Address: 785 Irvin Garrish Hwy, Ocracoke, NC    Reservation Line: 252-928-4411

Ocracoke’s History

While the Pony Island Inn has accommodated guests for over 40 years, Ocracoke’s oldest residents are the wild horses that have inhabited the island for centuries. 

These special guests are now known as “Banker Ponies,” alluding to their homecoming of washing up on the shorelines of North Carolina’s Outer Banks after a shipwreck.  

Legend has it that the Spanish Mustangs were stranded on our island in the late 1500s after surviving the graveyard of the Atlantic. After hundreds of years roaming wild, they’ve made themselves at home here and are as local as locals come.

With fewer vertebrae, broader foreheads, and distinctively smaller statures than standard mustangs, the rare breed is unique to our one-of-a-kind island. For their protection, the National Park Service has cared for the ponies since 1959, reserving 188 acres of sound-side beach and marsh for their leisure – how’s that for prime real estate?

Catch a glimpse of our living mascots at the Ocracoke Pony Pen located off Highway 12. Make the most of your stay at Pony Island Inn, and experience all Ocracoke has to offer.