28 Things To Do Nags Head NC

As you can see by the length of this list, there are numerous things to do in Nags Head NC! Whether you're visiting for a few hours or staying for an entire week, you won't run out of Nags Head attractions to keep you occupied. 

If you could, please let us know in the comments section at the bottom of this post which Nags Head activity is your favorite to partake in - we'd love to know!

Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head, NC

Sandboarding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Apart from the incredibly ideal kite flying and hang gliding conditions, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is considered to be the very best spot for sandboarding on the East Coast – a designation that is rarely touted by the park. The area doesn’t receive much snow – maybe 1 to 2 inches a year – so board riding locals have gravitated to the dune for sandboarding fun for decades.

Sandboarding is only permitted on the dunes from October through March. Permits must be obtained from the park office and parents will be required to sign for anyone under 18.

Please visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park’s website for additional information about the park and other recreational activities available!

Nags Head Fishing Pier in Outer Banks NC

Visit Nags Head Fishing Pier

One of the oldest and longest piers on the Outer Banks! You and yours can cast out your line and reel in memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re fishing for fun, sport, or for your appetite, Nags Head Fishing Pier is the place.

The Pier House Restaurant and Capt. Andy’s Oceanfront Tiki Bar and Grill reside right on the beautiful Atlantic with amazing ocean views. With a menu that can satisfy any appetite offering a wide variety of dishes including the freshest seafood available and a wide variety of drink options. Fresh seafood can’t get any fresher than when you catch it and they’ll cook it right there – You Hook “Em – We Cook “Em!

3335 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-5141

Beach in Nags Head, NC

Hit The Beach

Of course, going to the beach is at the top of this list, the town of Nags Head has some of the most pristine beaches on the Outer Banks!

Relax in a comfy chair and enjoy your beverage of choice with this fun, free activity. Go for a walk along the shore and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The beach can really help clear your mind and allow you to truly relax!

Jet Ski Rentals Nags Head, NC

Rent a Jet Ski

Get an adrenaline rush and speed your way along the waters surrounding the Outer Banks on a jet ski! This is the perfect vacation activity for the entire family. Sightsee at a slow speed, or race through the waves! Whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed with this fun Nags Head activity.

Jet Ski Rental Rates:
30 Min Rental – $69
60 Min Rental – $99

Keep in mind that rental fees vary from place to place!

Nags Head Dolphin Tours Outer Banks NC

Nags Head Dolphin Tours

Climb aboard one of the many pontoon boats docked on the Outer Banks and go on an adventure in search of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins! Nags Head dolphin tours allow passengers to get an up-close look at these majestic creatures without negatively disturbing the dolphins. Remember, DO NOT try to touch the dolphins! Your captain will remind you before the tour starts.

Nags Head Dolphin tours are a cost-effective activity for the entire family and are available almost every day of the week during the peak season. The captains only have a few months to make their salary for the year, so there are plenty of different time slots to choose from!

Activity Cost:
$29 per Adult
$15 per Child (12 & under)
$1 per infant (1 & under)

We recommend booking your dolphin tour through Kitty Hawk Kites if you can. Here is a link with more info on this ultra-popular thing to do in Nags Head!

Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head, NC

Ascend Bodie Island Lighthouse

Round up everyone in the family car and head south on Highway 12 to go check out Bodie Island Lighthouse, one of the most well-maintained lighthouses in the United States!

Self-guided tours of the structure are available during the majority of the year, be sure to call ahead to the office to make sure, because the park rangers will close access to the interior of the lighthouse if it’s too hot or too windy.

Activity Cost:
There is no cost if you wish to visit the lighthouse, explore the area around the structure, and check out the gift shop. Parking is also free!

Climbing tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (62 or older), children (11 and under, and at least 42″ tall), and the disabled.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can only be purchased in-person at the site the day of the climb. There are no advance ticket sales for regular climbs!

8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse
Nags Head, NC 27959

Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, NC

Seaside Art Gallery

Chester and Barbara Smith, along with their friend William Wood, opened the doors of the Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head way back in 1961! Since then, the gallery has been known as one of the premier buildings on the Outer Banks to view and buy fine, original art. You won’t find any reproductions here!

