There’s more to the Outer Banks than sun, sand, and serenity. At Nags Head, you can spend a fun-filled day with your entire family, both on and off the beach. You can fish from the state’s longest public pier, climb the Eastern seaboard’s tallest dunes, visit a thrilling adventure park, then cap off your day with a delicious dinner at a nearby eatery.
Dive Right In
Why not begin your day with a refreshing dip?
If you’re staying at an oceanfront rental, you can simply step outside your door, take a short trek across pristine sand, and start splashing in the sparkling Atlantic.
If you’re staying a few streets back, you’ll still have easy access to the ocean. More than 40 Nags Head locations provide public access to the beach. Some furnish access only via boardwalks and dune decks, but many offer metered public parking. If you’re planning to park, be sure to arrive fairly early. During the busy season, parking lots can fill up as early as 10-11 a.m.
Experience World-Class Fishing at Jennette’s Pier
Looking for a place where you can purchase bait and tackle, rent rods and reels, cast your line for choice ocean fish, and even visit a renowned interactive educational center?
Come to Jennette’s Pier at Milepost 16.5, Beach Road, in the heart of Whalebone Junction in Nags Head.
For a modest day rate – $14 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under – you can fish from the fabled 1,000-foot concrete pier. You won’t even need a North Carolina fishing license: The pier is covered by a special blanket license.
All along the pier, benches and stands provide comfortable spots where you can cast for the countless fish that cluster around the pilings. Depending on time of year, you and your family could reel in trout (gray and speckled), mackerel (king and Spanish), drum (black and red), sea mullet, pompano, bluefish, flounder, croaker, sheepshead, mahi mahi, skate, cobia, spadefish, spot, pinfish, pigfish, puffers, rays, and more.
When you’re all finished fishing, drop by the spacious pier house, where you can sip coffee and cold drinks, purchase gifts and snacks, explore fascinating science exhibits, and marvel at exotic fish in several huge aquariums.
Not an angler? Prefer to simply stroll along the pier? You’ll pay only $2 per adult and $1 per child for all-day walking access, complete with breathtaking ocean views.
The pier is open year ’round except Christmas Day. Hours run from about 5 a.m. to midnight during the busiest season.
Climb a Monster Dune at Jockey’s Ridge State Park
What’s it like to stand at the top of the tallest active sand-dune system in the eastern United States?
Find out at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, a 426-acre day-use park located at Milepost 12 on South Croatan Highway (US 158).
Open to the public year ’round except Christmas Day, this hugely popular park charges no admission fee. Spend an hour or two exploring its vast, sandy dunes, with panoramic views stretching from the Atlantic to Roanoke Sound. If you like, you can also frolic in the Sound, sunbathe on the shore, and hike a one-mile nature trail.
When it’s windy, you and your family can try flying kites from the summit. You can even take hang-gliding lessons from an expert on-site vendor.
Temperatures can soar at the park, and the sand can get burning-hot. Be sure to use sunscreen, wear sturdy shoes, and bring along bottled water.
Hungry? If you’ve packed a lunch, take time to enjoy it at the scenic soundside picnic area. Then head off to your next adventure.
Get Your Thrills at First Flight Adventure Park
Up for a bit more excitement before calling it a day? Come to First Flight Adventure Park at Milepost 15.5, 6714 South Croatan Highway (US 158), in Nags Head.
This exhilarating outdoor attraction offers eight aerial obstacle courses, ranging from easy to difficult (and from 12 to 50 feet high), plus eight zip lines.
Throughout your two-hour experience, you’ll get to swing from rings and ropes; climb nets and dangle from cables; cross elaborate elevated “bridges”; clamber over boards and barrels; zipline over grassy fields, and more. For protection, you’ll wear a helmet and harness (provided as part of your session), and you’ll be supervised by expert guides who’ll make sure you’re always safe.
Participants must be at least six years old, weigh less than 250 pounds, wear close-toed sneakers, and carry bottled water. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time, especially during busy months.
Dine at a Top Local Restaurant
Ready to relax? Head to one of the area’s famous seafood eateries, such as Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant, Blue Moon Beach Grill, Austin Fish Company, and Tale of the Whale. At Miller’s, you can even watch a spectacular sunset over Roanoke Sound. Perfect ending to a perfect day!
Can’t Fit It All Into One Day? No Worries
You’ll find lots more to do in Nags Head, from surfing to sailing to outlet shopping. Come for a week or a weekend to enjoy it all.