Ocracoke over Christmas?

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by tawood, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    So my daughter and I have decided to take an annual mini-vacation, lasting about 4 days over Christmas vacation, to somewhere within 5 or so hours flight time from Michigan in our PA28. Last year we went to Memphis over Christmas and had a great trip. We got lucky with fantastic weather: mid-60s, little rain, etc. We took our fold-up bikes, and saw all the sites.
    So this year, I'm looking for somewhere new. I was wondering if anyone has ever been to Ocracoke in December/January. What's it like then? We spend our winters in Michigan, so a daily average high in the mid-50s sounds just fine...but, being on the coast, how is the weather otherwise? Are there things to do? Calling @Rushie ...I think you've mentioned Ocracoke before...
    Of course, I'd be open to other ideas as well. Jekyll Island Georgia sounds great, but it probably would be a bit far from Michigan for just 4 days. My daughter is only 18, so places like Atlantic City will be reserved for trips to come in a few years...(dad's only vice is the poker room)
     
  2. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I spent the 3 days leading up to Christmas 2001 in Ocracoke. It's very quiet and few of the tourist businesses are open. Great if you are there with your girlfriend, maybe not the best with a kid.
     
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  3. Rushie

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    We loved Ocracoke in December/January. It's off season so all the tourist crowds are gone although there's a bump Christmas/New Year's Eve but nothing like the summer crowds.

    Weather, it can be quite chilly with the wind chill factor but you might also have some sunny nice days. After Christmas a lot of the businesses are closed. January/February gets deserted but that suited us. I hate people. The fewer the better. So not many places open but it's great for just walking around town, hanging out in your cabin, cooking in. Unfortunately it looks like Howard's Pub is no longer open off season. We used to love walking to Howard's Pub in the evenings, eat oysters, drink beer, kids would play pool and fooseball. You might want to find out what restaurants are open year round.

    It's a very laid back relaxing place to be in the winter. We used to host the whole family and play board games and charades and just hang out. The kids would ride bikes around town and we didn't worry they'd be kidnapped because - it's an island!
     
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  4. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    I'm with you @Rushie when it comes to people/crowds, the fewer the better. I'm happy with no one around and just a book to read...My daughter doesn't need touristy stuff, but having something to do, whatever that is, would suit her. Can you crab in December? Are there things to see within bicycle distance? Beach combing? Fishing in season? Just thinking of a few things off the top of my head that she would probably enjoy...
     
  5. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Meet the Fokkers
    Man, I know it's spelled with a K, but I thought for a second this was a new flavor Coke was introducing for the holidays.

    whew!
     
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  6. Brad Z

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    I spend a fair amount of time down that way as we have a place in Frisco NC, walking distance from Billy Mitchell Airport, just across the Ferry from Ocracoke on Hatteras Island.

    Ocracoke is pretty quiet in the winter, but there will be a few things open. Fishing is good in December if you're into big offshore tuna, but surf fishing slows down by late December. No crabbing that time of year as the crabs will be buried deep in the mud at deep depths. Beach combing is always good, and you can have some lovely beach days (and some bitterly cold beach days too!). It usually too cold to swim, although I was in the ocean in December last year. Bikes are always available to rent, as are golf carts, to get you around town. The only down side to flying in is you may want to rent a 4x4 to really get out on the beach. There is also a guy who will drive you out on the beach as well, but I'm not sure if he's providing that service off season. A trip to Portsmouth Island could be fun as well if the weather is good; you can hire the Austin brothers to ferry you over (and pick you back up). Winter is a good time for shell collecting, particularly after a storm.
     
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  7. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    wait, aren't you one of those?

    P.S. I'm the same way... I'd rather spend the day with a dog, rather than most of the people I know...
     
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  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    speaking of the beach, how's the PoA Beach Party planning coming along?
     
  9. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    hey!
     
  10. FlySince9

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    I said, "most" Got to keep you on my good side until at least next sunday... LOL
     
  11. FlySince9

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    what beach party?
     
  12. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    What, you didn't get your invitation? :)
     
  13. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    I love the beach in winter. Hell, even the Jersey Shore is enjoyable in wintertime, down around Avalon and Stone Harbor.
     
  14. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Take a look at Charleston SC as a possible destination. Fly into KLRO [Mt. Pleasant] and stay at Isle of Palms [get great off-season rates] which is a 15 minute drive from downtown Charleston. If you are a foodie you will access to the best restaurants in the world. While you are there you can show your daughter the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University, and even the Citadel. Trust me, this is worth investigating.
     
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  15. tawood

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    We go to the Charleston area every fall...Seabrook Island. We love that area.
     
  16. tawood

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    I said the same thing!
     
  17. Rushie

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    Thanks for answering his questions, I don't know anything about fishing and crabbing. Great point about renting a vehicle. We kept a 4x4 down there so had transportation when we flew in. I would think you'd want to rent one. There's also the ponies you can go see, that'll kill a half hour, ha ha!
     
