Blake Walsh

18 Best Things to Do in Nags Head, NC

  • Published 2022/04/06

Nags Head is a beautiful city located in North Carolina.

The city predominantly consists of historical cottages that are stunning inside and out.

Nags Head offers everything from beach activities to adventure parks and sand dunes.

The countryside is relatively calm and composed.

The town has a rich culture with history embedded deep into its roots.

Legend has it that it was linked to piracy and used as a port by businessmen.

There are a lot of exciting activities to choose from and fascinating places to go.

So, here’s a list of the best things to do in Nags Head, North Carolina:

Take a Leisurely Walk Around Jennette’s Pier

Beautiful sunset at Jennette’s Pier

Jason Schronce /

Jennette’s Pier is one of the oldest yet most visited places in Nags Head.

The pier was revitalized after the hurricane hit it in 2003.

The spot holds seasonal programs and is an educational center.

The versatility of this place is that it holds something for everyone.

View of Jennette's Pier's walkway

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A walk along the pier is one of the best activities to enjoy here.

You can also watch fishermen doing their chores.

The amazing thing about Jennette’s Pier is that it looks exactly as it does in photos.

Also, there are educational signboards along the way that talk about waves, wildlife, and the outer banks as a whole.

Side details of Jennette's Pier

Chansak Joe /

Witness Sand Dunes at Jockey’s Ridge

Dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

J Paulson /

It’s said that Jockey’s Ridge State Park consists of the tallest sand dunes across the globe.

It is also the best place to gaze at the breathtaking sunset.

You can play around in the area but expect a little sand in your shoes.

A clean sand dune at Jockey's Ridge

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The atmosphere is peaceful, and the view is striking.

You can also bring your board and surf around the dunes.

Be there until the sun sets and moonlight lights up the area.

It’s time to be a kid again and rummage in the sand!

The sands of Jockey's Ridge

Cvandyke /

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping at First Flight Adventure Park

Thrill-seekers, this should top your bucket list.

It is the most famous and highly daunting adventure park.

The park has designed different activities suiting every age group.

There are 42 distinguished obstacles and six to seven zip lines.

All of these activities take place above 50 feet.

There’s never a dull moment at First Flight Adventure Park!

View the World from Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse at night

Mike Ver Sprill /

Bodie Island Lighthouse lies in a secluded area away from the hustle and bustle of the city,

It lies between the cedar trees.

The best time to visit this place is when the atmosphere is rainy or cloudy.

The area around the lighthouse is impeccable, too.

The entrance door of Bodie Island Lighthouse

Jason Schronce /

It is lined with dense trees and marshlands.

At night, you can gaze at some beautiful constellations and stars.

You can also rent a telescope and find some elements that may not be accessible to the naked eye.

This place will make the sky look like a magical element.

Wooden pathway leading to Bodie Island Lighthouse

MarkVanDykePhotography /

Go Shopping at the Outlets

It’s common to get the urge to shop, and it usually happens more frequently while traveling.

Nags Head’s outlets are perfect for satisfying the need to shop till you drop.

They have a huge amount of stores for you to choose from.

Outlets are also the most affordable place to do your shopping!

Admire Art at Seaside Art Gallery

Seaside Art Gallery houses some of the finest pieces across the border.

The gallery also organizes various shows to exhibit the best-of collection.

Art enthusiasts, note that some of their paintings are also available for purchase.

It houses a broad spectrum of artwork, with pieces from varying subjects and areas of interest.

The collected works are truly exceptional, and you ought to lay your eyes on them at least once.

Reconnect with Nature at Nags Head Woods Preserve

Landscape of Nags Head Woods Preserve

Cvandyke /

Nags Head Woods Preserve is an ecological park solely devoted to nature and its offerings.

It is a vast expanse that encapsulates a lot of things, including natural trails.

The trails are debris-free and smooth for walking.

Wooden bridge at Nags Head Woods Preserve

Roger Mulligan from Hagerstown, MD, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also, they are well marked and maintained to make it easier for tourists.

It is an offbeat place but is a must-visit one.

The sound of birds chirping, wind flowing by, and the rustle of leaves will keep you engaged.

The tranquil atmosphere of the place is soothing and refreshing.

Go on a Kayaking Tour in Time to Watch the Sunset

Kayaking is one of the most exciting and fun water activities.

Kitty Hawk is an organization in Nags Head that designs these tours.

They provide three separate tours: the maritime forest tour, the sunset tour, and the alligator refuge tour.

The sunset tour is one of the most recommended ones to try out; the Outer Banks is recognized for its immaculate sunsets, and this tour is the best chance to experience the moment.

You can row in the river and watch the sun setting behind the mountains.

Experience Go-Karting at Its Best at Full Throttle Speedway

Go-karting is always an exhilarating experience.

Full Throttle Speedway is the town’s best spot for go-karting.

They have well-distinguished race tracks and quirky cars to grab your attention.

It is up to the driver to put their abilities to the test and see how fast they can speed up.

The feeling of racing and winning will be persistent throughout the session.

Kids will have a great time here.

The staff will teach you the basics and help you put on your safety gear.

The place is usually crowded, but the line moves fast, so it won’t consume too much of your time.

You should visit the place in the evening as the atmosphere is pleasant and the aura is exciting.

Go Parasailing and Enjoy a Different View of Nags Head

To get a bird’s-eye view of Nags Head, you should go parasailing.

You’ll get to see incredible images of the terrain from the top.

The captains would ensure that you’ll have an outstanding experience.

Tourists’ safety is their utmost priority.

The remarkable thing about parasailing is you will be able to see the town from a different perspective and capture the experience of a lifetime.

