A ferry ride away (free too!) is Ocracoke Island.....Check your maps or your apps because it is a long drive just to get to the ferry location if you are staying at one of the northern beaches. But if you are staying anywhere from Nagshead south, it is certainly a wonderful day trip. The ferry ride takes at least 1/2 hour depending on weather conditions and the "shoaling" in the sound. The sand has been shifting and making the ferry go out of its normal route lately. From the ferry landing on Ocracoke it is only a short ride into the little village. We enjoyed bringing our bicycles with us and biking around the town. There you'll find an information center and a few small museums. The shops are plentiful and eating right on the waterfront is delightful. If you plan your trip as an overnight, there are several choices. We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast one trip and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. While biking we found some walking paths to deserted beaches. In fact, the beaches there are stunningly beautiful. We sometimes head back toward the ferry area and then enjoy the beach right there until close to departure time.