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Welcome to Nags Head Vacation Rentals

When many people refer to the Outer Banks, they use the term "Nags Head" to generically describe the area. The truth of the matter is that Nags Head was first a physical location on a map, then a township, and finally, the most recognizable of all the northern Outer Banks vacation destinations.

Early maps of the area show Nags Head as a promontory of land characterized by high sand dunes visible from miles at sea. Tales of land pirates that lured ships ashore in stormy weather may be the possible origin of the town's name. Or it may have been carried across the sea by English explorers who were reminded of a similar location of the English coast, a high point on the Scilly Islands, the last sight of old England that the earlier explorers were to see on their voyage to the New World.

We'll never know the true origin, but legend and lore insists that early 18th century "Bankers", realizing how profitable piracy was for sea-going scoundrels such as Blackbeard, developed their own unique method as land-based pirates. Horses with lanterns tied to their necks were walked up and down the beach at night. Merchant skippers in the off-shore waters would mistakenly think the lights were of other ships closer to shore. They would then change course and run aground, with the Bankers pillaging their cargoes.

Nags Head is a place in Dare County in North Carolina, USA. It is located at latitude 35° 57' 26" North, longitude 75° 37' 26" West. The United States Postal Service has assigned Nags Head the ZIP Code 27959.

Nags Head Vacation Rentals in Outer Banks, NC

8 Bedroom Beach House in Nags Head
Bed: 8 Bath: 7.5 Sleep: 16
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Cape Ann is #704 Discover the Outer Banks from this spacious, well-appointed 3-year old beach house with enough activities for all to enjoy! It has ev ... View Details
5 Bedroom Beach House Rental
Bed: 5 Bath: 3.5 Sleep: 8
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
ive Bedroom, 3 1/2 Bath beach house for your family to enjoy! Located at milepost 17.5 in Whalebone Cay subdivision in Nags Head. This beach house pro ... View Details
Jockeys Ridge Haven
Bed: 8 Bath: 9 Sleep: 21
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Relax on the rooftop deck and take in the fantastic ocean views and beautiful sunsets over Jockey\'s Ridge from this lovely estate in the heart of Nag ... View Details
Avalon Home Rental
Bed: 5 Bath: 4 Sleep: 18
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Milepost 14. Ocean Views. 200 feet to beach access across street. House conveniently located in Nags Head, near Jockey\'s Ridge, golf courses and shop ... View Details
Beautiful 8 Bedroom Oceanfront Estate
Bed: 8 Bath: 8 Sleep: 18
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
New First Full Season. This Custom Built home makes the others look ordinary. Every detail has been carefully planned to make this an \"AWESOME\" Oute ... View Details
Charming 2 Bedroom Cottage
Bed: 2 Bath: 2 Sleep: 6
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
35 Yards to the beach! Parking for 2 Vehicles ONLY. Unobstructed access and boarded walkway to the beach. ... View Details
Charming Soundside Beach Home
Bed: 4 Bath: 3.5 Sleep: 8
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Built new in 2000! Take advantage of the great sunset views! In South Ridge Subdivision. 12.8 Milepost. ... View Details
Exquisite 8 Bedroom Oceanfront Home
Bed: 8 Bath: 8 Sleep: 18
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Beach Baby will spoil you rotten. It has it all! You will not miss one minute of fun while poolside, cabana bar offers shade and has a full Bath w/sho ... View Details
Heron Cove Condo
Bed: 3 Bath: 2.5 Sleep: 8
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Over 2,000 square feet of oceanfront living space...this luxurious condo at Heron Cove has all the amenities you are looking for and more. A communit ... View Details
Star Witness Home
Bed: 7 Bath: 7 Sleep: 16
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
STAR WITNESS is truly a one of a kind home. This elegantly decorated home features Ocean Views, Sound Views, Private Pool, Elevator, Hot Tub, Hardwoo ... View Details
Cap Star Home
Bed: 6 Bath: 5 Sleep: 14
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Fantastic Ocean Views, Private Pool as well as Golf discounts at the Nags Head Golf Links make this the perfect Outer Banks beach home. While spendin ... View Details
Crystal Star Home
