Things to Do in Nags Head, North Carolina

Things to Do in Nags Head, North Carolina
Nags Head, on the outer banks of North Carolina, provides many fabulous outdoor adventures. While some in your party may enjoy sunning themselves on the beach, those who want to explore the coast have plenty of options. In addition to the many activities to pursue in Nags Head, there are numerous restaurants with everything from fresh seafood to traditional North Carolina barbecue. The Outer Banks region of North Carolina, which includes Nags Head, is sure to offer something for everyone in your party.


Hiking may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you head to the beach, but Nags Head has some great locations. Jockey Ridge State Park has the largest natural sand dunes in the eastern United States. You can trek up and down the dunes on your own, or follow the one-and-a-half mile nature trail that leads you back to Roanoke Sound. The Nags Head Ecological Woods is a maritime forest that covers over 1,000 acres. This diverse forest takes you from a sandy beach environment to a wooded forest zone and back.


You have plenty of options when kayaking along the waters of Nags Head. If you are up for some adventure, head into the Atlantic Ocean with your own kayak or a rental. Looking for something a little more relaxing? Head down the Alligator River or put in at Roanoke Sound.


Don't expect to find the big waves that you may find on the West Coast, but there are surfing opportunities in Nags Head. The area immediately north of Nags Head Pier offers consistent surf conditions, although it can get crowded at times. Further up the coast, the Kitty Hawk Pier and the Laundromats--an exposed beach break in Kitty Hawk--offer consistently good surfing as well. Surfers frequently report sharks in these areas.

Hang Glide

Head back to Jockey's Ridge State Park to try your hand at hang gliding. Many of the dunes at Jockey's Ridge top 80 feet, making them perfect for launching hang gliders. If you have never done it before, Kitty Hawk Kites' Nags Head location, across the street from Jockey's Ridge, provides lessons and equipment.

Water Adventures

Kitty Hawk Kites has several locations along the Outer Banks and provides lessons and equipment rentals for those interested in parasailing and kite boarding. Their kite-boarding instructions take place south of Nags Head in Rodanthe, with direct access to Pamlico Sound. Parasailing is available at both their Duck (north of Nags Head) and Manteo (south of Nags Head) locations. Kitty Hawk Water Sports, located at milepost 16, offers lessons and rentals in windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding.


Fishing is one of Nags Head's most popular activities. Fish from Nags Head Pier, stand in the surf or head out into the ocean on a deep-sea charter.

Article Written By Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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