Nags Head, NC ~ A Fun Day Trip
For a fun excursion off the island, many visitors enjoy a day exploring Hatteras Island’s northern neighbors, the towns of Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk. This collection of towns known as the Central Outer Banks offers plenty of family friendly activities for young and young at heart, and is an enjoyable day trip for Hatteras Island vacationers. If you decide to go, there is a collection of “must-see” attractions just waiting to be discovered.
Shopping and Dining:
With a variety of stores and restaurants, you can spend your entire day trip with a little bit of shopping therapy, a quick meal and an evening of fine dining. Bargain hunters will love the Tanger Outlet Center, located at the southern end of Nags Head (known as South Nags Head) and with dozens of local and family-owned restaurants to choose from, there’s ample opportunity to sample North Carolina seafood.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head:
This 426-acre park in Nags Head is hard to miss, as it is home to the largest natural living sand dune on the East Coast. There are two self-guided trails and nature programs available year-round, and adventurous visitors can try hang gliding and kite flying, thanks to Kitty Hawk Kites’ flagship store just across the street.
Bodie Island Lighthouse:
The Bodie Island lighthouse is located just north of the Bonner Bridge, and the 156-foot tall horizontally-striped lighthouse is definitely worth a visit. Opened by the National Park Service for climbing in the spring of 2013, the lighthouse has recently become a popular destination. The grounds feature a visitor's center in the old keeper's quarters with exhibits, an Eastern National Bookstore, and a self-guided nature trail that winds through the soundside forests and marshes.
The Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills:
The statuesque monument that towers over the town of Kill Devil Hills marks the site of the Wright Brothers' first controlled powered flight on December 17, 1903. Climb to the top of the hill for an up close look at the pylon, or explore the neighboring Visitor Center, which features full-scale reproductions of the 1903 Wright Flyer and interpretive presentations. A pavilion boasts an exhibit hall with special exhibits, including a replica of the 1902 Wright Glider. This was also the site of the Centennial of Flight celebration in 2003 that was attended by President George W. Bush and saluted by a wing-dipping flyover of Air Force One.
Jennette’s Pier is a recent addition to the attractions in Nags Head. The original pier constructed in 1939 was mostly destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The North Carolina Aquarium Society rebuilt the pier as an all-concrete, 1,000 foot long educational ocean pier.
The new pier features exhibits and educational information in both its visitor center and all along the pier itself. The pier is open daily year round for fishing and sightseeing and offers scheduled educational and fun events and activities for all members of the family. It is also a popular destination for events such as surfing competitions and also a premier event center for weddings and large parties.