Packing up your beach bag and hopping in the car with some friends might be what much of your summer looks like if you live in North Carolina. Day trips to the beach are easy peasy and we're lucky to have so many options. There's actually a hidden island in North Carolina with wild roaming ponies that will give you white sandy beaches galore. 

Ocracoke Island is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and it sticks out more than any other beach. The white sand will mesmerize and make you feel like you're on a tropical island. 

Another part of this island that makes it unique is its inhabitants that have been there since the 1700s. Wild ponies, also called Banker or Mustang ponies, live here and are preserved to make sure they live their best lives. 

It's said that European explorers shipwrecked on this island in the 16th or 17th century and the ponies were just left here. Often times, these explorers would travel with animals on their ship, hence the ponies. What happened to no man left behind? 

According to the National Park Service, as many as 300 horses have been on the island at one time. 

While you won't be able to see the horses while you're getting your tan on, you can easily go to where they are penned and see them roam. 

The National Park Service is in charge of taking care of these ponies and they say, "By law, the free-roaming animals were permanently penned in 1959 to prevent over-grazing and to safeguard them from traffic after the highway was built in 1957."

If you just fall in love with these ponies, there's actually an adopt a pony program that you can participate in. There are a plethora of ponies to choose from and they're all adorable. 

All you have to do is give a $35 donation and you'll get an offical adoption certificate, as well as a photo of your pony or a photo of the entire herd. 

This adventure is not your average beach trip, so you might want to check it out once the weather decides to warm up a little bit. 

Ocracoke Island

Address: Okracoke, NC

Why You Need To Go: The beaches on this island are beautiful and you can visit the island's first residents for a cool adventure. 

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