Ranked the second-best beach in America by Dr. Beach in 2020, Ocracoke Lifeguard Beach is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and operated by the National Park Service. Even in peak season, there’s plenty of room. Plus, there are lifeguards on duty during the day (between Memorial Day and Labor Day), ample parking, restrooms, outdoor showers, water fountains, a wheelchair-friendly beach access ramp, and a boardwalk to the beach. Need rental gear for the beach? Check out Beach Outfitters.
There are ramps along Highway 12 that provide off-road vehicle access to the drivable sections of the beach. To drive on the beach, you will need to get either a 10-day or annual permit here.