Nags Head Guide Sections

Expanded Nags Head Listings

Nags Head is arguably one of the Outer Banks' most established tourism destinations, and the area remains popular with visitors today for its wealth of amenities, sprawling ocean and soundfront views, and classic Outer Banks style. In Nags Head, a beach-loving vacationer can find virtually anything to make an OBX vacation perfect, including some of the area's favorite restaurants, natural and historical attractions, and miles of beach fun. Visitors come here year after year for the fantastic Outer Banks beaches and ample entertainment, and have been doing so for generations. An ideal mix of on-the-beach relaxation and off-the-beach amusements, Nags Head remains one of the Outer Banks' most loved vacation destinations.

Hang gliding lessons at Jockey's Ridge State Park

Where to Stay in Nags Head

Not sure where to stay in Nags Head? The town offers tons of possibilities from nationally recognized oceanfront hotels to well-loved local motels that have been in business for decades. The majority of visitors opt to stay in vacation rental homes, which can be impeccable modern oceanfront mansions, to historic classic cottages, to quiet and hidden Nags Head woods retreats. Your vacation rental company can help steer you in the right direction to finding the vacation rental home that best suits your family's needs.

Nags Head Oceanfront Homes

It's no surprise that vacation rental homes are Nags Head's most popular accomodations. Homes range in size and amenities. Top vacation-rental companies offering homes in Nags Head include the following:

Vacation Rentals

Hotels

 

Nags Head beach

Nags Head Attractions

The Beach - The beach in Nags Head is the area's #1 attraction. Most visitors come to Nags Head for some hard-earned R&R on the sandy shore. Here are some guidelines you should know:

Nags Head beach

Beach Guidelines

  • Nags Head beaches are pet friendly. Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round. They must remain on a leash 10ft or shorter.
  • Fireworks are prohibited. Bonfires are allowed on the beach with a permit. Permits are issued by Nags Head Fire and Rescue online here. Permits are based on current wind and fire danger conditions.
  • Beer is allowed on the beach. Wine and liquor are not officially permitted. Please drink responsibly.
  • Metal detecting is allowed.
  • Red flags = no swimming. When you see red flags flying, dangerous conditions are present and swimming is prohibited.
  • Please stay off sand dunes.
  • It is illegal to dig large holes. Holes in the sand can be a hazard.
  • Be mindful of Noise. Most communities consider a violation of the noise ordinance to be any sound that can be heard from inside a nearby residence, and any load noise after approximately 11:00 p.m.
  • No glass on the beach. Be mindful of glass bottles. Alcohol is allowed on all beaches, but if at all possible, stick to cans and plastic to save future beach-goers from any bare foot injuries.
  • Surf fishing is allowed. A fishing license is required in North Carolina and can be obtained before your vacation via the NC Marine Fisheries and Wildlife website, or a fishing license can be purchased at most any tackle shop on the Outer Banks.
  • 4x4 Driving on the Beach - Driving on the beach is permitted October 1 - April 30. Obtain a beach driving permit either from the Town of Kill Devil Hills or the Town of Nags Head. Through a reciprocal program, each town recognizes the beach driving permit issued by the other. UTVs and ATVs are not permitted on the beach.
  • Leaving equipment on the beach unattended from 8 pm-7 am each day is prohibited. Canopies and tents must be placed no closer than 10 feet apart. Tents and canopies cannot be larger than 12x12 and stand no higher than 9 feet above the sand when erected. Beach equipment cannot obstruct the line of sight of a lifeguard to the sand and cannot obstruct the passage of public works or emergency vehicles.

Modern vacationers can enjoy go-kart tracks, a handful of mini-golf courses, a number of ice cream shops, and restaurants located both on the quiet oceanside beach road as well as along the busy Highway 158 bypass. In addition, Nags Head vacationers will also enjoy close proximity to movie theatres, pool halls, and the Outer Banks' only bowling alley.

Climbers admire the view from the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse - The Bodie Island Lighthouse, (pronounced "Body") is located just south of the town of Nags Head and Whalebone Junction, where Highway 158, Highway 64, and NC Highway 12 intersect. Visitors can view the lighthouse year-round, and climbing the 156' tower is a new option during the Summer months.

