10 Things to Do in Nags Head That You Shouldn't Miss

July 19, 2017 Roseanne Arnett

With eleven miles of sand, it's no surprise the beach is everyone's favorite attraction in Nags Head. This Outer Banks town just south of Kitty Hawk offers ocean fans every sort of shoreline sport, from sailing and kayaking to snorkeling past shipwrecks or hang-gliding over the sand dunes of Jockey's Ridge State Park. Step into the past with a walk through the historic district and enjoy the area’s distinct architecture.
Restaurants in Nags Head

1. Jockey's Ridge State Park

300 W Carolista Dr, Milepost 12 on US 158 bypass, Nags Head, NC 27959 +1 252-441-7132
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Jockey's Ridge State Park

Two of the highest sand dunes on the East Coast are located here, providing excellent take-off points for hang gliders.

Reviewed By Mechaieh - Nashville, Tennessee

Spent an afternoon here sliding down dunes. The park is so large that I didn't have to worry about accidentally colliding with anyone, and there are both large and small dunes with different angles for experimenting with the board and taking time out for yoga poses.

2. Wright Brothers National Memorial

Mile post 7.5 on U.S. Highway 158, Kill Devil Hills, NC +1 252-441-7430
Excellent
67%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Park where visitors can see a replica of the Wright Brothers' plane and receive an entertaining history of flight.

Reviewed By ArleneFBP - Weaverville, North Carolina

We grew up in NC learning about the Wright brothers and their great contributions. It was fascinating to see the humble beginnings of flight.
This is a great facility with good exhibits for all ages. They were currently remodeling the actual museum but it was still a good visit.
Take comfortable shoes and a light jacket. It is always windy in Kitty Hawk.

3. The Monument to a Century of Flight

Aycock Brown Welcome Center, Kitty Hawk, NC
Excellent
59%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 321 reviews

The Monument to a Century of Flight

Reviewed By D2958ZXgarym - King, United States

The Monument to a Century of Flight was dedicated in 2003, the 100th anniversary of powered flight. The monument consists of fourteen wing-shaped steel pylons, ascending in height from 10 to 20 feet, and circling a six-foot bronze dome depicting the continents of Earth. The faces of the pylons feature black granite panels engraved with the date and synopsis, sometimes accompanied by an image, of one hundred of the most significant accomplishments in the first century of aviation. North Carolina artist Glenn Eure developed the preliminary concept for the monument, with the finished design the result of the collaborative efforts of Eure and two other NC sculptors, Hanna Jubran and Jodi Hollnagel Juban. At the entrance to the monument is a granite marker inscribed with the poem “High Flight” by 19-year-old American pilot James G. Magee, Jr. in late 1941. Serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Britain, Magee was killed in combat over England in December of that year. The Monument is located on the hill behind the Aycock Brown Welcome Center on US 158 in Kitty Hawk. Free admission. Only a short amount of time needed to visit – 20-30 minutes.

4. Bodie Island Lighthouse

8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Road, Nags Head, NC 27959 +1 252-441-5711
Excellent
63%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Bodie Island Lighthouse

An interesting and still important lighthouse that can be visited but not climbed. (NOTE: The lighthouse is currently under construction, and is expected to re-open in summer 2013, with the ability to be climbed for the first time)

Reviewed By kurokitty - Atlanta, Georgia

We came here while exploring the area. The lighthouse is at the end of a short, secluded road where we saw three deer!

I loved seeing the black and white lighthouse and reading the history about it. My little guy also enjoyed flying a kite for the first time ever in the field near the parking lot.

A nice gem during our vacation!

5. Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve

701 W Ocean Acres Dr, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948-8848 +1 252-441-2525
Excellent
60%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 219 reviews

Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve

Located in the Outer Banks, this preserve is one of only a few maritime forests left in its natural state.

Reviewed By travelchick2 - United States

This is a very pleasant place to walk around and discover some hidden areas in OBX. Pleasant walking/scenery. Bugs though! Bring your bug spray. Saw a couple of interesting birds. I do recommend this.

6. Jennette's Pier

7223 S Virginia Dare Trl, Nags Head, NC 27959-9129 +1 252-255-1501
Excellent
68%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Jennette's Pier

Reviewed By Lois P - Candler, North Carolina

This is a must see spot for visitors to the Outer Banks. Incredible views. Longest & best built & maintained fishing pier on the Banks. Operated by the Aquarium Society, so you can feel good about where your money is going. Cleaning stations with sinks. Plenty of benches, shelters, bait & tackle shop with coffee, ice cream & other snacks. They have a couple of aquarium tanks with local fish. Very cool to see them swimming. Bathrooms beautiful and clean. Two bathhouses with showers outside by the beach, free to the public. Pier is $14 per fishing adult & $2 per non-fishing adult.

