Nags Head, NC — Where Outer Banks Vacationing Began
The first resort area on the Outer Banks beaches, Nags Head, NC, is still drawing vacationers more than 150 years later. The first visitors to the Outer Banks placed their attention on the sound side of the town, but it wasn’t long before the cool breezes of the ocean drew them eastward to build summer homes. These original oceanfront cottages, the Unpainted Aristocracy, are still standing watch over endless summers to this day. Today, Nags Head, NC, is one of the largest towns along these shores, and it’s filled with everything anyone needs to enjoy a great Outer Banks vacation by the sea.
Nags Head Outer Banks is mostly revered for the great outdoors. Nags Head recreation rules! The town is home to the northern Outer Banks’ largest concentration of watersports outfitters, miniature golf courses and go-cart tracks. It also has the greatest number of public beach accesses. The ecologically diverse Nags Head Woods welcomes visitors into a world of high ridges, fresh water, forests, critters, flora, cemeteries with some of the oldest Nags Head Outer Banks names in them, the remains of old houses and trail after trail that traverses this wonderland. Perhaps the main recreational — or at least most obvious — feature of Nags Head Outer Banks, besides the Atlantic Ocean, is Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the largest sand dune on the East Coast. If you don’t watch the sunset from atop this sand mountain, you’ve missed a vital and cherished Nags Head, NC, tradition. The panoramic view of sound, ocean, and surrounding towns is honestly breathtaking. The town is home to three traditional Outer Banks fishing piers — Nags Head Pier and Outer Banks Pier. A third, the North Carolina Aquariums’ impressive Jennette’s Pier, opened in May 2011 and has become a popular place for Nags Head weddings, meetings and events.
Shop, Eat and Stay in Nags Head, NC
Nags Head Outer Banks vacation accommodations range from small cottages to luxurious homes, from mom-and-pop cottage court efficiencies to upscale hotel rooms. For waterfront dining, Nags Head restaurants offer more eateries with a water view than any other Outer Banks town. Nags Head, NC, shopping keeps devoted shoppers happy with Tanger Outlet Center, the Outer Banks Mall, several strip shopping centers with a variety of stores and a wealth of souvenir/beach shops.
Town leaders are conscious of respecting the balance between development and open space. Recently, they purchased a large tract of soundfront property to preserve for open air events. Coupled with the rolling fairways of Village Golf Course, a drive through Nags Head, NC, leaves you with a happy sense that not all buildable property is gobbled up for that purpose. Nice.