Kitty Hawk in Outer Banks, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Outer Banks Area Features

Nags Head, NC

Perhaps the popularity of Nags Head is based on its location on the barrier islands. It may also be because Nags Head still hosts the famous sand dunes that were noted prominately by early colonists. Regardless, it has become a popular vacation choice among tourists. The town boasts a large number of restaurants, shops, and amusements, and also seclusion for those looking to escape on their vacation. It’s a combination that can’t be beat. Families love the area for its many conveniences and quiet getaways, as well as the availability of day and evening entertainment.

Take Flight at Jockey’s Ridge

The Wright Brothers were the daredevils of the early 20th century, but modern-day adrenaline seekers can journey over to Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head to try hang gliding. From the top of the East Coast’s largest natural sand dune, you can take a tandem flight and sail down (hopefully gracefully) to the bottom. Another unique sport at Jockey’s Ridge during the off-season (October-March) is sand surfing. Just like snowboarding, sand surfers use gravity to accelerate down the side of the sand dune. Very few places in the United States offer this extreme sport, yet Nags Head has it for those who are interested! Permits are required but the experience is exhilarating. Those who would prefer sports that aren’t as heart-pounding may enjoy walking the trails of Jockey’s Ridge, kayaking in the sound or flying a kite. It’s a wonderful location with a lot for everyone to do and experience.

Cast a Line

A great way to experience affordable fishing in the OBX, especially in Nags Head, is with a visit to a fishing pier. There are three piers in town: Nags Head Pier, Jeannette’s Pier, and the Outer Banks Pier and Fishing Center. Bring your rod and a cooler for your catch, and spend the entire day in the sun reeling in fish such as flounder, croaker, cobia, and pompano. Most piers open early, close late and have everything you need including bait, tackle, and other necessities such as hats and sunscreen. The piers in Nags Head have sightseeing passes and on-site restaurants for refueling the body or to grab a beer.

To really immerse yourself in some of the OBX’s finest fishing, venture out into the deep sea. Charter a boat or book a spot on a fishing cruise to cast your line in the hopes of ensnaring tuna, sailfish, wahoo or maybe even a challenging marlin. With the Gulf Stream just offshore and the availability of great marinas like the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, angling off the Nags Head coast is amazing!

Pick up an OBX Souvenir

Others seek their own personal comfort in browsing stores for a unique gift for themselves or someone back home. Fortunately, Nags Head has a plethora of shops to choose from. Boutique shops that sell OBX swag to take home from your vacation are fun places to explore. In addition to a bathing suit, hoodie or t-shirt, an impulse purchase of a lighthouse replica or a nautical picture frame could find its way into your shopping basket. Beach necessities including towels, toys, sunscreen and rafts are also available for purchase throughout the town. You’ll want for nothing after a trip to one of these local stores!

Take in the View from the Bodie Island Lighthouse

Nags Head also has a lighthouse in the southernmost part of town that is a wonderful place to go and explore. The Bodie Island Lighthouse is identifiable by its alternating black and white bands that span the circumference of the cone-shaped tower. If you would like to climb the 200 steps to peer out over the horizon, plan accordingly since the lighthouse is only open from late April until early October. But once at the top (the equivalent of being 10 stories up), the view is amazing. The Bodie Island Lighthouse was the third to be built on this section of coastline. The first was poorly constructed and tilted; the second was destroyed in the Civil War; and the third, built in 1871, still stands today. It’s hardly a surprise that people come from all over to see the North Carolina coast from the highest point of this beacon of light and safety.

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