Ocracoke beaches are in the running for Best Beach in America by Coastal Living Magazine. Photo by C. Leinbach
Ocracoke beaches are in the running for Best Beach in America by Coastal Living Magazine. Photo by C. Leinbach

Update (3/24/2016): Ocracoke made it to Round 3 and is now vying with Tybee Beach, Ga.  The voting link is below.

Ocracoke will be featured in two national magazines this summer, Coastal Living and Southern Living and is included in two “best beaches” contests.

Coastal Living magazine has included Ocracoke Island in its first-ever Beach Madness Bracket, “The Best Beach in America 2016.”

The island also was part of a recent USA Today poll about the Best East Coast Beach.

“We were ranked third when USA Today took down the leader board,” said Sundae Horn, the Ocracoke Civic and Business Association travel and tourism director.

For the Coastal Living contest, the magazine asked the state visitors bureaus in 30 coastal states to nominate a beach.

VisitNC, nominated Ocracoke, and the public gets a chance to compete in a playoff style bracket that runs in conjunction with March Madness with the top beaches from every coastal state in the country.

“Both of these contests (and another Coastal Living editorial spot that’s coming up this summer, and one in Southern Living) are a direct result of Ocracoke, the OCBA and the Hyde County Planning Office hosting the VisitNC TRAC team back in October,” Horn said. 

TRAC stands for Tourism Resource Assistance Center, composed of representatives from the Division of Tourism, departments of Commerce, Cultural Resources, NC GreenTravel and other agencies.  

The group visited Ocracoke last fall to explain their services and counsel island business in marketing.

In the Coastal Living contest, the winning beach will earn the right to call itself Coastal Living’s Best Beach in America 2016, and will be featured in the June 2016 issue of the magazine, as well as in several special digital packages.

Each playoff round is an online vote, and each beach’s ability to advance to the next round is completely determined by the number of votes garnered during that voting period.

The URL for online voting is coastalliving.com/beachbracket

Here is the schedule for the rounds:

Round 1: has completed. Ocracoke beat Virginia Beach and advanced to Round 2

Round 2 (Sweet Sixteen): March 17, 7 p.m.  to March 23, 5 p.m.

Round 3 (Elite Eight): March 23, 7 p.m. to March 28, 5 p.m.

Round 4 (Final Four): March 28, 7 p.m. to March 31, 5 p.m.

Round 5 (Finals): March 31, 7 p.m. to April 3 at midnight

The winner will be contacted after April 4.

As of 1030 last night, Ocracoke was at 76 percent over its competitor Hampton Beach, HH, with 24 percent

In addition to the contests, Ocracoke will be featured in the “All-American Summer” story in the July-August issue of Coastal Living.

Southern Living magazine also was on the island March 17 since Ocracoke was selected for a photo shoot in a “Barefoot Beach Town” story to run in June 2016. Several locales were photographed as was the beach.




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