Bed: 6 Bath: 5 Sleep: 14
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Crystal Star will provide you with your best family vacation in the Outer Banks! You will enjoy wonderful ocean views, hot tub, private pool, high sp ... View Details
Club Star Home
Bed: 6 Bath: 5 Sleep: 14
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Ocean views, easy walk to beach and community pool. All of the amenities you need are yours at Club Star. This gorgeous home is situated in the perfec ... View Details
OCEANFRONT Cottage in South Nags Head
Bed: 2 Bath: 1 Sleep: 9
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Experience an unforgettable "ocean romance" while staying at this oceanfront cottage designed for comfort and relaxation. Newly renovated in late 20 ... View Details
Bed: 2 Bath: 1 Sleep: 5
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
We have told many of our friends about My Lagoon. The renovations were awesome, the place was clean and as my wife said \"very cute\" and \"tastefully ... View Details
Sea Breeze Cottage Home
Bed: 4 Bath: 2 Sleep: 8
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
WOW! This is a great (4) bedroom / (2) full bath beach house with an Ocean View, a beautiful backyard pond, overlooks the National Wildlife Preserve, ... View Details
South Nags Head Home
Bed: 6 Bath: 5 Sleep: 14
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Semi-Ocean Front Home - SAVE $320 TO $370 FOR SELECT WEEKS IN JUNE ... located in South Creek Acres, South Nags Head\'s premier community. Great Beach ... View Details
4-BR Beach House with Spa
Bed: 4 Bath: 3 Sleep: 10
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
4-br 2.5 bath beach house 1 block from ocean and beach club w/pool & tennis. Spa on deck overlooking ocean. Near attractions, restaurants, stores. ... View Details
Semi-Oceanfront Beach House with Amazing Views!!!
Bed: 4 Bath: 2 Sleep: 10
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Amazing View offers a large open observation deck that is lighted and has spectacular views of the ocean and sound. It is steps away from the beach an ... View Details
SCHOOL'S OUT and it's time to vacation in style.
Bed: 4 Bath: 2 Sleep: 10
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
DSL is available at this wonderful home for those that have the need to do a little work before enjoying all of the amenities of the Village Beach clu ... View Details
Beach House Vacation Rental NAGS HEAD, NC
Bed: 5 Bath: 4 Sleep: 12
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Located at approximately M.P. 11.5 This was the builders \"model\" home with loads of amenities and charm! You\'ll feel spoiled by the ... View Details
Shore Thing, Steps to Beach & Pier, Heated Pool!
Bed: 4 Bath: 5 Sleep: 10
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
This luxury home is a short walk to the beach, shops, Nags Head fishing pier, and more. The owner has spared no expense to make sure that this home ha ... View Details
Critcher Comforts-Nags Head Style Oceanfront
Bed: 3 Bath: 2 Sleep: 8
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Come and enjoy the perfect mixture of old beach charm and modern conveniences. Sensational seafront panorama of beach and surf from second floor priva ... View Details
Barbequay - Oceanfront Home
Bed: 5 Bath: 3 Sleep: 15
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Milepost 10.5. Spectacular 360 degree Sea-front panorama of Jockey\'s Ridge and Wright Brothers Memorial from the 35 foot Ships Watch. Next to #1 ... View Details
"Beach Royalty" - Oceanfront Beach Home!
Bed: 6 Bath: 6 Sleep: 10
Nags Head, North Carolina, United States
Beach Royalty has everything you ever dreamed of and much, much, more! Beach Royalty gives you unbelievable luxury with the back drop setting of th ... View Details

Nags Head Attractions and Activities

Around 1830, Nags Head became known as a plush resort area and remains so today, with a wealth of activities nearby to please a variety of tastes. Jockey's Ridge is the last vestige of the giant moving sand dunes that once towered over the beaches and greeted the first explorers. Surrounding Jockey's Ridge State Park, thousands of vacation homes beckon travelers of a different sort to the wide sandy beaches and relaxed atmosphere of an Outer Banks vacation. Modern day Bankers no longer need a lantern tied around a horse to lure visitors. With plenty of beaches and world-record fishing, golfing and shopping to nature trails, wildlife refuges, shipwreck remains and historic sites, its all here.

