This is a great family place with lots to do. Also a great couples 'retreat' for a weekend get away! Rent bikes and ride around the island. Visit the beautiful lighthouse and just enjoy the amazing scenery. Great hometown restaurant with hometown feeling bar. Fabulous restaurants and great campgrounds!
We took the ferry over to Ocracoke Island for the day. The ferry ride was probably more exciting for my kids (ages 8,6, and 2) than the actual island. It's a sleepy town, but certainly enough to fill a day up with activities. Don't miss the wild ponies (that are actually penned in) on the right after you leave the ferry. There's even a short nature trail to a second vantage point. Tons of pull offs if you want to spend your day on a beach...and have it practically to yourself! The downtown area is cute with a few small shops, a coupe of inns and plenty or restaurants.
We were there before the main tourist season began and several of the restaurants were closed, but had no trouble finding a place to eat. If you are going to stay longer than a day, be ready for a slow vacation (which is sometimes what you need!!)
Ocracoke Island was entertaining in a lazy sort of way. We stayed at Blackbeard's Lodge which was rather fun. We were able to visit the Lighthouse and enjoy some local fare. Many shops were closed when we went because it was early spring. Take extra cash...the meals were expensive. The ferry ride was a big plus and a first for us. Be sure to make reservations if you choose to take the ferry to Swans Quarter though. I personally enjoyed the long drive from the Hatteras Lighthouse though.
We went on a school trip to the Outerbanks and spent a day on Ocracoke Island. We took the ferry over from Hatteras to the island and rented bicycles. Bicycles are a great way to see the island, but there were no helmets to rent. The highlights were the light house, the British cemetery and stopping for ice cream.