Wheeler

Ocracoke for non-fisher-people?

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I've never actually been to the island, but trying to convince my wife that this is a good place for us to vacation. I know it has what I'm looking for, but what does it have to offer for the non-fisher-person? Not looking for nightlife, but my wife likes things like "cute stores", coffee shops, biking/walking, beach bars, good food, live music, book stores, arts, pottery, etc. Is this mainly a fishing destination or are there other entertainment options there?

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Yea, there are cute stores, there's a cool coffee house (zillies?) that also does food/wine tasting, plenty of walking/biking trails, live local  music in season. There are a half dozen or so bars and a brewery.

There is the Ocracoke Village Craftsmen area, where there are numerous small shops, musicians and cool stuff in general. There are no beach bars that I've ever seen, a least one bar that overlooks the harbor. 

All the shops, bars, restaurants and such are individually owned, there are no chain stores. One gas station that is known to run out of gas sometimes, plan accordingly.

 

In season, the little island can get crowded. 

 

Decent food is abundant, good food is not. I shouldn't say that, every place on the island has good food, but in 30 years going down there, I've never had what I would consider great food. 

If your wife is into yoga, I have a friend who's an instructor and does yoga on the beach as well as doing pints & yoga at the brewery, 

You know what I go there for, and that's all I really do, so I'm not up on what the hip people do. But I do know, the majority of the visitors are not fishermen. 

If you are on FB, there is an Ocracoke Island page where this question will get lots of answers.

My girlfriend is not much of a surf fisher and she enjoys time there, though she does get bored quickly....  

 

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10 mins ago, ByronPA said:

Yea, there are cute stores, there's a cool coffee house (zillies?) that also does food/wine tasting, plenty of walking/biking trails, live local  music in season. There are a half dozen or so bars and a brewery.

There is the Ocracoke Village Craftsmen area, where there are numerous small shops, musicians and cool stuff in general. There are no beach bars that I've ever seen, a least one bar that overlooks the harbor. 

All the shops, bars, restaurants and such are individually owned, there are no chain stores. One gas station that is known to run out of gas sometimes, plan accordingly.

 

In season, the little island can get crowded. 

 

Decent food is abundant, good food is not. I shouldn't say that, every place on the island has good food, but in 30 years going down there, I've never had what I would consider great food. 

If your wife is into yoga, I have a friend who's an instructor and does yoga on the beach as well as doing pints & yoga at the brewery, 

You know what I go there for, and that's all I really do, so I'm not up on what the hip people do. But I do know, the majority of the visitors are not fishermen. 

If you are on FB, there is an Ocracoke Island page where this question will get lots of answers.

My girlfriend is not much of a surf fisher and she enjoys time there, though she does get bored quickly....  

 

Thanks, this all sounds great. Ill check out the FB page. :howdy:

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One thing to keep in mind, if your wife is a beach person. Although Ocracoke is an island in the ocean, the ocean is not visible from most of the island roads, walkways, etc. And without 4WD, there are only a few places to access the beach, none of them are in town, though the airport access isn't that long of a walk/bike ride.. 

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While there is nothing but the ferry terminal at the north end of the island, it does have restrooms, showers, parking, a pretty beach, and some killer flounder fishing. I've also seen people pull some large puppy drum out of there.

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1 hour ago, ByronPA said:

One thing to keep in mind, if your wife is a beach person. Although Ocracoke is an island in the ocean, the ocean is not visible from most of the island roads, walkways, etc. And without 4WD, there are only a few places to access the beach, none of them are in town, though the airport access isn't that long of a walk/bike ride.. 

Yes, I was aware of that. I assume that this (along with the difficulty of getting here) is part of what keeps the prices so reasonable?

 

Also, a question from a home-owners standpoint... Are the houses here considered "safer" than typical beachfront houses on OBX since they are set back from the ocean? ie: Is insurance more reasonable/available for houses on Ocracoke than it would be for houses on other parts of the OBX?

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"Reasonable" as far as prices goes is very subjective. As far as "safer" - not really and certainly not from an insurance perspective. A barrier island is a barrier island and hurricanes don't notice much difference in setback. Still would be a beautiful place to live...

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I've never thought that lodging was any cheaper on Ocracoke than mainland OBX? But, I've never really paid any attention, so they could be.

For some people, the ferry system keeps them away. It used to be a half hour, now it's an hour, I always sort of enjoy it. Another thing is, that coming from the North, Ocracoke is another 2-3 hours from nags head, and many people from up my way are tired of driving by the time they get to nags head. 

And, frankly, there are a large number of folks that want water parks, go carts, outlet malls and mcdonalds..... 

 

I have no idea about homeowners insurance. But I'd have to think that the costs would be higher simply because the cost of rebuilding would be much greater. Remember, everything has to get there by ferry, cement/concrete, lumber, windows, laborers, food, drink, everything takes longer and costs more to get there...But, that's just all a guess on my part.   

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23 mins ago, hhager23 said:

Still would be a beautiful place to live...

Yea, maybe. I spend most of my time down there between November and March, and I'll tell you, winters are long on that little sandbar. I love it down there, but I have to think I'd go bonkers after a couple months of living there in the winter. And summer is worse with the never ending onslaught of tourists. It really takes a special type of personality to live on a little island with 500 other people. I mean, going to the grocery store or the Doctors office involves a 2/3 hour trip, one way..... 

Edited by ByronPA

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46 mins ago, ByronPA said:

I've never thought that lodging was any cheaper on Ocracoke than mainland OBX? But, I've never really paid any attention, so they could be.

Maybe Im just comparing it to the ocean-front places we usually look at in Nags Head which are definitely not cheap? 

 

1 hour ago, hhager23 said:

As far as "safer" - not really and certainly not from an insurance perspective. A barrier island is a barrier island and hurricanes don't notice much difference in setback. 

I would assume non-ocean-front house would be less vulnerable to storm-surge / flooding? Was Ocracoke damaged as badly as the other Southern OBX towns during the recent hurricanes? I have no idea?

 

52 mins ago, ByronPA said:

I love it down there, but I have to think I'd go bonkers after a couple months of living there in the winter. And summer is worse with the never ending onslaught of tourists.

Yeah, in my dreams Id have a place that I could stay for a couple weeks/month in the spring and fall, rent it out in the summer, and let it sit vacant in the winter. :)

 

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8 mins ago, Wheeler said:

and let it sit vacant in the winter.

That's where your good friend Byron comes into the picture .....

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16 mins ago, ByronPA said:

That's where your good friend Byron comes into the picture .....

LOL... I'll keep you in mind when I hit the lottery. :hi5:

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Ocracoke is quiet and not much to do or see. Once you hit the lighthouse and Marina and all the shops which can be done in about two days. The southern end of Hatteras Island has much more and is well suited for the "non-fisher person" Lots of great places to eat and shop... lodging choices are better to.

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