Sunrise at Jenette's Pier

Jennette's Pier - Not too far on the oceanfront lies the newly remodeled Jennette's Pier. This historic local pier was first constructed in 1939, but by the early 2000s, had an uncertain fate after decades of devastating hurricanes, cumulating with Hurricane Isabel in 2003, which, initially, looked like it had destroyed the pier for good.

Luckily, the state of North Carolina, as well as local and national organizations, took an interest in the fate of the historic pier and today, after an extensive remodel, the pier is better than ever and serves a multitude of purposes. In addition to the exceptional "in-shore" fishing, the pier is also home to an educational center including a small museum and research center. This center serves as a launching point for a number of kid-friendly learning activities, from primers on local species and pier fishing to tutorials on how local wind turbines work. Programs are available throughout the year, with the majority of seminars, sessions and classes offered during the summer months of June, July and August Ideal for all ages and all interests, Jennette's Pier is a fantastic attraction for visiting Nags Head fishermen, budding scientists, and anyone who wants to learn a little more about the Outer Banks' ecosystems.

Outer Banks Fishing Pier

Outer Banks Pier - The Outer Banks Pier, is located just a couple miles south in picturesque South Nags Head. This area may be located just south of Nags Head, right where the bypass ends and divulges into US Highway 64 and the southern side of NC Highway 12, but it can seem worlds away from the busy central Nags Head area.

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Jockey's Ridge State Park - For sports and nature lovers, one of the biggest Nags Head attractions is the Jockey's Ridge State Park, located on the soundside of the Highway 158 bypass and clearly recognized by its towering mountains of bare sand. The sand hill portion of this park is the launching ground for hang gliding adventures, seasonal sand castle building contests, as well as adventurous treks for vista lovers who want a panoramic view of Nags Head from the ocean to the sound.

Nags Head Activities

From surfing and fishing to biking and sightseeing, there is no shortage of things to do in Nags Head. With its central location, Nags Head is the perfect base for those looking to experience all the Outer Banks has to offer.

Nags Head Dolphin Watch

Multiple locations

Scientists run these dolphin tours as part of their research on these beloved aquatic animals, so you know this will be an interesting trip. Passengers will be able to see how researchers with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, a nonprofit organization,  conduct their research and...(more)

Nags Head Dolphin Watch

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Rustic waterfront pub at a fishing pier with a large deck for seafood eats, draft beer & live music. Fish Heads Bar and Grill is THE tiki bar of the Outer Banks. Located at Mile Post 18.5 in Nags Head, we offer a view that is second to none! Check us out!(more)

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Multiple locations

Experience more adventure, fun, and style with Kitty Hawk Surf Company. As the trusted Outer Banks retailer for all top surf and lifestyle brands, including, Hurley, Billabong, RVCA, The North Face, Patagonia, Salt Life, Salty Crew, Volcom, O’Neill, Roxy, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hobie, Catch Surf...(more)

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Outer Banks Gearworks Laser Tag and Fun Center

Here’s some high energy entertainment for the kids, and for young adults (or young at heart) who love laser tag. On one side of this large facility is the “moon bounce inflatable room,” where the young ‘uns can go and bounce about to their heart’s content. Parties are...(more)

Outer Banks Gearworks Laser Tag and Fun Center

Kitty Hawk Kites

Multiple locations

Kitty Hawk Kites has been Teaching the World to Fly since 1974 and is home to the world’s largest hang gliding school. As the Outer Banks leader in quality outdoor recreation and adventure, Kitty Hawk Kites offers more than 30 activities to choose from, so get out that pen and start crossing...(more)

Kitty Hawk Kites

Jurassic Putt

WHEN IT'S HOT, OUR WATER MISTERS WILL COOL YOU OFF SO YOU WILL ENJOY PLAYING! Mini-golf can be enjoyed here under the shadow of T-Rex and Raptor dinosaurs, depending on which side you choose to play on. Either one has what it takes: 18 hole courses, tropical landscape touches and a playful approach...(more)