Museums and Lighthouses

Bodie Island Lighthouse (10005 S. Old Oregon Inlet Road, (N.C. Highway 12), in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Nags Head): This horizontally striped lighthouse is located along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the soundside of the beach road in South Nags Head. The 156-foot tall lighthouse was completed in 1872 and has an interesting history. The structure you see today is actually the third lighthouse to be built in this area. The first lighthouse was built in 1847, rebuilt in 1859 and destroyed in 1862 during the Civil War. The lighthouse is not open to the public for climbing, but you can head to the visitor center (open year-round) in the old Keepers' Quarters to check out exhibits and to browse through their Eastern National Bookstore. There is also a self-guided nature trail through the surrounding marshes. Bodie Island is a great place for photo opportunities, so be sure to bring your camera.

Monument to a Century of Flight (5230 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 1, Behind the Aycock Brown Welcome Center, Kitty Hawk): The Monument to a Century of Flight was dedicated in November of 2003, just before the First Flight Centennial "in celebration of the soaring of the human spirit." Fourteen steel wing-shaped structures reach from 10 to 20 feet, circling 120 feet, the distance of the Wright Brother's first flight. The pillars have engraved granite panels that chronicle the 100 most significant events in the history of aviation. They begin with the first flight in Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers in 1903 and go on to list such achievements in flight as the first solo flight across the Atlantic, made by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969. The monument ends the celebration by stating, "Humankind is a continuum of pioneers sharing timeless dreams and the boundless possibilities of vast unexplored world." Standing among the wing-shaped pillars that reach for the sky as you stand high on a dune, looking out at the Atlantic, you can't help but agree.

Historic sites

USS Huron Shipwreck (Bladen Street Beach Access, The Beach Road, MP 11.5, Nags Head): Designated in 1991 as North Carolina's first Historic Shipwreck Preserve, the USS Huron lies 250 yards from the beach. During the summer, buoys mark her bow and stern. Myriad sea life and remaining portions of the wreck including boilers, propeller, rudder and cannonball storage racks make this an interesting destination for divers and snorkelers. Erosion has taken its toll and marine growth covers the site, but the lower hull is well preserved with parts of the bow intact up to the main deck. It is illegal to collect artifacts or disturb this site. Follow safe scuba-diving practices and check on conditions with a lifeguard before swimming out to the wreck. Don't swim or dive alone.

Parks and Natural Areas

Jockey’s Ridge State Park (592 Carolista Drive and The Bypass, MP 12, Nags Head): Nags Head is home to the tallest natural sand dune on the East Coast. Jockey's Ridge, a series of five dunes, is a natural wonder that's continually changing in shape and height. With the highest hill varying from 90 to 110 feet tall, this system of sand is a haven for adventure. Colorful kites waver over its majesty regularly, and hang gliders climb to its summit to swoop down a sandy incline. Hikers excite in its form and function, and nature buffs appreciate discovering the subtle dune life that exists here. Few can resist the climb to bear witness to renowned Outer Banks sunsets. Included in the 426-acre park are several trails, picnic areas, a visitor center and a museum and gift shop supported by the non-profit Friends of Jockey's Ridge. Natural history programs for adults and children are offered. A boardwalk provides a lookout for a terrific view of the dunes and also serves as a passage for the mobility impaired. Arrangements can be made for a four-wheel dune ride to the top (the park requests a 24-hour notice). In the summer, the sand on the dunes is usually 25 to 30 degrees hotter than the air, so shoes are a necessity.

Nags Head Woods (701 W. Ocean Acres Drive, Kill Devil Hills): A beautiful place for hiking, trail running and birding, The Nature Conservancy's Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve is one of the best remaining examples of a mid-Atlantic maritime forest. Often referred to as the "best kept secret on the Outer Banks," the five miles of trails in the 1,400-acre preserve are open every day from dawn until dusk for foot traffic only; dogs and bikes are not allowed on the trails but they are welcome on the gravel roadway. Highlights are an extensive dune system, inter-dune ponds and pine and deciduous trees that can be up to 500 years old. It is home to more than 300 species of plants and 50 species of birds, including herons, pileated woodpeckers and red-shouldered hawks plus other creatures like salamanders, turtles and muskrat. Before you begin your hike or ride, find maps and other information at the outdoor information counter located up the boardwalk at the parking area. Every May they host the Annual Nags Head Woods 5k. Race time is 8 a.m. so lace up your running shoes and get on it!

