Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weekend Getaway: Ocracoke

Posted April 14, 2006

How about Easter sunrise at Ocracoke? Sounds delightful to me. This one of a kind North Carolina coastal village is our weekend getaway. Ocracoke doesn't look like your typical Tar Heel beach town. The centerpiece is tranquil Silver Lake. The village encircles the lake in a setting that looks more like New England than North Carolina. It takes some work to get to Ocracoke. You can take the two hour plus ferry ride from Cedar Island or Swan Quarter or the quick trip from Hatteras. I once rented a boat to take me from Cedar Island to Ocracoke. Stormy weather prevented the ferry from operating but we were determined to get to Ocracoke for a documentary on Blackbeard. We made it but it was the coldest I have ever been. Winter winds sting like a legion of wasps on the Outer Banks. You'll enjoy summer-like winds this weekend. Well, pretty close. Temperatures will soar into the mid and upper 70's this weekend. The seafood is wonderful here. You can't miss. There are lots of great places to stay. Author Alton Ballance runs a charmingly historic bed & breakfast here. Ballance once invited me to deliver the commencement address to the graduating seniors at Ocracoke High School - all eight of them! I was quite honored by the invitation. This is a special place where the high tide dialect still prospers and a whitewash lighthouse stands guard over the harbor. Fishing is outstanding on the island. The beaches are broad and pristine. Ocracoke frequently ranks as one of the top beaches in the world.

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