Jurassic Putt

Fishing Unlimited Boating Center

Owned by Garry Oliver, the proprietor of the Outer Banks Fishing Pier, this small wooden aqua blue-colored store on the Nags Head-Manteo causeway has been serving the needs of fishermen for decades. A full line of tackle is available for all types of fishing --- surf, pier, inshore and offshore --...(more)

Fishing Unlimited Boating Center
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Nags Head Restaurants

Nags Head boasts a diverse and exciting culinary scene. From fresh seafood to international cuisine, there is something for every palate and preference in this commercial center. With a focus on locally sourced produce and seafood, Nags Head's restaurants offer an authentic taste of Coastal North Carolina. nags Head restaurants offer a welcoming, family atmosphere and exceptional service. Here are a few top picks:

Lost Colony Brewery's Waterfront Beer Garden

Waterfront Beer Garden serving up the award-winning beer from the Lost Colony Brewery. Kick back on our deck at one of the dozens of waterside tables. We encourage you to pack your own picnic, order a pizza delivery or bring some take/out food from any of the fantastic restaurant OBX restaurants...(more)

Lost Colony Brewery's Waterfront Beer Garden

Pizzazz Pizza Company

Multiple locations

Pizzazz Pizza now has FOUR convenient Outer Banks locations in Grandy, Corolla, Duck & Nags Head. Made with only the freshest ingredients and finest meat toppings! Dine in, carry out or delivery (from Corolla to South Nags Head; from Powell's Point to Aydlett).(more)

Pizzazz Pizza Company

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Rustic waterfront pub at a fishing pier with a large deck for seafood eats, draft beer & live music. Fish Heads Bar and Grill is THE tiki bar of the Outer Banks. Located at Mile Post 18.5 in Nags Head, we offer a view that is second to none! Check us out!(more)

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Cookshak Fried Chicken

Multiple locations

There’s an art to doing a home-style chicken dinner right in the South. You need a chicken fried to golden, crispy perfection obviously. Then you need the appropriate fixings, like mac and cheese and coleslaw. Finally, you need that familial setting of passing the plates, helping yourself and...(more)

Cookshak Fried Chicken

Outer Banks Mall

Outer Banks Mall is a large outdoor shopping center featuring everything you need for sun, fun and shopping. Located at MP 14 in Nags Head, the large shopping center features a wide variety of food & beverage providers; everything from breakfast to evening meals are available, and a wide range...(more)

Outer Banks Mall

Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe

Enjoy Waterfront Dining at Basnight's Lone Cedar Café where we specialize in fresh and local Outer Banks seafood. If you’re craving the freshest fish, clams, crab, shrimp and oysters from local North Carolina waters, you’ll find them at the Lone Cedar Café. Since it first...(more)

Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe

Miller's Waterfront Restaurant

MILLER’S OFFERS ONE OF THE FEW TRULY WATERFRONT DINING EXPERIENCES ON THE OUTER BANKS. Enjoy casual dining in our downstairs family-friendly seafood restaurant, or our signature drinks and grill menu in our upstairs deck bar while watching kite boarders, windsurfers and mother nature’s...(more)

Miller's Waterfront Restaurant

Poke Box

Multiple locations

PokeBox offers fresh, quick, simple, healthy poke bowls in Nags Head. Choose your items and build your bowl. Tuna, salmon, chicken, steak, shrimp and tofu options available. Mix in your favorite veggies, sauces and toppings for the perfect poke experience. Poke (Hawaiian for "to slice" or "cut...(more)

Poke Box

Moge Tee

QUALITY YOU CAN SEE, FRESHNESS YOU CAN TASTE! Every cup made to order with the freshest ingredients and handcrafted loose leaf tea brewed to perfection! Combining all the natural gifts from mother nature!(more)

Moge Tee
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Nags Head Shopping

With an array of local boutiques, specialty stores, and well-known brands, visitors are sure to find something unique and memorable during their shopping experience. From beach gear and souvenirs to high-end fashion and home decor, as well as large national chains and grocery stores, the shopping scene in Nags Head offers something for every taste and budget. With its laid-back atmosphere and friendly shop owners, browsing local stores in Nags Head is a leisurely and enjoyable activity for visitors of all ages.