Kitty Hawk Woods (West Kitty Hawk Road and Woods Road, off The Bypass, Kitty Hawk): Kitty Hawk Woods is a unique environment: a maritime forest, swamp and marsh. Totaling 1,877 acres, the Town of Kitty Hawk owns 461 acres with a conservation easement from the state. A diverse array of wildlife is at home in Kitty Hawk Woods. In some areas gray foxes, raccoons and white-tailed deer can be found. In marsh areas, a number of amphibians and reptiles thrive as well as river otter and muskrat. Birders will want to explore the woods for the hawks, wrens, herons and egrets that can be found in the woods and the marsh areas. Hiking trails with interpretive signs are available for day use only and are accessible from the main access points on Eckner Street, Amadas Avenue and Birch Lane. The reserve office is located at 983 W. Kitty Hawk Road. Please respect this unique natural setting and stay on marked trails while exploring the woods.


Nags Head Walking Tour (Nags Head Beach Cottage Historic District, The Beach Road, Nags Head): Explore the history of Nags Head with the Nags Head Walking Tour and Guidebook. Pick up your own copy at a local book or specialty store, and then learn about Nags Head by following the Walking Tour. The tour guides you along approximately a mile and a half of the Beach Road in Nags Head that is commonly known as Cottage Row. It typically takes about an hour to complete the tour. Viewing the structures, you'll get a feel for vacationing in Nags Head as it was in the 19th century. Seven of the original 13 cottages still stand and are some of the earliest examples of Nags Head architecture. You'll see the style carried on in the accompanying structure s that have been built beside them. Approximately 40 oceanfront cottages make up Cottage Row and are covered in the book. Enjoy getting to know the history behind the grand Nags Head Cottage Row with the Nags Head Walking Tour as your guide.


The beach is the greatest attraction Nags Head has to offer, and vacationers take full advantage of all it by swimming, surfing, sunning and beachcombing. But, overall, the area is a recreation wonderland that reaches from beneath the ocean waves into the blue skies. Whether you’re seeking sun, fun and thrills as an single adventurer or as a family, a great time awaits you in Nags Head. Snorkel famous shipwrecks, sail sound waters, kayak rolling waves or soar over Jockey’s Ridge in a hang glider. Witness wildlife through dolphin watches or by wetting a fishing line. Or if you enjoy more low key activities you can bike or walk the town bike path or travel along a wooded trail. Other activities available in Nags Head include biking, skating, sailing, scuba diving, miniature golf, fishing and boating. For shopping, don't miss the artisans' alley known as Gallery Row in northern Nags Head. Here you'll find an eclectic collection of galleries, jewelry and arts and crafts shops.

Festivals and Events

Seine the Sound (Nags Head, NC) (Date: 7-29-2009).
Cooking with Penguins (Nags Head, NC) (Date: 6-3-2009).
Blackbeard’s Pirate Festival (Nags Head, NC) (Date: 9-14-2009).
Blackbeard's Pirate Festival (Nags Head, NC) (Date: 9-16-2009).
24th Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition (Nags Head, NC) (Date: 10-17-2009).

Latest Nags Head Outer Banks (North Carolina) Vacation News

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The Outer Banks Voice
Morning fire guts house in Nags Head; no one injured The Outer Banks Voice The fire apparently broke out on the front porch of the house in the 2400 block of Wrightsville Avenue and damaged much of the front portion of the interior. Nags Head Fire Chief Kevin Zorc described damage as extensive, but fortunately the man who ...

Beach bound The Times and Democrat My family also vacationed in Nags Head/Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks and down at Sandbridge near Virginia Beach when my brother and I were very young. At Sandbridge, we caught baskets full of blue crabs using lengths of string with ... and more »

North Carolina's Governor Says Offshore Drilling Should Be Closer To Beaches ThinkProgress The governments of 16 of the state's coastal cities and towns have passed resolutions opposing offshore oil exploration and development activities, as have the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and the Dare County, North Carolina, Tourism Board. and more »

Charlotte Observer
10 amazing beaches Charlotte Observer P.S. The name Nags Head is traced back to when land pirates of the Outer Banks would place a lantern around the head of a mule and walk it up and down the sand dunes of the beach, hoping to trick those in trade ships into thinking it was another large ...

The Outer Banks Voice
Rumbles from Raleigh threaten to shake up budgets here The Outer Banks Voice Hanging over the heads of local leaders trying to balance budgets for the new fiscal year is an enormous thundercloud that could also darken the budgets of homeowners across the Outer Banks. Under legislation changing the way state sales tax revenues ...

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