7. Nags Head Fishing Pier

3335 S Virginia Dare Trl, Nags Head, NC 27959-9267 +1 252-441-5141
Excellent
45%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 239 reviews

Nags Head Fishing Pier

Reviewed By ChALUTCH - BERGEN COUNTY,N.J.

Older of the piers,but they have made some improvements.For a couple of bucks you take a leisurely walk on the pier,watch the ocean and check out the days catches.Always some fishermen some good and some novices on vacation,but a good time for all.

8. Tanger Outlets Nags Head

7100 S Croatan Hwy, Nags Head, NC 27959-8881 +1 252-441-5634
Excellent
25%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
40%
Poor
6%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 186 reviews

Tanger Outlets Nags Head

Find great savings on merchandise from your favorite designer and name-brands direct from the manufacturer at stores like: Coach, J.Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Talbots, Aeropostale, Merrell, Tommy Hilfiger, Nine West and many more. Before you travel, check out the Tanger Outlet website to find the latest Coupons & Sales Offers for Tanger Outlets in Nags Head. Or, when you arrive at the outlets, make your first stop Shopper Services to learn about the benefits of joining TangerClub (Tanger Club information is also available online). In Shopper Services you can purchase a coupon book full of great savings or if you are already a TangerClub member pick up a coupon book for free! Think Outlets, Think Tanger.

Reviewed By PurpleLily11 - Silver Spring, Maryland

Family went to the outlets on a very rainy day as it seemed the best way to pass the time. Seems everyone else had the same idea because it was pretty full, and relatively early in the day too. There was an area in the...MoreWe appreciate your positive review about your recent experience with us! Thanks again for the recommendation, and have an amazing day! We look forward to seeing you next time!

2716 S Virginia Dare Trl, Nags Head, NC 27959-9252 +1 252-441-5418
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
8%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 35 reviews

Seaside Art Gallery

Reviewed By Barb W - Lexington, Kentucky, United States

When I think of visiting a fine art gallery, the Outer Banks isn't exactly the location that first comes to mind, but it certainly will be now! The Seaside Art Gallery is Nags Head is a surprising and delightful treasure for the community and visitors.

The building is quite deceiving from the outside, I expected to find a small gallery with local items for purchase (you know, the perfect souvenirs to add to your home to remember you journey.) It is this but SO MUCH more! The gallery went on and on with an amazing and eclectic range of art pieces to enjoy. Some places claim to have something for everyone, the Seaside Art Gallery truly does.

Inside you will find thousands of original works by local artists and internationally know artists, as well. Family owned, the gallery has been passed to the new generation who have kept the vibrancy and interesting collections alive and accessible to the public.

In addition to a vast array of exhibits, you will find antiques and estate jewelry, too, for purchase. There's also a very cool collection of animation art featuring Disney, Warner Bros and Hanna Barbera studios that children will love to see, as well as adults.

The staff of the Seaside Art Gallery are very helpful and can provide insights into each piece along with extensive knowledge of the Outer Banks. Whether you wish to simply view the stunning collections or to consider purchasing a piece to add to your collection, this is a must-stop when you are in or around the Nags Head, Outer Banks area. Exhibits change throughout the seasons, so there's always something new to see or collect.

Viewing is free to the public, making it a terrific rainy day activity. Children are welcomed, though little ones may need a little extra supervision around some of the more fragile pieces. Plan to spend some time here, I could have easily spend a few hours admiring the beautiful collections.

10. Tracks in the Sand

Jockey's Ridge State Park, Nags Head, NC 27959 +1 252-441-7132
Excellent
55%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 20 reviews

Tracks in the Sand

A self-guided 1.5-mile trail along the dunes.

Reviewed By copperdragon66 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This trail is accessed by going to Jockey's Ridge State Park and then following signs. Maps are available at the visitor center.

If visiting mid-day, dress for the weather if it's hot. Sunscreen is highly recommended as is water. If visiting in the morning or evening, insect repellant is recommended so you don't become a mosquito's chew toy.

This is a terrific trail which interprets the high dune area, the maritime forest, and the sound front. There are numbered posts which correlate to the map which has additional information. The trail isn't very long, but is on the sand which can be hot and soft underfoot. Allow more time than you normally would walking a trail this length.

If you have kids in your party, ask for the Junior Dune Ranger program when you're getting your trail map for Tracks In The Sand. Much of the Junior Ranger program covers the same ground, and you'll keep the younger ones a little more interested while you enjoy the peace and solitude.

Expect to do some climbing. But it's not too strenuous for the average person, and will afford you some terrific views.

Recommended if you have the time.

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