Sound Feet Shoes

Multiple locations

Sound Feet Shoes is family owned and operated. Sound Feet has been in the retail shoe business for over 60 years, opening their first store in 1953. They provide the best customer service and are the only Outer Banks’ area full service shoe store since 1987. Now, the family owned...(more)

Sound Feet Shoes

Outer Banks Mall

Outer Banks Mall is a large outdoor shopping center featuring everything you need for sun, fun and shopping. Located at MP 14 in Nags Head, the large shopping center features a wide variety of food & beverage providers; everything from breakfast to evening meals are available, and a wide range...(more)

Outer Banks Mall

Ben Franklin

Stop by Nags Head's Ben Franklin at Mile Post 10 on the Bypass where you will find everything you need for the beach! From Clothing, T-shirts and Swimwear to Boards, Chairs, Umbrellas and Tackle. You'll find it all…and of course, we have the best selection of Souvenirs anywhere on the Outer...(more)

Ben Franklin

Salt Coast Outfitters

Multiple locations

A resource for products, recreational equipment suppliers, weather protection clothing, and gear to Coastal outdoor enthusiasts. Browse the fullest collection of coastal lifestyle clothing on the beach. Featuring a sizable selection of brand names such as Simply Southern, Fish Hippie, Salt Life...(more)

Salt Coast Outfitters

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Rustic waterfront pub at a fishing pier with a large deck for seafood eats, draft beer & live music. Fish Heads Bar and Grill is THE tiki bar of the Outer Banks. Located at Mile Post 18.5 in Nags Head, we offer a view that is second to none! Check us out!(more)

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Brew Thru

Multiple locations

No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without cruising through Brew Thru, the Outer Banks’ original drive thru convenience store. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing cold beverage of Coke, Pepsi and other soft drinks on the go, stocking up your cooler with refreshments to enjoy at...(more)

Brew Thru

Outer Banks Gearworks Laser Tag and Fun Center

Here’s some high energy entertainment for the kids, and for young adults (or young at heart) who love laser tag. On one side of this large facility is the “moon bounce inflatable room,” where the young ‘uns can go and bounce about to their heart’s content. Parties are...(more)

Outer Banks Gearworks Laser Tag and Fun Center

The Cotton Gin

Multiple locations

For those traveling to the Outer Banks, The Cotton Gin is a beloved landmark with its large windmill and picturesque gardens. The Cotton Gin has stood in the same location since 1929, starting as a working cotton gin and growing to a gift store with 4 locations. Visitors are treated to a unique...(more)

The Cotton Gin

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Multiple locations

Experience more adventure, fun, and style with Kitty Hawk Surf Company. As the trusted Outer Banks retailer for all top surf and lifestyle brands, including, Hurley, Billabong, RVCA, The North Face, Patagonia, Salt Life, Salty Crew, Volcom, O’Neill, Roxy, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hobie, Catch Surf...(more)

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Kitty Hawk Kites

Multiple locations

Looking to fly a kite on the beach or atop the spectacular dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park? Kitty Hawk Kites offers the largest selection of kites, wind art, flags, games, and toys on the Outer Banks, with experts on staff to get you flying … or playing … in no time! Always...(more)

Kitty Hawk Kites

Super Wings

Multiple locations

Best store on the beach! Everything you need for your vacation. The newest ladies' and girls swimsuits, 20% off every day! Largest selection of beach supplies and the best deals on T-shirts, sweatshirts and mens, ladies, and kids, apparel, swimwear and resort wear. Get all your souvenirs, suntan...(more)

Super Wings

The Farmer's Daughter

Multiple locations

Founded in 1984 on the coast of the Outer Banks, NC, Farmer’s Daughter still remains a destination for people wanting great quality, outstanding selection of unique clothing, accessories, and gifts at affordable prices. Committed to offering great customer service, we strive to bring the...(more)

The Farmer's Daughter
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Upcoming Nags Head Events

ESA Mid-Atlantic Regional Surfing Championship
  • April 26th, 2024 - April 28th, 2024

Head to the beach to catch an incredible live show that’s unlike any other on the Outer Banks with the ESA Mid-Atlantic Regional Surfing Championship. Known as a qualifier for the big...

more
 
Artrageous Kids Art Festival
  • May 11th, 2024 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

