What’s Ocracoke like in the winter time? Quiet. This little island goes back to its primal roots with the only occupants being year-round residents and a few duck hunters. A desolate sandbar is not for the average person, but for others this wholesome time can be a period many look forward to and enjoy.
Barren. Cold. Calm. Quiet. These are a few of the words that come to mind when describing winter on Ocracoke. Where thousands of visitors packed busy summer streets leaves roads empty and less traveled. Where crowded beaches were overflowed with tourists remain isolated with you as the only guest. It’s a different time for sure. Few businesses are open. Rather than considering twenty plus dining options for the next meal, dining that evening may be a home-cooked meal or take-out from one of two restaurants open. For some, it can sound harsh. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it can be, especially when ferries quit running or inclement weather invades. However, for some people like me, it is time I enjoy. It is time I get to spend on myself. This is when I have an entire stretch of beach all to myself. My happy place. I look forward to my long, romantic beach walks with the dogs – entranced by a picturesque deep blue, beautiful sky and clouds and the fresh salt air breezing past my face. It is possible to walk for miles and not pass another single soul. Or, how about curling up by the fire with a cozy blanket, cup of coffee and a good book. This, too, is one of my favorite pastimes and most places on the island even tend to offer a good view. I take time for myself to self-reflect, enjoy the little things I so very often overlook in the busy summer season. It’s a time for me to catch up with those I miss during the other months of the year. And of course, travel. This offseason has been slightly different compared to the rest because of COVID, but I am making the most of it. Did I mention self-reflection? Spending quality time by myself has been a humbling experience. I can say I am renewed, recharged, and ready to tackle the year ahead.
Ocracoke in winter is magical. I encourage others looking for their next quaint getaway to consider this little barrier island community. It does wonders for those in search of a breath of fresh air and time for oneself. You’ll leave a better person with a happy heart and thankful for the time away.