This reputable local business has partnered with the local SPCA and 10% of all of the business's proceeds go towards benefiting this essential non-profit. If you love art, or just need something to do on a rainy day at the beach, be sure to check out the Seaside Art Gallery!

2716 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-5418

Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve Outer Banks Nc

Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve

A gem of sand dunes, ponds, marshes, and wetlands nested on the Outer Banks. Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve is made of up 1,111 acres of land! 

Owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy. Hiking trails are open from dawn to dusk every day for foot traffic only. Don't forget about this item from our things to do in Nags Head NC - it's amazing to see all of the trees and greenery so close to the ocean!

Activity Cost:
There is no fee required to enjoy and explore this Nags Head attraction!

701 West Ocean Acres Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-2525

Go Carts at Full Throttle Speedway in Nags Head, NC

Go Karts at Full Throttle Speedway

Open from spring until early fall, Full Throttle Speedway is the place to go in Nags Head if you want to challenge your family and friends to a thrilling go-kart race!

All of their machines are gas-powered and quite fast. Participants can race on either the stick oval or figure 8 course. There are also kiddie karts available for use for the young racers!

Activity Cost:
The price for this activity varies. It usually costs about $7 per person to drive one of the go-karts.

6504 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-4499

Golfing in Nags Head, NC

Round of 18 at Nags Head Golf Links

Discover a true Scottish links-style championship course nestled into the natural, windswept environment of the Outer Banks where sand dunes and rugged coastline create a different golfing experience. Enjoy a round of 18 at one of the very best places to go golfing on the island!

Nags Head Golf Links is located right on the sound front and offers unobstructed views of the scenic Roanoke Sound from most spots on the course. Price varies greatly depending on the day of the week and time of year!

Click here to view up-to-date pricing on this Nags Head activity.

5615 S Seachase Drive
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-8073

Parasailing in Nags Head, NC

Go Parasailing

Soar high above Nags Head with this fun-filled adventure! Enjoy spectacular views of the Outer Banks during this very popular activity. It’s safe and most importantly, it’s fun! Float peacefully high above the calm sound waters and experience the thrill either by yourself or with two to three others!

Check out this post for some additional information regarding Nags Head parasailing.

Activity Cost:
The cost to go parasailing ranges from about $100 all the way up to $255.

First Flight Adventure Park in Nags Head, NC

Conquer the First Flight Adventure Park

Have you ever been on a ropes course? The First Flight Adventure Park is one of if not the most physically demanding attractions on the Outer Banks; and it’s super fun! The spring of 2014 was when able-bodied climbers first conquered the course. Since then, thousands of people have taken on the course that boasts a total of 42 elements and 6 zip lines!

Activity Cost:
$49 per ticket (2 Hours)
$39 per ticket for ages 9 and under (2 Hours)

Milepost 16
6714 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959

Kayaking in Nags Head, NC

Go on a Kayaking Adventure

The intricate network of waterways in Nags Head offers an endless possibility of kayaking options for vacationers! Kayaking is a fun, cost-effective way to spend quality time with friends and family while exploring the lesser-known water-covered sections of the coastal town.

If you decide to go kayaking, you have two options: you can either rent your own kayak and be responsible for transporting it and finding your way around the area you paddling in, or you can book a guided tour with one of the many kayak tour guides on the Outer Banks.

Activity Cost:
$49 per ticket (2 Hours)
$39 per ticket for ages 9 and under (2 Hours)

Oysters Seafood Outer Banks NC

Oceanfront Dining at Fish Head’s Bar & Grill

Located on the Outer Banks Fishing Pier, Fish Heads Bar & Grill is THE tiki bar of the island. Oceanfront dining at its best!

You’ll feel the waves crashing along the pilings as you enjoy fresh and affordable local seafood and live music. This place is super popular with the locals because of the restaurant’s great food, great prices, great people, and great beer!

8901 S Old Oregon Inlet Road
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-5740

Outer Banks Pub Crawl

OBX Pub Crawl

Visit different bars along the Outer Banks from Corolla to Nags Head! During this 21+ activity, you can bring your own beer aboard the bus (beer, wine, spirits) and party like you’re on vacation! The bus has music and lights and the driver will come to pick YOU up. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are welcome, and there are special packages to accommodate the special occasions.

