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Day trip to Ocracoke - questions

Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Hi everyone! I am so excited to be planning a trip to OBX at the end of August! My group has decided to try something different - we will be renting a home in the more southern part of the OBX (somewhere between Rodanthe and Hatteras). We have always stayed in Corolla or Duck in the years before. Since we will be so much further south, I am interested in taking the ferry to Ocracoke for a day to explore but I will have my dogs with me. Is Ocracoke dog friendly? Will we be able to eat somewhere? Would it be better to spend less time there without the dogs (leave the dogs in the rental home)?

On a separate note: if anyone has any tips, advice, must dos (restaurants, experiences) in the area where we are staying it would be much appreciated! We have not selected our house yet but would ideally like to stay as close to Hatteras Island as possible. We do plan on visiting the Shipwreck museum (I am so excited about this!). Thank you so much!!! smiley


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RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Hi everyone! I am so excited to be planning a trip to OBX at the end of August! My group has decided to try something different - we will be renting a home in the more southern part of the OBX (somewhere between Rodanthe and Hatteras). We have always stayed in Corolla or Duck in the years before. Since we will be so much further south, I am interested in taking the ferry to Ocracoke for a day to explore but I will have my dogs with me. Is Ocracoke dog friendly? Will we be able to eat somewhere? Would it be better to spend less time there without the dogs (leave the dogs in the rental home)?

On a separate note: if anyone has any tips, advice, must dos (restaurants, experiences) in the area where we are staying it would be much appreciated! We have not selected our house yet but would ideally like to stay as close to Hatteras Island as possible. We do plan on visiting the Shipwreck museum (I am so excited about this!). Thank you so much!!! smiley

Cricket_OBX


Ocracoke is dog friendly, for the most part. Restaurants like SmacNally's are all outside, and well behaved dogs are generally not a problem. Some places you'll have to leave the dog outside, but in general, dogs seem to be loved and plenty of water bowls are out.

Just consider the environment of wandering around outside on a hot August day; it can be pretty hard for most pups. Make sure you have plenty of water for them. I've flown into Ocracoke with Dogs before (so we didn't have an AC'd vehicle to put them into) and just the walk into town can be brutal on a hot summer day. The good news is there's plenty of places for dogs to take a swim.

Have fun, Ocracoke is a great day trip.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




We stayed in Hatteras Village last year and like you it was our first time this far south. We liked it so much better too. We took the early fairy over so we could beat the crowds. We toured the lighhouse and some of the shops and then ate lunch at Hawards Pub. In my opinion there is not a whole lot to do on the island unless you want to spend the day on the secluded beaches with your 4 wheel drive. We ate lunch at Howards Pub then went back to Hatteras and spent time in our pool and the beach!


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Any village from Rodanthe south to Hatteras Village is ON Hatteras Island. If your goal is to be closest to the ferry, Hatteras Village is where you should look for a rental. The village itself also has walk-to shops, restaurants, etc to visit. My favs there in village are Hatteras Sol for evening meal, Harbor House Seafood for fresh seafood to prepare yourself, or buy something Vicki has oven ready. The museum you mention is there,. The Blue Pelican has nice gifts. Scratchmade snackery for pastries, cakes, indulgences (limited hours), Dancing Turtle coffee. Lee Robinson’s general store is nice too.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Ocracoke is my favorite day trip. You can rent a golf cart if you'd like. That may or may not work with dogs. As 1ADAM12 said - try to get there early, eat lunch early, etc. One of my favorite places to eat is the Jolly Roger. Not so much the food, but sitting on the porch looking out over Silver Lake. Great place to relax in the shade. You might consider a visit to The Village Craftsman. Great shop with all kinds of art and hand made items. Some local, some not. Take a walk down to Springer's Point. Nice trail through the woods that ends on a sandy beach. If you see that perfect whelk shell sitting there in the water, don't be surprised when there's a hermit crab in it! They are numerous there. A walk up to the lighthouse is certainly a must-do. If you're lucky there might be a story teller there to answer questions and tell some of the history. Also the Ocracoke Preservation Society has a great little museum right by the large parking lot. Take a walk down British Cemetary Rd and visit the resting place of 3 British sailors. There is an NPS visitor's center that has some interesting things inside. About 7 miles out of town (between the HI ferry dock and town) there is a pony pen housing the last of the Ocracoke ponies. These were once wild horses that roamed throughout the island (Ocracoke was once the home of the only mounted Boy Scout troop in history - Troop 290). There are many things to do if you want to be more active. We went parasailing last year - had a blast. You can go horseback riding, fishing, rent kayaks, charter a shelling expedition. There are maps online to guide you to some of the oldest Live Oak trees on the island, like Old Hammock. Great place - you can't go wrong, in my opinion. Sorry I can't comment about the dogs - we are a pet-less family.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Thanks for all of the responses! The 2 houses we are considering are located in Waves. I do have 4 wheel drive so we may think about finding a secluded beach on Ocracoke for the day, I'm glad to know that it is overall a dog friendly place! We will definitely have to take the weather into consideration as well - the dogs love to swim so hopefully they will be happy and will be able to keep cool.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




