For a free boat ride, take the hour-long ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. To get to Ocracoke from Hatteras, drive onto the ferry at the south end of Hatteras Island. You’ll cross Hatteras Inlet and end up on the absolutely charming island of Ocracoke, where you’ll definitely want to spend a few hours or a whole day exploring the village shops, restaurants and historic sites. Once you get off the ferry onto Ocracoke Island, you’ll need transportation – your car or a bicycle – because it’s about 13 miles from the ferry dock to the village. But you can walk right over to the pristine beaches of Ocracoke directly from the ferry docks. If you're already on Ocracoke and want to get to Hatteras, you'll need to drive up to the north end of the island to catch the ferry. It's about a 20-minute drive from town. Monday through Friday in summer (May 15 through October 1) the ferry departs from Hatteras and Ocracoke at varying intervals from 5 a.m. until midnight. Sunday sees a 4:30 a.m. departure, and the last ferry runs at midnight. Give them a call or check the ferry schedule on ncdot.gov for exact times of departures as they vary by season.
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