hatteras


At the southwest end of a tiny island thrusting into the Atlantic lies the second oldest operating lighthouse in America. Its beacon winks each night every ten seconds or so over Ocracoke Village, nestled around scenic Silver Lake Harbor. Ocracoke Island is a site where life exists on the Outer Banks as it was 30, 50, even 100 years ago. Here, interspersed among the old clapboard island homes, are a school, post office, two churches, and a sprinkling of stores, motels, and restaurants. Accessible only by ferry, a day trip to Ocracoke includes southern hospitality, unique shopping and wonderful seafood in its restaurants. The Hatteras Inlet ferry ride is free and promises 60 minutes of fun, excitement, and restful contemplation.

Ocracoke Ferry Enjoy the scenic, 1 hour ferry ride across the Hatteras Inlet and the 15 minute drive into town from the docks. This ferry service is free. You can catch the ferry at the end of Hatteras village every hour. Complete Ferry Schedule
Ocracoke Lighthouse Although it is not open for climbing, this 75 foot lighthouse is a must-see. It is located in the heart of downtown Ocracoke and boasts an amazing landscape. The colors make an amazing backdrop for family or wedding photos. It is free to visit, but don't forget your camera!


Roanoke Island

NC Aquarium The seas around the Outer Banks teem with a large variety of marine life. Unfortunately, many visitors never have the opportunity to witness this varied ecosystem in action. The North Carolina State Aquarium on Roanoke Island provides the opportunity to encounter sharks and sting rays, puffer fish and puppy drum, large moray eels and schools of small mackerel. It is an adventure that those of all ages may enjoy. There are touch tanks for children, interactive computer displays, and even alligators.
The Lost Colony

In 1587, 20 years prior to the colony at Jamestown, 116 men, women, and children struggled for existence in the wilderness and vanished without a trace. Their disappearance remains one of the great mysteries of history. No clue of this thriving community has every been found, save for the eerie carving upon the bark of an old, twisted oak: "Croatan". It is the saga known as The Lost Colony. The play is produced at historic Waterside Theater on Roanoke Island.

For information on tickets and show times visit The Lost Colony

Elizabethan Gardens

Foliage fans and gardening enthusiasts from all over the country will love a day trip to the Elizabethan Gardens. Tucked away in Manteo within the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, this 10 acre Roanoke soundfront locale is home to hundreds of species of native plants and wildlife, as well as rare and treasure varieties from all over the world, and offers a unique natural display with every visit.


Nags Head & Kitty hawk

Jockey's Ridge


Standing silhouetted against the sunset in Nags Head is a giant sand dune, the tallest pile of sand along the east coast. At one time the north banks were covered with a series of dune fields like Jockey's Ridge. Experience hang gliding, kite flying or just rolling in the sand in these last remnants of what the Banks used to be.

Jockey's Ridge State Park Website

Wright Brothers Memorial


Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk is a shrine to aviation buffs - a must see while on the Outer Banks. Learn about the principles of flight, the lives of Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Outer Bankers who welcomed and assisted them and the Wright Flyer. Be sure to hike up to the top of the hill - the view is definitely worth the effort. 

Wright Brothers Memorial- NPS