Friday, September 26, 2008


Recently a reader asked about the off-season, wondering what restaurants and shops are open, and how long into the fall/winter. This is an inquiry that is difficult to answer. Some shops begin closing for the season in October, although several (including Village Craftsmen) stay open through Thanksgiving (when many folks have a long weekend, and we have a 2-3 day rush of business for holiday shopping), and even into December. The island is very slow after Thanksgiving, but has a bit of a bump during the Christmas holiday. Almost all of the specialty shops are closed January, February, and at least part of March, with businesses reopening in April or around the Easter holiday.

It is hard to say much about restaurants, except that most close during the off-season. Most years at least one restaurant stays open during the winter, but not always. It can be cold and blustery. Islanders hunker down to stay warm, have friends over for get-togethers, catch up on reading, and take winter trips.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the wreck of the Victoria S, and Ocracoke's first automobile accident. You can read it here.


  1. Anonymous12:06 PM

    What are the demographics of Ocracoke island? Drop-out rates income levels for Hyde County ? Did I read 32%of ninth graders graduate in four years. I guess that means 68% don't or it takes them longer?

    At least they could read "Free Stuff take anything you want"

    At the water cooler we decided the biker needed a ride to the ferry this is why he/she did not take it on the ferry.

    also, does "Bill Jones" remember what mail he received that day does he thnk it has been re-delivered?

  2. I don't know the answers to any of these questions! I don't know where the 32% figure came from, and I don't know what the correct figure is, but every class I am familiar with has a much higher graduation rate. Ocracoke School is a NC School of Excellence, which is defined as a school with at least 90% of the students at or above grade level.

  3. Anonymous10:03 AM

    We come there alot and the best place for us to find to eat at is the Pub. Howard's Pub is never closed for off season. The only time I knew it closed was when the bridges were being revamped. We like Captain Ben's but they close I think in October. Variety Store and the Pub is all you need while you are down there. Get your main items on the mainland before you come. Well it is 12 more days & I'll be there for a week. Got to do some fishing with my hubby.

  4. Although Howard's Pub has traditionally been open year 'round that may not always be the case (maybe someone associated with the Pub can enlighten us). The Variety Store is open year 'round, as is the Community Store. You can purchase just about anything you need from one of these island stores (and help ensure that they stay open for your next off-season visit).

  5. Anonymous8:52 PM

    Is the Back Porch Restaurant still there? I have not visited O. in years but have many memories of evenings spent enjoying the hospitality, the food, the beach atmosphere! Love the island!

  6. The Back Porch is open and thriving. Don't know when they are planning on closing for the season.