Nags Head History
Legend of Nags Head is one of piracy. Mules were used to confuse passing ships. After tying lanterns around the necks of “nags” or mules, pirates would lead the animals along the beach at dark to trick the off shore boats into believing that the lanterns were lights from passing ships. This would cause the ships to run ashore, thus giving opportunity to loot and seize “booty” or treasures aboard the ship. When visiting Coquina Beach, see bits and pieces of the Laura Barnes shipwreck, visible from the beach. On a clear day you can see some of the shipwrecks from a plane, or snorkeling provides a closer look. Get a different view of the ocean from one of the three piers in the area: Nags Head Pier, Jeanette’s Pier (under reconstruction), and the Outer Banks Pier.
Dolphins can be seen playing in the waves along with kayakers, windsurfers, and surfers. Climb the largest sand dune on the East Coast at Jockeys Ridge or hang-glide over top to admire the ever changing dunes. From the top of the dune, watch kites dance in the ocean’s breeze and admire the Roanoke Sound and Atlantic Ocean. To learn more about the Ridge, visit the museum complete with exhibits. The Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve provides acres of National Natural Landmark for many adventures. There are two parks in the town, the Dare County Recreational Park (with a soccer field) and Town Park, for an afternoon picnic. Both locations offer sheltered picnic areas. Rollerblade or bicycle along the wide path that runs along the road throughout Nags Head. Along with the rich history and numerous activities, Nags Head has many restaurants to choose from and shops with trinkets and souvenirs in abundance.
The Town of Nags Head spans from Milepost 10 to Milepost 16.5. - Since Nags Head has few divided communities, locals and visitors reference mile post numbers to designate their location. Most of our Nags Head vacation homes designate the closest mile post to which the house is located on each individual web listing.
Nags Head Attractions:
Jockey’s Ridge State Park – Located at mile post 12. Climb the tallest natural sand dune in the Eastern United States. Take a hang gliding lesson, fly a kite, or slide down the dune. Watch the spectacular sunsets from atop the ridge. www.jockeysridgestatepark.com
Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve – Located at 701 W. Ocean Acres Drive, mile post 9.5. Activities include hiking and birding. This extensive ecological preserve protects a remarkable range of unique habitats, including forested dunes, interdune ponds, marshes, and wetlands. www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/northcarolina/preserves/
Jeanette’s Pier – Originally built in 1939, Jeanette’s is the oldest fishing pier on the Outer Banks. The pier was knocked down by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Purchased by the NC Aquarium Society, the pier is set to re-open as an educational ocean pier in May 2011. The complex will offer educational programs, alternative energy demos, live animal exhibits, a snack bar and tackle shop, as well as great fishing. www.jennettespier.net
Nags Head Golf Links – Located at mile post 14.5. Where sand dunes, wild sea grasses and rugged coastline create holes that Golf Digest calls "Among the most beautiful in the eastern United States. www.clubcorp.com
Restaurants in Nags Head
Owens Restaurant – located at mile post 16.5 on the beach road in Nags Head. Owens opened in 1946, and has been operated by the same family for 64 years. The menu offers fresh local seafood, aged Angus beef, ribs, pasta and homemade desserts. www.owensrestaurant.com
Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café – Located on the causeway in Nags Head, 7623 S Virginia Dare Trail. Basnight’s offers the freshest Outer Banks seafood, caught in local waters by local fisherman. The vegetable are “just picked” from NC farms. Panoramic water views. www.lonecedarcafe.com
The Dunes Restaurant – Located at 7013 S Croatan Hwy, mile post 16. A Nags Head tradition for 28 years. The Dunes serves the freshest local seafood including fish, crabs, shrimp and oysters. Some of the items offered on the breakfast bar include fresh fruit, homemade pastries, eggs, grits, bacon and creamed chipped gravy. www.thedunesrestaurant.com
Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern – Located at 2316 S Croatan Hwy, mile post 10.5. For over 25 years, Kelly’s has served neighbors and guests, 3 million and counting. Catering is available for special events. Catch live entertainment, and dance on the largest dance floor on the beach. www.kellysrestaurant.com
Sam & Omie’s Restaurant – Located on the Beach Road in Nags Head at mile post 16.5. Originally opened by a couple of fishermen as a pre-fishing breakfast stop, Sam & Omie's Restaurant maintains its seaside flavor more than 70 years later. A barefoot and "beachy" atmosphere serving up plenty of tasty dishes morning, noon and night, including omelets, hamburgers, club sandwiches and prime rib or seafood dinners. www.samandomies.net
Nags Head Community Rentals
- Atlantic Crest Condo Rentals
- Beach Haven South Rentals
- Old Nags Head Place Rentals
- Seven Sisters Rentals
- Southridge Rentals
- Village at Nags Head Rentals
Nags Head Town Information
Public Beach Accesses in Nags Head - Eighth Street, Albatross, Gallery Row, Abalone, Admiral, Baltic, Barnes, Blackman, Bonnett, Bittern, Bladen, Bainbridge, Curlew, Hollowell, Conch. Small, Enterprise, Loggerhead, Town Hall, Epstein, Forrest, Grouse, Glidden, Gull, Gray Eagle
Town of Nags Head Contact Information:
Town Hall 252-441-5508 www.townofnagshead.net
Starting the 3rd Mon. in May trash pick-up is Mon., Wed. & Sat.; East Route, Properties south of the NC 12 / 1243 intersection (Whalebone Junction), properties on NC 12, and properties south of Mile Post 11.5 / Old Nags Head Place that lie between NC 12 and US 158 / S. Croatan Highway. West Route, Properties west of US 158 / S. Croatan Highway, properties north of Mile Post 11.5 / Old Nags Head Place that lie between NC 12 and US 158 / S. Croatan Highway, and properties accessed from US 64 / 264.
Nags Head Leash Laws:
Dogs are allowed on the beach at all times as long as they are leashed. Owners must clean up after their dogs.