  18. Rushie

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    Well I did say I hate people, plural. It's crowds of strangers I can't stand. A single person here or there is okay. :D
     
  19. wrbix

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    I’d second Charleston, SC - a GREAT walking town.
    Fly into Charleston Exec, Uber to hotel on the peninsula (Indigo Inn - Ignatius at front desk will take good care of y’all). Great dining, great history, impressive architecture, shopping, carriage rides, Aquarium is good, lots of cultural events all year long. Again, you can walk to everything.
    Widely said to be the friendliest city in America.
     
  20. Brad Z

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    I'm not sure where in SE Michigan you are, but swinging an arc down the coast, Charleston SC is only about 39nm farther. I LOVE Ocracoke, but I wouldn't want to spoil your first visit by going at such an off time, especially with an 18yo. There's a lot to do in CHS and the city is quite lovely at Christmas. It's also served by commercial air service in case weather isn't cooperative.
     
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  21. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    As long as you didn’t kill Indigo’s father...
     
  22. weilke

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    Go to Charleston and add a day-trip to Ocracoke.

    I had a good time in Ocracoke in December. But then, I got engaged on day 1 of the 3 day trip ;-)
     
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  23. Skyrys62

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    Same here...We may have to head toward Louisville instead of French Lick then ;)
     
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  24. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Agreed
     
  25. tawood

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    As I posted above, we go to Charleston yearly...looking for somewhere different. (but I do appreciate the suggestions)
     
  26. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Missed that...

    I'd suggest Asheville, NC. Rent a cabin with a view about 15 mins outside of town (check VRBO and others). Downtown should have quite a bit going on, but not crowded. Lots of great restaurants... hiking.. tour Biltmore Estate. Drive over to Mt. Mitchell and hike up to the top (its an easy hike) and maybe 35-40 min drive IIRC.

    Asheville is relatively mild in the winter, its not that elevated. Big, towered airport that is low-traffic.
     
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  27. Brad Z

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    I missed the CHS note too.

    Williamsburg/Jamestown is nice at at Christmas, not as crowded lots of period-related decorations. You could add in Richmond and Charlottesville too.

    Asheville is nice destination (must try 12 Bones BBQ near airport!) and the town has a nice hippy vibe that resonates well with the kids. It is surrounded by mountains though, and you could have challenging flying weather.

    I've heard nice things about Chattanooga and Knoxville, but haven't been to either, and couldn't tell you whether they're good Christmastime destinations.

    How flexible and outdoorsy is your daughter? The thing I like about Ocracoke in the winter is it gives me permission to just chill and spend the better part of the day reading a book. I guess I'm also slightly biased because going anywhere with a 18 year old daughter sounds like a challenge :)
     
  28. Bill Jennings

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    White Duck taco shop is quite interesting.
     
  29. SkyDog58

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    One thing for certain is that between the hills and the ocean, the Carolinas have a bunch of great places to visit.
     
  30. Rushie

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    We lived in the middle, had a house in the mountains and a house at the ocean and a plane to fly to them. It was a good spot.
     
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  31. wsuffa

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    Toga! Toga! Toga!
     
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  32. SkyDog58

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    We live near Charlotte. If we stay here, I’d love to get a small cabin in the mountains. I wouldn’t mind a small condo or bungalow near the ocean as well but doubt if we could swing it.
     
  33. Rushie

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    We are trying to move back to NC and Charlotte is one area under consideration. We'd rather be up around Greensboro but that's because that's closer to the grand baby.
     
  34. SkyDog58

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    I have been considering a move to Greensboro. Charlotte is just such a mess with the traffic and crowds. Also many of the people are just sort of rude, angry, mean spirited and plain crazy. More so than I expected when we moved here. Reminds me of Chicago some days.
     
  35. Rushie

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    It is really bad. Raleigh too. Used to be such a nice city.
     
  36. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    LOL .. thats because they are all from Chicago, NYC, Pittsburgh, etc...
     
  37. FlySince9

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    Hey, I resemble that remark!
     
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  38. SkyDog58

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    Well, personally I’m from rural Indiana as in born and raised but I moved here from Chicago where I was working st the time. There certainly are a lot of transplants here and quite a few are NY and NJ. Many of them are undeniably part of the problem. But many of the real nasty folks speak with an unmistakable southern accent and they seem to lump all of the transplants together. I’ve lived all over this country and that hostility towards “outsiders” is worse here than anywhere else I’ve been.
     
  39. dell30rb

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    I certainly don't blame people for moving here. But the population has exploded in the last 20 years and what used to be a nice place to live is turning into a metropolitan nightmare. At least the local economy is good.

    Actually I have nothing but nice things to say about the temperament of people from the Midwest. I'm in Chicago about twice a month for work.
     
  40. Jumpmaster

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    Apparently good sir you have not learned the southern distinction between “Yankees” and “Damn Yankees”. My wife and I lived in North and South Carolina as well as Northern Georgia for almost 7 years and became well acquainted with the difference. South Carolinians seemed particularly proud to point out “everyone’s got to know their place” which if you were from a place other than South Carolina, it didn’t mean there.