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“Hampton Inn is my idea of camping...”

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Ocracoke Campground
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Hampton Inn is my idea of camping...”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Just returned from a long weekend of camping. First time I've camped in almost 20 years. Usually rent a house in Hatteras Village, but thought I'd give camping a try. Chose this campground partly due to the fact that they take reservations. Have only ever done day trips to Ocracoke thought it would be fun to stay longer.

Can't say I'm a fan of the "here's your registration paper, drive around, pick out a few spots and come back to check to see if any of them are available" process, but whatever. Lucked into a dune-side spot (D3) - loved the spot.

Pros
bushes gave a sense of privacy
proximity to beach - although this spot has one of the taller dunes to climb
bathrooms were clean

Cons
even though there was a "public" access path next to our site, people were constantly traipsing through our site - annoying as we were trying to get to sleep
lack of shade (not that we weren't warned of this)
quiet time apparently doesn't mean the same to all
MOSQUITOS!!!

Not sure if we will return to the campgrounds, but only because camping really isn't our thing.

LOVED Ocracoke as a destination!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Littleskatersmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Gainesville, Virginia, United States
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2013

So my boyfriend and I camped here from August 11th- August 14th and it was fantastic! Definitely had a lot of fun. Ok so into specifics:

The Good:

-It is RIGHT on the beach, we chose one of the dune campgrounds and it was amazing how close it was!
-The stars were beautiful.
-The bathrooms are pretty clean.
-The neighbors were all very quiet, it wasn't difficult to get sleep.
-It's really nice that the beach doesn't "close", we spent quite a few nights sitting on the beach talking late into the night.
-The rangers are really nice, but not intrusive at all.
-Alcohol is allowed! As long as you're not being ridiculous.
-There are bunnies everywhere, which is adorable.
-If you have a dune campsite you have quite a bit of privacy. Much more than if you stayed at one of the other campgrounds in town. I checked them out when we went to town one day and they all looked really cramped and had very little privacy.

The Bad:

-Mosquitos: They are pretty bad. Buy two or three bottles of permethrin and soak your tent, chairs, and at least one outfit of clothes beforehand. Wear those clothes when you're walking around the campsite or going to the bathroom at night. Do not underestimate the power of permethrin, it is godly. You will barely get any bites. Also, invest in a pack of mosquito coils and stakes. Keep those burning while you're at the campsite. Spray yourself down with spray after every time you go swimming or shower.

We did all of these things the first day and had no problems. This led to me illogically assuming that I was somehow immune to bug bites. The second day I was nowhere near as vigilant (because of my imagined magic powers) and I ended up getting quite a few bites. As long as you keep up on it, it won't be a problem. Also, the bathrooms seemed to be the worst place for mosquitos.

-Weather: We managed to go camping during a few days where it rained each night. Our friends stayed with us the first night and their tent completely flooded. Make sure you have a tarp to extra weatherproof your tent just in case, deep stakes (the wind was crazy whipping over the dunes), and have everything scotch guarded before you leave home. Test your tents with a hose to make sure everything is tight.

-Fires: The rules were slightly confusing for fires. I read beforehand that you could have beach fires if you got a beach fire permit, but there were tons of signs saying you could not have a fire on the campground beach. We read through the permit multiple times, and it didn't really say specifically where fires were allowed. We didn't want to haul wood a mile down the beach for a fire, so we just ended up not having one. Looking back, we probably could have just asked a ranger.

Additional Tips:

-Everything is more expensive on the island. Definitely buy as much as you can at home and bring it down.
-Bring charcoal and lighter fluid for the grill. We had a portable propane stove, but we ran out of propane really quickly. It would have been nice if we had a charcoal fire to fall back on (instead of having to drive into town mid-meal prep to buy another tank). The smoke from the grill also helps scare away mosquitos!
-Bring more blankets, we only brought one and my boyfriend ended up getting pretty chilly.
- Go see the ponies! They have ponies on the island similar to the chincoteague ponies.
-Crabbing is a great, cheap way to get your own food! Unlike fishing, crabbing does not require a permit if you use the ole chicken tied to a string trick (you can catch up to 50 per person). We found a tiny platform next to one of the bridges and we sat there awhile catching blue crabs.



