A classic beach town through and through, Nags Head is home to fantastic beaches, enormous sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge, and some of the best restaurants in the state of North Carolina. Some of the first vacation homes and entertainment options on the beach emerged from this famous area, and the Nags Head of today is still a place of history, beauty, and tradition.
Scroll through our favorite things to do in Nags Head below to start planning your dream vacation. Be sure to look for the Twiddy Preferred badge for our local take on the town’s greatest attributes.
Nags Head is known for being a quintessential Outer Banks town, with its wide open spaces, sprawling beaches, iconic architecture and bountiful fishing. This atmosphere lends vacationers the exciting opportunity to take a step back in time and experience what it was like when people first began flocking to the Outer Banks for vacation, and also what continues to keep them coming back to this day.
Explore our team’s list of the best things to do in Nags Head for an insider’s look at this amazing town.
"Beautiful fishing pier, plus the aquarium is a fun rainy day activity."
"Best place to go for breakfast in Nags
"Great for the sports fanatic and playing a game of pool."
Situated adjacent to Roanoke Island and Hatteras Island, Nags Head not only boasts two iconic Outer Banks fishing piers, but is only minutes away from beautiful marinas, sound accesses to freshwater fishing options, and is home to one of the largest and most modern charter fishing fleets on the eastern seaboard.
Want to stay outside but experience nature outside of normal beaches? Explore the largest natural sand dune system on the east coast at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. A trip to these dunes will enrich your next vacation in ways you won’t want to miss!
Nags Head is rich with unrivaled history, famous landmarks and lively attractions! During your next vacation, climb the Bodie Island Lighthouse, found on the barrier peninsula which was previously a true island before the Roanoke inlet that separated it from the Currituck Banks was closed.
Witness the oldest outdoor drama performed in the country in the legendary location of the Lost Colony. A nod to the Roanoke Island settlers from over 400 years ago, this play is a perfect opportunity to have fun while soaking up some local history.
Because of the unique and plentiful waterways found in and around Nags Head, a wide variety of watersports can be enjoyed; water tours and sport lessons thrive; and some of the best fishing on the entire Outer Banks can be found right down the street from wherever you’re staying.
Whether it’s exploring the meandering waterways and open sea on an eco-tour or dolphin watch, or getting up close and personal with wildlife on a stand up paddleboard or kayak tour, the chances are endless for adventure and touring the beauty and wonder of Nags Head.
When you’re not out on the beach soaking up the sun, try exploring the exclusive shops and boutiques found in and around Nags Head. You’re sure to find unique souvenirs to help remind you of your memories made on the Outer Banks for years to come.
Check out a local yoga studio, take the family for a movie, discover night bowling, or get a workout in at the local YMCA. No matter what you’re looking for, there are many family-friendly things to do in Nags Head.
If you are coming to the Outer Banks for a fishing excursion, Nags Head is where you want to be! Known around the world as a sport fisherman’s paradise, the Outer Banks draws in thousands of anglers every year to fish the area’s exciting waters. The ideal location of Nags Head provides vacationers with a front row seat to all of the action.
Nags Head is a quintessential beach town offering a traditional Outer Banks experience, but there are many different things to do and places to go.