At the annual Artrageous Art Extravaganza, everyone can enjoy a little hands-on creativity with lots of interactive displays, live demos, and fun artistic activities for the young and the...

more
 
Hang Gliding Spectacular
  • May 16th, 2024 - May 19th, 2024 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show is landing on the Outer Banks, and visitors are welcome to take flight on a new adventure and join in the fun. Renowned as the...

more
 
OBX Shred Fest
  • May 18th, 2024

Now celebrating its fourth year, this family-friendly event is a collection of music, sports, and OBX fun, and features a full roster of activities and entertainment to keep...

more
 
Fritz Boyden Memorial Youth Tournament
  • June 12th, 2024 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Share a love of fishing with the youngest members in your vacationing party with this special fishing tournament that’s designed with youth anglers in mind. The Fritz Boyden Memorial...

more
 

jockeys Ridge State Park

OBX Fishing Pier

Nags Head History

Like most of the Outer Banks, Nags Head's earliest residents were local Native Americans, until it became known as the area's first "tourist colony." The town was reportedly named by these earliest visitors in a Harper's New Monthly Magazine article, which heralded the pirates and local residents who roamed the beach with a lantern tied to an old horse's neck to light their way. By the time the town was officially incorporated in 1949, it had held the name of "Nags Head" for well over a hundred years.

Visitors first discovered Nags Head in the early 1830s. A mixture of local inland plantation owners, wealthy businessmen, and their families, these vacationers were the first visitors to the new North Carolina tourist colony. The area was remote, beautiful, but a relatively short trek from their business back home in eastern NC. During this time period, a cleaver entrepreneur and frequent visitor decided to buy over 200 acres of oceanfront l5 in the hopes that more people would be attracted to the quiet beach landscape.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Clearly, the gamble paid off. By the mid-19th century, Nags Head had over two dozen vacation cottages, its own collection of shops, a bowling alley, and even a church for vacationers to frequent on non-beach-going Sundays.

Development was stalled during the Civil War, but renewed again in the late 1800s and early 1900s with a collection of new oceanfront rentals for wealthy vacationers to enjoy. The vast majority of these homes are still available to rent today (for visitors of all budgets) along Nags Head's original "Millionaire's Row." This section of homes is unmistakable for its' weathered cedar shakes, multi-colored storm shutters, and wraparound decks that provided pre-air conditioning vacationers a shady spot to enjoy the breeze, no matter what time of day or year. This collection of homes is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places, though because of their constant and careful upkeep, few vacationers would ever guess they were well over 100 years old.

By the 1960s, the Nags Head beach scene was in full swing with a healthy handful of locally run motels, restaurants, shops, and all the other conveniences a vacationer needs, regardless of the area. As a result of this early ingenuity, the town of Nags Head is also home to some of the oldest restaurants on the Outer Banks, many of which still boast their original cedar floor boards and wainscoting, dating back to the 1940s.

Heading out to watch the sun set at Jockey's Ridge

Nags Head Today

Today, Nags Head retains plenty of that classic beach charm of wide, wraparound porches and classic locals-favorite restaurants, but in the past few decades, the areas has introduced a number of new attractions as well.

Past the sand dunes, visitors will find a series of hidden nature trails that wind through patches of undeveloped maritime forest, leading eventually to the Roanoke Sound. Here, water lovers will find a second parking area as well as a launching point for a number of Outer Banks water sports, including kayaking, kiteboarding, windsurfing, stand-up-paddle boarding and even wave runner adventures. The sound beaches in the park are also perfect for the youngest of vacationers, as the gentle waves and gradual slopes of the sound waters make perfect playing grounds for the little ones in the group. Open year-round and offering new attractions in any season, from white-tailed deer and foxes who frequent the area in the winter to the kiteboarders and kayakers who rule the water in the summer, Jockey's Ridge is a must see for outdoor lovers of all varieties.

Many Fishing Charters leave from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

Unlike the northern area of Nags Head, which is a collection of hotels, motels, renowned golf courses, shops, and restaurants, South Nags Head is comprised primarily of vacation rental homes that are a block or two away from the oceanfront. This area is ideal for vacationers who want to "get away from it all" but still be within a few miles of the central Outer Banks' abundance of local attractions and amenities.