Contact Info:
OBX Pub Crawl
Email Address: outerbanksu@gmail.com
Phone Number: (252) 216 0624

Stand Up Paddleboarding Outer Banks NC

Learn How to Stand Up Paddle Board

Explore the winding waterways in and around Nags Head on a stand-up paddle board! You can choose to either rent a paddle board by the hour or day or book a guided tour with a company like Kitty Hawk Kites. This activity is kid-friendly, fun, and pretty affordable.

Stand up paddle boarding is also a really great way to exercise! This sport requires you to use many of the muscles in your body and is a great way to quickly burn calories while having fun. If you are into yoga, try performing some of your favorite poses while balancing on the board!

Learn more: www.kittyhawk.com/adventures/stand-up-paddleboarding/

Hang Gliding in Nags Head, NC

Dune Hang Gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Learn to FLY at Kitty Hawk Kites’ hang gliding training center located at Jockey’s Ridge State Park! This is the largest hang-gliding school in the world, teaching hundreds of thousands (over 300,000) of students since 1974!

They’ve taught students aged 4 to 92, male and female, physically fit and physically challenged. Kitty Hawk Kites can paraplegics, blind, deaf, and other persons physically challenged. All that is required is a desire to learn how to fly. Kitty Hawk Kites provides beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction.

This is one of the #1 things we recommend doing during your Nags Head vacation!

Book now >

Jockey's Ridge State Park Located in Nags Head, NC

Conquer Jockey’s Ridge

The tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States is located in Nags Head! Jockey’s Ridge State Park is one of the most significant landmarks on the Outer Banks and is difficult to miss while driving on the bypass. With constant wind and regular tropical storms, the dunes are always changing.

The park is FREE to visit, and an exceptional place to fly a kite or learn how to hang glide.

Learn more: http://www.jockeysridgestatepark.com/

Outer Banks Bumper Boats Nags Head, NC

Water Bumper Boats

Cool off and have some fun with a ride in the bumper boat pool at Kitty Hawk Watersports in Nags Head!

This family-friendly attraction is fun for all ages. Boats hold up to 275 lbs. Hop in, get soaked, and have a great time with your group. Open until 5:00 p.m. during the summer months.

6920 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959

Jurassic Putt Putt Golf in Nags Head, NC

Go Putt-Putt Golfing

There are many places on the Outer Banks to go putt-putt golfing. Mutiny Bay Adventure Golf and Jurassic Putt are both located in Nags Head, and both attractions are super fun for all ages. These two courses are busiest during the evenings, so consider going around lunchtime or before dinner during the summer months.

Mutiny Bay has a pirate theme, which is a theme that’s found at many places on the Outer Banks. This 18-hole putt-putt course includes a sizable “pirate ship” in one of the large ponds. Games are priced differently for children and adults, and kids aged 3 and under can play for free.

All-day play passes are available if you want to play more than one round of 18-holes. This course is on the sound front and offers spectacular views of the water from many vantage points on the course. The entire course is handicapped and baby stroller accessible.

Jurassic Putt is located between the main roads and is one of the oldest putt-putt courses on the Outer Banks. The attraction has a dinosaur theme, and kids will love the huge prehistoric animals that are placed along the course. The green and yellow tyrannosaurus rex are super cool.

Activity Cost:
About $8 a game

Mutiny Bay Adventure Golf:
 6704 S Croatan Hwy, Nags Head, NC 27959
Jurassic Park: 6926 S Croatan Hwy, Nags Head, NC 27959

Giant Panda Kite Flown Outer Banks NC

Fly Kite at Jockey’s Ridge State Park

No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without visiting at least one of Kitty Hawk Kites' retail locations! Grab a single line or stunt kite from their flagship location across the street from Jockey’s Ridge State Park and head across the street to the big sand dunes to try your hand at flying your new kite. This activity is both fun and low-cost, and the sand dunes are an ideal spot to fly a kite!

Activity Cost:
All you need is a kite, which will run you about $20 to $40 depending on how nice of a kite you decide to purchase. They do also sell kites that retail for over $500, but those are mostly geared towards seasoned kite flyers. There is no cost to visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

300 W Carolista Drive
Nags Head, NC 27959

Miss Oregon Inlet Fishing Charter Outer Banks NC

Miss Oregon Inlet Inshore Head Boat Fishing & Twilight Cruises

Have a large group? Looking for something that everyone can do together without waiting? Miss Oregon Inlet offers inshore head boat fishing and twilight cruises that everyone is sure to enjoy! This vessel can take your party of up to 49 people!

