Traveling all the way from Corolla, NC to Ocracoke Island, NC is a LONG trip! Especially if there’s traffic…
It’s about a 120-mile drive from Corolla to Ocracoke Island, and the journey will take you about 3.5 hours to complete.
Wait, over 3 hours to go 120 miles? That doesn’t sound right…
Well yeah, if you were driving on a normal major highway or interstate, it’d take only about 2 hours to travel the same distance. The portion of the trip that really slows you down is the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island.
With no bridges connecting the island to the rest of the Outer Banks, travelers must utilize the ferry to access Ocracoke Island. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and departs on a regular schedule during most days.
Be very careful though!
The Ocracoke Island ferry doesn’t run all night. The last trip of the evening is around 8 or 9 o’clock. If you miss the last ferry, you’ll have no choice but to spend the night!
There’s plenty to do and see on this isolated island; eclectic shops, locally-owned restaurants, award-winning beaches, and an all-white painted lighthouse await.
Everyone who visits the Outer Banks on an annual basis should make a point to check out Ocracoke Island at least once… it’s a trip that’s well worth the trouble! Plus, there’s plenty to stop and see on your drive from Corolla.
Both Bodie Island Lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be easy to spot while driving along NC 12. You’ll also travel over the Hebert C. Bonner Bridge, which offers drivers and passengers spectacular views of Oregon Inlet and Pea Island.
Route from Corolla to Ocracoke Island
When leaving Corolla, you will drive south on NC 12 through Duck and Southern Shores. Once you hit Kitty Hawk, you can hop on the bypass while you make your way through Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head.
Once you reach about milepost 17, it’s back to NC 12 for the remainder of the journey until you reach the ferry docks in Hatteras.