The water beneath you and the sky above you—what more would you need?

Have a Jovial Time at Dowdy Park

Situated on the South Croatan Highway, Dowdy Park is a fun place to spend an afternoon.

It’s spread across large acres and offers recreational activities for people of every age group.

There are several amenities in the park, but the eminent ones are an amphitheater, a fitness trail, and an all-inclusive play area.

The fitness trail is smooth enough to go for a jog or tune into your playlist for a leisure walk.

The play area consists of different slides and sand pits for children.

The young ones can indulge in the activities and play together for hours.

The picnic tables are kept for the family to have brunch together while their kids mess through the sandpits.

Hop on a Boat and a Glimpse of the Dolphins

Dolphin watch station at Nags Head

travelview /

Dolphins are always a delight to watch, and in Nags Head, you have a chance to experience the euphoria.

Choose an early morning time slot, so the chances of sightings are higher.

If you are lucky enough, you may even spot dozens of dolphins together.

While on the boat, the tour operators also share amazing facts about dolphins and aquatic life in general.

This tour will surely make your trip worthwhile.

It is a pleasant experience that’s worth every penny.

Treat Your Taste Buds at Surfin Spoon

Surfin Spoon is the best yogurt shop in town.

They serve lip-smacking delicacies.

Their menu is a bit expensive, but the food is worth spending for.

If you are fond of ice cream, yogurt, and froyo, this place is for you.

Their menu is distinct and versatile.

They offer a wide variety of flavors and toppings to choose from.

You can visit the cafe for an after-dinner treat.

The ambiance is pretty cool, too

You know where to go in Nags Head for your sudden sweet tooth cravings!

Go Fishing at Nags Head Fishing Pier

Jennette's Fishing Pier in Nags Head

Chansak Joe /

Fishing enthusiasts, Nags Head Fishing Pier is your go-to place.

It is the oldest pier in the town and is a famous fishing destination.

Here, you’ll be able to get a lot of fish and perhaps even roast your fresh catch for dinner.

Waves crashing down Nags Head Fishing Pier

Cvandyke /

Come by early, and you can set up a little picnic with your family and enjoy the sunrise.

Before you head here, make sure to wear a coat as it is pretty chilly in the area.

Practice Your Distance Drives at Nags Head Golf Links

Sat among the windswept landscape of the Outer Banks, Nags Head Golf Links has been described as one of the most beautiful in the eastern United States by Golfweek and Golf Digest magazines.

This true Scottish links-style championship golf course provides both the novice and the expert with a truly unique North Carolina golfing experience.

At Nags Head Golf Links, players of all abilities will delight in the course’s remarkable views and idyllic setting.

Surrounded by the banks of the historic Roanoke Sound, this fantastic course promises consistently outstanding conditions throughout every season.

The locals and vacationers also come to Nags Head golf course for more than just their prize-winning golf course.

It’s no secret that their fabulous restaurant serves up some of the best lunch specials in the area and views that you could only experience if you’re truly living it up on the Outer Banks.

And what better way to celebrate after an afternoon out on the links than with your favorite cold beverage at their full-service bar?

Encounter the Brilliance of Glenn Eure’s Arts

This gallery of original artwork takes pride in bringing together contrasting ideas and themes to create pieces that are as breathtaking as they are powerful.

The artist behind these works is an ex-army major who never lost his passion for being “a patriot and soldier at heart” after retiring from active duty.

This cozy space is dedicated to showcasing Glenn Eure’s woodcuts, watercolor, mixed media innovations, sculptural oil canvases, and collagraph prints.

Glenn’s pieces echo American pride while also challenging the art scene to question what makes a piece of artwork truly unique.

The gallery also showcases the works of complimentary artists and the work of special guests.

Roll a Strike at the OBX Bowling Center

For more fun and exciting time with family and friends in Nags Head, you can count on OBX Bowling Center to have what you’re looking for.

The OBX Bowling Center is a clean, well-kept bowling alley in Nags Head offering all the fun and excitement that any up-to-date bowling center should have to offer.

There are also big screens both inside and out that display high-definition movies, bowling games, and cable TV shows so everyone will be entertained.

OBX Bowling has an awesome new touch screen computer system that keeps track of bowling and allows you to take selfies and talk to other lanes as you compete with your friends while still keeping score.

Another perk of this bowling alley is that it features a cafe where you can grab some delicious pizza after bowling all day.

There’s also an arcade in the lobby that features brand new games for everyone to enjoy.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Understand the Mechanics of Flying at the Memorial

 Daytime view of the Wright Brothers National Memorial

wayfarerlife /

This memorial pays homage to the Wright Brothers and their contribution to the world.

It also houses a replica of the plane they designed.

The exhibit is well laid out and showcases every aspect attached to the Wright Brothers.

First aircraft displayed at Mechanics of Flying at the Memorial

wayfarerlife /

The place portrays the brothers’ journey and the story.

It is incredibly intriguing to watch all of these.

The storytelling will keep you engaged and will also impart life lessons.

If you are an aviation enthusiast, this place will be a haven for you.

An aircraft displayed inside the Mechanics of Flying at the Memorial

Bill Morson /

Final Thoughts

Nags Head is a charming corner of the Outer Banks and a terrific place for visitors interested in spending some time in North Carolina.

It’s home to wonderful sandy beaches as well as ample recreational opportunities.

Whether you’re looking for fantastic food, invigorating activities, or access to beautiful shorelines and bright blue ocean waters, Nags Head has something that will interest you.

Get excited by planning the perfect trip complete with these must-see activities listed here!

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