Nags Head, after all, has all the lures that have reeled in Outer Banks vacationers from the 1830s. Vacationers are free to explore, lounge, and play with a number of state parks, amusements, restaurants, shopping centers, and other attractions that are just waiting to be discovered.

The star attraction, of course, is the beach, and Nags Head vacationers will find no qualms in this arena as well, as even on the busiest summer days, the beaches are relatively uncrowded and boast miles of shoreline to explore. Several public accesses along the beach road are lifeguarded from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and a well-tended red flag system alerts vacationers of impending bad swimming conditions. Like all towns in the central Outer Banks, vacationers should pay close attention to local beach rules, such as keeping your dog on a leash at all times, and no beach driving during the late spring to early fall months.

4x4 Beach Access near Oregon Inlet

In addition to the multitude of attractions and amenities, Nags Head is also home to a number of instrumental services, including several chain grocery stores, medical centers, and the Outer Banks Hospital, which serves all of Dare County and the Currituck Beaches. The small hospital is recognized as one of the best hospitals in the state, and offers top-notch emergency and medical care, so Nags Head and Outer Banks vacationers can rest assured that professional medical facilities are nearby, just in case.

Nags Head has a long history of being a vacationers' paradise, and the sentiment is as true today as it was in the mid-1800s. With a world of fun just waiting around every beach block, as well as miles of privacy if a vacationer so chooses, Nags Head comprises the very best the Outer Banks has to offer. Vacationers of all ages and eras will appreciate the attractions, restaurants, shopping, wildlife, and fabulous beaches that the town features in spades. After a vacation here, most folks completely understand the beachy appeal that has spanned generations, and will surely continue to do so for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head is located in the central Outer Banks. It’s bordered by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Hatteras Island to the south, and the town of Kill Devil Hills to the north.

How do you get to Nags Head, NC?

Visitors from the north can reach Nags Head via US 158, also known as the Beach Bypass. From the southern and eastern regions, Nags Head can be reached via US 64 and / or NC Highway 12.

What is there to do in Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head has miles of beaches, which are the star attraction, as well as plenty of off-the-sand activities and landmarks. The town is home to several fishing piers, the Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the Nags Head Golf Links, and a wide array of shops and restaurants. In addition, the town is a popular spot for soundfront and oceanfront watersports, including surfing, kiteboarding, SUP, and kayaking, and it is close to the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Where did the name Nags Head come from?

Legend has it that the name “Nags Head” originated from a method that local pirates used to lure in unsuspecting ships. As the story goes, the pirates would tie a lantern around a nag’s head, and walk the nag along the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge. Captains would be fooled into thinking that this was an indication of a safe harbor, and their ships would be plundered. While there is no concrete evidence that this story is true, it lingers on, and many shops and stores sell gifts and shirts that feature the famous nag.

What is the difference between Nags Head and South Nags Head?

Nags Head is more developed and is located along the Beach Bypass. South Nags Head begins where the Beach Bypass / US 158 ends, and is a collection of homes that are up to two blocks away from the ocean. There are far more stores, restaurants, and businesses in Nags Head than South Nags Head, however the southern region features great beaches and a fishing pier.

What are the special events in Nags Head?

Nags Head hosts a wide array of special events at local venues including the new Soundfront Event Site and Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Popular annual events include the Outer Banks Seafood Festival in October, the Wright Kite Festival in July, and the Independence Day celebration with fireworks over the ocean.

Where are the beach accesses in Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head has more than 40 public beach accesses which may include parking, restrooms and showers, and handicapped accessible facilities. Nags Head and South Nags Head access points with parking are located at the following sites, which are listed from north to south:

  • Albatross Street
  • Gallery Row
  • Abalone Street
  • Baltic Street
  • Barnes Street
  • Blackman Street
  • Bonnett Street
  • Bittern Street
  • Bladen Street
  • Bainbridge Street
  • Curlew Street
  • Hollowell Street
  • Conch Street
  • Enterprise Street
  • Loggerhead Street
  • Town Hall
  • Epstein Access
  • Forrest Street
  • Gidden Street
  • Gull Street
  • Gray Eagle Street
  • Jennette’s Pier
  • Gulfstream Street
  • Governor Street
  • Huron Street
  • Holden Street
  • Hargrove Street
  • Ida Street
  • Isabella Street
  • Indigo Street
  • Jay Street
  • June Street
  • Juncos Street
  • Limulis Drive
  • Coquina Beach

Does it cost any money to park at the Nags Head public beach accesses?

