The Ocracoke Wild Horses, or "Banker Ponies" are easily Ocracoke's oldest residents, and have been plodding along the island for the last few hundred years. These famed horses are arguably one of the island's top attractions, and can be easily admired by any Ocracoke visitor via a quick trip to the National Park Service's Ocracoke Pony Pen.
Dive into a wealth of coastal artifacts, folklore, and legendary figures with a visit to the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Operating as one of three maritime museums along coastal NC, this distinctive site is known for its unique ship-worthy exterior, its vast collection of exhibits that span centuries, and its close ties with the Southern Outer Banks’ most famous resident, Blackbeard the Pirate.
The museum is most famous for its artifacts from Blackbeard’s “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” which ran aground near Beaufort in 1718, and visitors are welcome to see the collection of ancient relics that once belonged to the infamous Edward Teach himself. There’s also plenty more to discover outside the pirate realm, including exhibits dedicated to the local lighthouse and lifesaving stations, the boating and seafood industry, the original natives and early residents, and much more. There’s also a boat building center located on-site - the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center - which teaches boat building skills to students of all ages, as well as a host of special events held throughout the year which range from educational programs to special outings just for kids. With a wide world of legendary history to uncover, the North Carolina Maritime Museum is a must for any Beaufort explorer.
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