If you want to drive the beach then don’t forget to get a permit through the Park Service, mind their dog leash requirements & be aware of beach closures...


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Ocracoke can be very busy in season in the village - navigating the narrow streets with dogs could be a little tricky - Lots of cars, Bikes, pedestrians and Golf carts in the commercial areas. There are a handful of restaurants that are Pet friendly - but you have to dine outside - which may not be the best seating. Jolly Rodger, Smacnalleys, Dajio, Ocracoke bar & Grill, Gaffers and the oyster company are pet friendly

I don't think you can take dogs into most of the shops

The Beaches & the ocean are awesome - If you just want to go for a beach day with the Pooches - they will love it

If you want to explore the villages & check out the Bars, Shops, & restaurants - I would recommend not bringing the dogs

You will Love staying on Hatteras island - enjoy



.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Our dog, although extremely friendly, was a bit overwhelmed by Ocracoke. We took her in 2016 and between trying to navigate her on the tiny/windy streets and her being overwhelmed, we didn't have much luck having a relaxing trip through the town. I can't imagine what it would've been like if it were hot/humid (we went in Sept).

Last year we left her in her crate at the rental and went on our own and had a much more enjoyable time. We love our dog more than anything but sometimes it's best for all parties involved (dog and humans).

Hope you enjoy your trip to Ocracoke either way, we love it there!


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Just one more note. There are lots of dogs here in the summer. While there is no leash law in Hyde County, I strongly recommend using one. You’ll see plenty of visitor dogs, usually on leash, but, also local dogs out & about on their own. Leash is required on NPS land.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




There’s a pet care boarding/kennel in Rodanthe. Believe they take pets for even a day-visit, not overnight...as well as overnight, or for a multi-day stay.
Ofcourse, there is documentation needed from your personal vet ( check with facility). But if questioning the ease of traveling to and fro for an entire day on O’coke, the may be an option to consider.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Our dog, although extremely friendly, was a bit overwhelmed by Ocracoke. We took her in 2016 and between trying to navigate her on the tiny/windy streets and her being overwhelmed, we didn't have much luck having a relaxing trip through the town. I can't imagine what it would've been like if it were hot/humid (we went in Sept).

Last year we left her in her crate at the rental and went on our own and had a much more enjoyable time. We love our dog more than anything but sometimes it's best for all parties involved (dog and humans).

Hope you enjoy your trip to Ocracoke either way, we love it there!

JeffoC6
Kudos for crating your pup during your stay in somebody's investment. You sound like a considerate guest. Banana Banana Banana


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




We've taken our dog in the off-season and it's been great. I think she'd probably be fine in the middle of the summer, too, but it's nice to let her run on the beach off season (I think technically you're supposed to have them on leash, but if nobody's around...). We would have to keep her leashed in the summer because she's a pretty big dog and doesn't love other dogs that much and loves other people too much.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Thanks everyone! I definitely have some things to consider. My dogs are pretty well behaved on leash (I would never think of taking them out to a public place if they weren't) but I don't want them to get too hot or overwhelmed. We are going at the end of August so I am hopeful that it won't be quite as busy as early-mid August (kids where I'm from start school around the 2nd or 3rd week of August). Thanks again!


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




We only take our dogs on the beach early morning and in the evening during the summer because the sand is too hot for their feet. It didn't seem to bother our lab, though.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Here's our favorite way to do an Ocracoke day...

Get up bright and early. Stop in at harbor Deli and get breakfast wraps. (they are under new ownership so maybe confirm they still have them, if not the Orange blossom is always a solid choice. We usually munch on breakfast while waiting in the ferry line, or on the ferry if there isn't one. The earlier you arrive the less wait is involved. We like to try to make the ferry around 7:38:30.

Once off the ferry we head straight to ramp 72, the last ramp as you enter the village. Take the sand road out and turn right onto the beach. Drive as far south as the closures allow and set up for the day. From there as long as the closure is open to pedestrians, you shoudl be able to walk in and explore the southern tip to your heart's content. It changes shape and size every year with various tide pools and lagoons, and on a good day the water is crystal clear. We've found tons of sand dollars there. We normally bring a grill and have lunch on the beach.