It is free to park at all of the Nags Head beach accesses.

Are there lifeguards in Nags Head?

The Nags Head beaches are patrolled by Ocean Rescue personnel on ATVS throughout the summertime. In addition, fixed lifeguard stands are found at the following public beach access locations from Memorial Day to Labor Day:

  • Albatross Street
  • Abalone Street
  • Bonnett Street
  • Hollowell Street
  • Enterprise Street
  • Town Hall
  • Epstein Access
  • Forrest Street
  • Grey Eagle Street
  • Gulfstream Street
  • Hargrove Street
  • Ida Street
  • Indigo Street
  • Juncos Street
  • Limulus Drive

What are the attractions in Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head is home to the Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which is the site of the tallest natural sand dunes on the East Coast. The town also has three fishing piers, (including the historic Jennette’s Pier), an 18-hole golf course, “Gallery Row” which features a collection of art galleries, and a number of historic beach homes.

Are there shops and restaurants in Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head has many shops and restaurants, which includes an outlet shopping center and several shopping plazas.

Where do you stay in Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head features a wide array of vacation rental homes and condos, as well as roughly a dozen hotels and motels. Camping is also available nearby, in Kill Devil Hills and within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

What can you do on a rainy day in Nags Head, NC?

Nags Head has a number of shops which includes an outlet shopping center, beach stores and boutiques, and “Gallery Row,” which features a collection of art galleries. In addition, the town is close to indoor amusement centers and central OBX attractions, like the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

Are pets allowed on the beach in Nags Head, NC?

Dogs are allowed on the beaches year-round in Nags Head, but must be on a leash that is 10 ft. long or less.

Can I drive on the beach in Nags Head, NC?

Driving on the beach in Nags Head is allowed from October through April. A beach permit from the Town of Nags Head is required, and can be obtained at the Nags Head Town Hall, the Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, and at local Nags Head tackle shops.

Are there shells in Nags Head, NC?

South Nags Head and northern areas of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, like Coquina Beach, are popular destinations for shelling, due to their isolation. However, any area of Nags Head can be a good shelling destination after a storm or passing hurricane. 

Are beach bonfires allowed in Nags Head?

Beach bonfires are not allowed in Nags Head. They are allowed within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore with a permit, which is located just south of the town’s borders.

When is the best time to visit Nags Head?

Nags Head is most popular in the summer months, especially July and August. However, many businesses stay open year-round, and the town hosts a number of festivals throughout the year such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Kites with Lights celebration during the holidays, and the Outer Banks Seafood Festival in October.

What are the air temperatures each month in Nags Head?

January - high: 52°, low: 36°F 

February - high: 54°, low: 38°F 

March - high: 60°, low: 43°F 

April - high: 69°, low: 52°F 

May - high: 77°, low: 59°F 

June - high: 84°, low: 69°F 

July - high: 88°, low: 73°F 

August - high: 86°, low: 72°F 

September - high: 81°, low: 68°F 

October - high: 72°, low: 58°F 

November - high: 64°, low: 49°F 

December - high: 56°, low: 40°F 

Nags Head Photos

Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Moon

A soundside dock behind a Nags Head neighborhood at sunset

House in Nags Head over the sound at sunset

     Strolling along the Roanoke Sound at Jockey's Ridge State Park   

Fishing boats lined up at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 

South Nags Head oceanfront homes  

Miss Oregon Inlet Tours

Headed out for a day of fishing  

Coquina Beach access

Nags Head oceanfront homes

Nags Head Outlets

Nags Head, NC - Fish Heads bar and grill

Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head, NC

Best Surf Fishing Gear for 2024
The Farmer's Daughter
Cookshak Fried Chicken
Outer Banks Gearworks Laser Tag and Fun Center
Corolla Outer Banks and The Currituck Mainland Tourism