The most isolated of the Outer Banks villages, Ocracoke is only accessible through ferry, airplane or private boat. The quaint town is ranked as one of the top ten beaches in the world by Dr. Beach (Stephen Leatherman). On his Today Show appearance, he described the white sands and clean waters of Ocracoke as a "real getaway" beach. Ocracoke was also ranked as the second finest beach in America in 2005. And it's true beauty and unspoiled beaches hold true to its reputation. The village is located around the Silver Lake Harbor, a beautiful seaside harbor. The original residents of the scenic beach were a group of Native Americans from the Wocon tribe. When explorers came to the shore, many used the land to raise livestock such as sheep. Yet, pirates also have a history on Ocracoke as it is said that the famous pirate Blackbeard died here in 1718 while fighting in a naval battle.
The Ocracoke Lighthouse, the shortest lighthouse along the North Carolina coast, is one of the oldest beacons still active in America. The lighthouse was essential during the maritime history as it helped guide many ships around the infamous Diamond Shoals. For the hundreds who were not fortunate to make it safely into port, the residents salvaged wood to build homes with - which you can see by visiting the historic district. Only a little more than one third of Ocracoke isn't protected by Cape Hatteras National Seashore property and this helps to keep the island from being built up. While the off season population remains stable and provides a small town beach community, the influx of summer travelers continues to grow each year.