Once we get our fill of sun and sand, we come back out of the ramp and turn back towards the ferry and drive north a few miles until we get to the ramp/parking area that has the outdoor showers.We get cleaned up and head into town where we rent golf carts and ride for a couple of hours. it's the easiest way to explore all the nooks and crannies of the island. There's alot more than you'd see staying on route 12 tucked away on the side streets. Our dogs always rode along with us on the carts. If it's timed right, we would take the golf cart to the public boat ramp where 12 dead ends and watch the sunset.

We usually choose Smacnally's or Jolly Roger due to the dogs being able to sit in the open air restaurants, and we love the view of silver lake and all the happenings. Some nights they may have live music at either place.

Then after dinner we head back to the ferry and are usually so beat we sleep the whole way back. ;)


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Thanks AmyS - that sounds great!

Question: Do I need to purchase a permit to drive on the beach in Ocracoke? I've driven the Corolla/Carova 4x4 beach and we didn't need a permit but I'm not sure how things work at this end of the OBX. If so, where/how do I go about obtaining one?

Thanks!


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Thanks AmyS - that sounds great!

Question: Do I need to purchase a permit to drive on the beach in Ocracoke? I've driven the Corolla/Carova 4x4 beach and we didn't need a permit but I'm not sure how things work at this end of the OBX. If so, where/how do I go about obtaining one?

Thanks!

Cricket_OBX


You need a National Park Service Permit, which can be purchased at one the various Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitors centers. It's $50 for 10 days. This permit is good for all of the NPS beaches south of Nags Heads.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Yes, Brad is correct. There is a permit and a fee. If you do not wish to purchase a permit, simply find a public access with a parking lot. The one across from the pony pasture has a lifegaurd.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Yes, Brad is correct. There is a permit and a fee. If you do not wish to purchase a permit, simply find a public access with a parking lot. The one across from the pony pasture has a lifegaurd.

AmyS
...and most importantly, rinsing showers!


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Yes, Brad is correct. There is a permit and a fee. If you do not wish to purchase a permit, simply find a public access with a parking lot. The one across from the pony pasture has a lifegaurd.

AmyS


Actually, the lifeguard beach is just outside the village. There is no lifeguard at the pony pen access.


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Thanks AmyS - that sounds great!

Question: Do I need to purchase a permit to drive on the beach in Ocracoke? I've driven the Corolla/Carova 4x4 beach and we didn't need a permit but I'm not sure how things work at this end of the OBX. If so, where/how do I go about obtaining one?

Thanks!

Cricket_OBX


https://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/permitsandreservations.htm#ORV


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




We've been going to Ocracoke in early August for about twenty years and when our pooch was alive, we always brought her on our trip. She was a Swissy (is your avatar a Berner?), however, and NOT built for the beach, so we always left her in the house when we went to the beach during the day. (We walked her on the beach around 7-8 am and then took late afternoon walks with her.) Ocracoke is a pretty dog-friendly place, but as folks have said, it can be brutally hot with little respite from the sun, heat, and humidity.

There IS a dog boarding place, however, that also does doggie daycare, which would actually be MY recommendation. That way, you can explore with no worry and yet still have the pooches at the ready for, say, a swim. It's called Sandy Paws and if you look it up on Yelp, you'll see only good reviews. A friend we met down there always boarded her beloved Sheltie there and highly recommended it. (Folks who board their dogs during their stay can come and take their dogs anytime during the day, which is a plus.) Here's the Yelp link (I don't think they have a website of their own). It might be worth a call soon; because it's small, it fills up early.

Good luck!

www.yelp.com/biz/sandy-paws-bed-and-biscuit-inn-and-grooming-ocracoke


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Sargasso -

Thanks for the information. The dog in my picture is a border collie, I have 2. He is a bigger border collie so lots of people ask me if he is a Berner (which is a dog breed I'd love to own one day). I have some things to think about; however, I still have over 6 months to go so plenty of time unfortunately. I'm ready for some warm weather!


RE: Day trip to Ocracoke - questions




Yes, Brad is correct. There is a permit and a fee. If you do not wish to purchase a permit, simply find a public access with a parking lot. The one across from the pony pasture has a lifegaurd.

AmyS


Actually, the lifeguard beach is just outside the village. There is no lifeguard at the pony pen access.

JohnMosesBrowning


You're right!! My bad, I don't use the pedestrian accesses all that often. smiley