Outer Banks Spotlight on the Town of Nags Head

Did you hear? We're on a road trip! We're driving along the beautiful Outer Banks and stopping at each OBX town along the way. We've featured the highlights of every place and hope you've been following our coastal Carolina journey to some of the best beaches and best beach towns found anywhere.

Next stop: Nags Head. This popular Outer Banks vacation destination is known for its sprawling beaches, wide-open ocean views, and its wealth of amenities and attractions all touched with natural coastal beauty. Miles of fun await you, so let's explore more about what the town of Nags Head has to offer, shall we? Let's go!

Town History of Nags Head

As with the other OBX towns, Native Americans were the earliest residents of this now popular beach vacation destination. Nags Head was first discovered by visitors in the 1830s. Known as the first "tourist colony", Nags Head brought a mix of inland plantation owners, rich businessmen and their families to this remote yet beautiful part of coastal North Carolina.

By the mid-1800s, Nags Head had established a collection of shops, a church, a few dozen vacation cottages and even a bowling alley. Development stalled a bit during the Civil War but regained momentum in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By the 1960s, Nags Head was in full-swing as a beach vacation destination with flourishing, locally-run motels, restaurants, shops and all the conveniences vacationers would desire.

So what about that name, Nags Head? Where did that come from? Well if you're thinking of horses, you're headed in the right direction. There's also piracy involved. You can read the full story about the origin of the name Nags Head here.

The Beaches in Nags Head

The beaches found in Nags Head are relatively uncrowded thanks to the miles of shoreline to explore. Plentiful beach access and beach parking are available. Nags Head has the largest municipal stretch of oceanfront with 11 miles of it. Nags Head takes pride in its low density of population and development, abundant wide-open spaces, and pristine Atlantic waters.

There are several public beach accesses that are lifeguarded from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Remember to be mindful of the town of Nags Head rules and regulations, keep your dog leashed, and only drive on the beach during the permissible times in spring and fall.

Things To Do in the Town of Nags Head

There is a lot to do in Nags Head! With its classic beach charm, beach lovers are perfectly happy to soak up the sun while enjoying the ebb and flow of the surf and the gentle caress of the soft warm sand.

Nature trails abound in the maritime forest just beyond the sand dunes. The Roanoke Sound beckons kayakers, paddle boarders, wind surfers and wave runners. With two local fishing piers, you can drop a line and reel in the fresh catch of the day. Or try your hand at surf fishing right from the shoreline.

Nags Head Attractions & Events

Of course the beach is the #1 attraction here, but in case you're looking for more things to do in Nags Head—well, here you go! As you can see, you won't run out of things to do during your OBX beach vacation.

Where To Stay in Nags Head on the Outer Banks of NC

Élan Vacations has a lot of Nags Head vacation rentals to offer you and your family in various sizes, styles and locations all with amazing amenities. You'll have the best OBX vacation ever when you customize your stay and choose accommodations that are more personalized for your tastes, wants and needs.

Check out our Nags Head rentals and start planning your next Outer Banks beach vacation. Learn even more about what an OBX vacation in Nags Head has to offer by following the link.

Did you miss any of our other Outer Banks Spotlights? No worries, you can catch up right here!