Departing from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, the Miss Oregon Inlet travels only mere minutes, and then it’s time to drop the lines. Experience nature at its best while aboard this ship. Guests often see sea turtles, porpoises, pelicans, and so much more!

Activity Cost:
Ages 7 & up $48
Ages 6 & younger $38

98 NC-12 & Oregon Inlet Rd
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-6301

Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, NC

Check Out Jennette’s Pier

Rebuilt and quite impressive! This is the only pier on the Outer Banks that was constructed using cement pilings. Jennette’s Pier doesn’t sway nearly as much as some of the other piers and is a perfect place for someone who isn’t thrilled about walking on wooden planks over the Atlantic Ocean.

Jennette’s Pier is operated by North Carolina Aquariums, and there are several aquariums in the main building.


Activity Cost:
It cost $2 for adults and $1 for children to walk on the pier, and it cost $12 for adults and $6 for children for an all-day fishing pass.

Milepost 16.5
7223 South Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959

Seafood Outer Banks NC

Eat Some Delicious Food

The good news is that Nags Head is full of amazing locally-owned restaurants. The bad news is that you’ll want to try them all and you probably only have a week of vacation!

Consider checking out the menu at Sam & Omie’s, Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe, Tale of the Whale, Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant, Owens Restaurant, and Blue Moon Beach Grill.

Activity Cost
Varies based on where you dine and what you order of course! Consider going out to eat for lunch instead of dinner, as many restaurants serve the exact same menu for lunch and dinner, however, their lunch prices are cheaper.

Tanger Outlet Mall in Nags Head, NC

Visit Tanger Outlet Mall

Shop at some of your favorite stores like Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Nine West, Polo Ralph Lauren and more.

This is an outlet mall, so the prices are lower than what you’d normally see at a regular mall. Great afternoon activity and thing to do in Nags Head NC after a day at the beach!

Milepost 16
7100 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959

Jockey's Ridge Crossing in Nags Head, NC

Stop by Jockey’s Ridge Crossing Shopping Center

Located across the street from the big sand dunes and home to eight unique shops! The stores at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing include: Kitty Hawk Kites, Life is Good, Natural Life, Kitty Hawk Surf Company, Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, Kitty Hawk Hammocks, The Fudgery and Life on a Sandbar.

Don’t miss music, games, and fun at the Sunset Festival every weeknight during the summer. Also, consider checking out the Outer Banks Pirate Festival and Outer Banks Watermelon Festival which both take place at the shopping complex during the month of August.

Milepost 12.5
3933 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959

Scooter Bike Rentals in Nags Head, NC

Rent a Moped or Scooter

Seeking a fun alternative to getting around the Outer Banks? Consider renting a scooter from Scooters-N-Spokes in Nags Head. You can rent by the hour, day or even week.

It’s really fun when you rent a scooter with a significant other or friend and cruise down NC 12 together. If you do decide to rent one, PLEASE be careful on the roads.

Activity Cost:
Scooters Rent for: $16.50 an Hour / $99 a Day / $349 a Week

Milepost 16
7128 S. Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959

Surfing in Nags Head, NC

Take Surfing Lessons or Rent a Surfboard

Book a surfing lesson with a company like Farmdog Surf School and learn how to safely and effectively ride waves! Lessons are not just for kids, adults are welcome too. If you have ever wanted to learn how to surf, now is the time to try.

There are plenty of companies on the Outer Banks that offer surfing lessons during the spring, summer, and fall months. You can typically book a lesson no matter what day of the week it is. Most lessons occur during the morning or early afternoon.

Activity Cost:
Full-Day Rental: $29
Three Day Rental: $49
Week-Long Rental: $59

Surfing Lesson: $69

Book now >

Prices are subject to change and are primarily listed as a reference!

That sums it up! We hope you enjoyed our list of 28 things to do in Nags Head and let us know just below which item on the countdown is your favorite.

Know that we weren't listed in order of favorite to least favorite activity!