Overall I would definitely go back, but hopefully in much better weather. It is NOT a place for those who can't handle roughing it.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Jennifer O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredericksburg, VA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2013

My first camping trip ever was here Oct 2012. Only there 2 days and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't totally comfortable with sleeping on the ground. We came back accompanied with a blow-up mattress and good food and drink. I had one of the most enjoyable vacations ever. I knew what to expect and never did my hair or make-up the whole time. I did find out there are an electric receptacles in the bathrooms. The showers were cold, I think they piped the water in from New England. After a day on the beach, it felt good but in the evenings it was a bit chilly. We stayed in Section D which is closest to the water. Nightly rental is $23. You can drive through and pick your spot. Of course those closest to the beach are hardest to obtain. The beach was right over the dune. We removed the top of the tent and stargazed for hours. The sound of the ocean was so soothing and the light breeze was perfect. Surprisingly, the mosquitos were minimal but the flies were kind of bad. We had a good rain proof tent and an ez shade canopy. It stormed two nights but we had staked everything down and we were good. We had a mosquito machine that we kept in the tent. The campers are very friendly and trustworthy. People left their cells in bathrooms charging and some nice campers donated lighter fluid more than likely after hearing us get into a discussion on how to get a fire lit with the wind blowing. We had a great time and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get away from everything. We even found a private sand bar up by the ferry and spent a day near calmer water. The island was covered in shells and we brought back many souvenirs.

Room Tip: Come in on a Monday or Tuesday for oceanfront camping spots.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank IslandCamper2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
midlothian
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2013

Loved our recent stay here. weather was perfect - nice breeze and no mosquitos for some reason! the location is great - the beach here is beautiful. we liked not having all the 'frills' of a KOA campground. Just the basics. would have been nice to have some shade - so if you need it, bring it with you.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank kudra I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2013

If you can't live without a full hook-up, don't go there.
If you can't live without having a shop on the premises, don't go there.
If you can't stand a campground without swimming pool, laundry, TV, WiFi..., don't go there

If you love quietness and beautiful beach... rush !

We were there around 07/18: the campground was half empty, very quiet, the huge beach was almost empty. Nature is great. Yes, mosquito's are great, too !

and indeed the showers have cold water only. But when it's 95F outside, you don't use hot water anyway, so...

The rangers were very helpful helping us find good spots on the island

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank LePhile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Little Switzerland, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2013

If you're looking for luxury, don't stay here. The campground is flat, grassy, near the beach, and loaded with bugs. Think about taking a screen room, bug repellent, citronella candles--whatever works for you. The showers are cold; the restrooms are satisfactory. The beach is fantastic. At night you will think you can reach up and touch the stars! The location is several miles north of the protected beach and the town, and several miles south of the Hatteras Ferry. Your kids will not be bored; they make their own fun! Rip-tide problems continue throughout the Outer Banks; be sure you have a plan. The protected beach is a good place for families with children.

Room Tip: Generators are allowed on specific loops.
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Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank 75footloose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blacksburg, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2013

I had stayed in motel lodging in Ocracoke for two nights and stayed one night in the NPS campground so I could linger one more day on the island. Did not have reservations but got a decent site coming in around 1 PM. I was at B-2 where it was grassy and near a dumpster but it wasn't bad. Good access to the restrooms and beach trail.The camp has several resident cotton-tail bunnies who were not very afraid of people. It was a breezy evening, really lovely. The 'June bugs' were out in force. I had set up my beach cabana with a mosquito net covering so I could sit out in the evening and that was nice, not being pestered by the June bugs which just feel creepy when they get on you. (They do not bite.) No mosquitos to speak of but there were no-see-ums early in the morning when I did a bathroom call at dawn. I could actually see them gathering on the netting of the tent door. The beach area is pristine and just beautiful, miles of beautiful. So much nicer than the Oregon Inlet beach area. It was really wonderful to go to sleep with the sound of the ocean in my ears.

I had my bike with me - there is a bike path into town. I put my bike on the car rack and drove into town, parked in the NPS lot near the ferry dock and then rode my bike in town. But you could easily ride into town - only about 3 miles of flat riding. I traveled alone and felt very safe at the campsite and at Ocracoke.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
Helpful?
5 Thank 84Hokie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ocracoke Campground

Property: Ocracoke Campground
Address: 4352 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke, NC 27960
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Outer Banks > Ocracoke
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Ocracoke
Number of rooms: 131
Also Known As:
Ocracoke Campground Hotel Ocracoke

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