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Exciting Things You Can Do in Nags Head

For more than 150 years, vacationers searching for a beautiful beachside experience have come to Nags Head. Celebrated as the first of the Outer Banks resort areas, Nags Head provides stunning ocean views, refreshing breezes, and an abundance of energizing outdoor activities. The beach itself is just one of many areas to explore while you visit — there's almost too many options for people who love to shop, enjoy fine dining, and appreciate a community rich with history!

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01Enjoy your time on the beach!

beach at Nags Head catnap72 / Getty Images

Nags Head is centrally located in the Outer Banks, and it provides a beautiful beachside experience for visitors! The beach itself is pet-friendly, and it provides both stunning views and ample room for children to run and play. You can also secure a license at a local tackle shop and take part in surf fishing while you are out by the water. Several oceanside and ocean view hotels are available if you want to stay as close to this locale as possible.

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02See the view at the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse

View of Bodie Island Lighthouse JPecha / Getty Images

For more than 150 years, Bodie Island Lighthouse has provided a vital beacon for ships passing by the Nags Head coastline. The lighthouse itself is open to be visitors at any time of year. During the summer months, you can climb the steps of the 156 foot-tall building and enjoy the view! You can also walk the grounds and explore the surrounding area. The original light keepers' home has been converted to a ranger station and Outer Banks visitor center.

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03Visit Jennette's Pier

View of Jennette's Pier tony740607 / Getty Images

Jennette's Pier was built in 1939, but damage from Hurricane Isabel nearly destroyed the historic walkway in 2003. Fortunately, the building was successfully remodeled and restored, so it continues to be a welcome destination for tourists. In addition to marveling at the structure itself, visitors to Jennette's Pier can fish, walk through the educational center, and learn about the North Carolina Aquarium Project's role in maintaining the space.

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04Swing through the Nags Head Golf Links

Nags Head Golf Links provides eighteen holes of a Scottish links-style course. The view of the coast and temperate weather make this inviting grounds for seasoned and new players alike. While memberships to the club are available, one-day visits are also provided. The course accommodates people at varying skill levels, and older children are welcomed to play. In addition to providing eighteen courses, the club also has a practice green, a clubhouse, and a Cayman driving range. Visitors during the summer can take part in instructional clinics hosted by PGA professionals.

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05Charter a ride on the Miss Oregon Inlet and go boat fishing

Fishing on the coast can be great fun, but those eager to cast their lines in other waters can take a ride on the Miss Oregon Inlet. The boat provides a half-day trip where families can fish at the gateway of Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Bait and tackle are provided to guests on the boat, and no licenses are needed to take part in the fishing. The Miss Oregon Inlet can also be chartered for family and other social events and offers an enclosed cabin where passengers can gather and interact.

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06Explore the restaurants of Nags Head

When you visit an oceanside community, you can expect to find an array of seafood options. Nags Head provides eateries that serve up tasty casual fare as well as more elegant and sophisticated menu options. If you want to diversify your palate further, you can take a break from seafood and enjoy culinary options that include steaks, Mexican food, barbecue, and more. There are also quick bites from beachside stops that give you a taste of the sea while you continue your day.

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07Enjoy an East Coast surfing experience

female surfers running on the beach at sunset Stephen Simpson / Getty Images

Visitors to Nags Head can take on the ocean waves, as they can enjoy ample opportunities to surf. While many travelers to the area go to Jennette's Pier to surf, there are also locations in South Nags Head to be enjoyed. Surrounding areas like Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills also provide enticing waves. You can pick up supplies and meet like-minded people at local surf shops such as Secret Spot Surf Shop, Whalebone Surf Shop, and Cavalier Surf Shop.

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08Take in Nags Head on a bike or skates

three colorful bikes Prostock-Studio / Getty Images

A multi-use path that runs along the beach road, taking travelers from Eighth Street to Old Oregon Road in South Nags Head. The path prohibits automobiles, but it is a great space for people who enjoy biking and skating. You can move along Beach Road and take in the spectacular views of the ocean, the wide sky, and the mix of classic commercial and residential buildings that form the Nags Head community. Local rentals are available if you don't have your bike or skates with you.

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09Hike the Nags Head Woodland Preserve

Nags Heads Woods Preserve is one of the largest maritime forests on the East Coast. The area is dense with greenery, and the greenery stands in contrast to the openness of the beach. Hiking trails are maintained in this area, so you can see its beauty for yourself as you walk through. In addition to housing more than 550 varieties of plants, there are over 150 species of birds to be seen while you trek the woodlands.

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10Peruse the Gallery Row Arts District

While there are ample opportunities to visit stunning outdoor destinations in Nags Head, there are compelling reasons to head inside. The Gallery Row Arts District welcomes locals and tourists to shop at the area galleries, including locally-owned shops. After admiring the beauty of the beach, you can find a stunning piece of art you are eager to take home with you!

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