Nags Head Attractions, Including Kill Devil Hills & Kitty Hawk

Complete Info on Nags Head Attractions 

Outer Banks attractions come in a lot of varieties, with history and nature being most prevalent when exploring Nags Head attractions, Kill Devil Hills attractions or Kitty Hawk attractions. All three areas blend into each other as far as most visitors know, but each holds its own distinct place in the events or natural places that interest visitors and locals alike. The Nags Head attraction that's best known is one that's very hard to miss — the tallest sand dune on the East Coast — Jockey's Ridge. Not only does the mountain of sand grab your attention, but all the activities that are centered around the dune such as kite flying, hang gliding and sunset gazing also make this spot pretty well known. Sharing space with a Kill Devil Hills attractions is Nags Head Woods, which crosses town lines in its verdant wonder. This woods system is one of the most diverse maritime forests on the East Coast and is worthy of your respectful walk along its trails. Another popular Kill Devil Hills attraction is the Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorating our first attempts — and successes — at powered flight. The two main Kitty Hawk attractions are Kitty Hawk Woods, a beautiful place to relax amid hardwood trees and shade in the summer, and the Monument to a Century of Flight at the Aycock Brown Welcome Center. 

And, while Mother Ocean is always an attraction, the sound is also a draw as a Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head attraction. Each town has public access sound sites, and some are handicapped accessible. Parents of wee tikes should take note that locals know that a day at the sound is a lot more pleasant with your non-swimmers. Sound waters are shallow and usually very calm. You can check out all the sound accesses here.

Nags Head Attraction by Category or Location

Kill Devil Hills Attractions | Kitty Hawk Attractions | Nags Head Attractions

Kill Devil Hills

Town Hall
(252) 449-5300

At the geographic center of the Outer Banks, Kill Devil Hills (KDH as it’s known) is perfectly situated for those who want to see both the northern and southern ends of the Banks in one vacation. Kill Devil Hills is the largest town on the Outer Banks in terms of year-round population, and it offers a wealth of services, fast-food restaurants and necessity businesses. But don’t overlook Kill Devil Hills as a vacation destination in its own right. The town’s 6 miles of beachfront feature hotels, motels and rental accommodations to suit every taste and budget. The town is also full of shopping and dining opportunities. Beach access points with parking are plentiful in Kill Devil Hills. There’s also a library, recreational parks and soundside accesses.

At the heart of Kill Devil Hills is the National Park Service’s Wright Brothers National Memorial. This is the place where the Wright brothers conducted the first flight in 1903, and the monument to the brothers towers over the town atop Big Kill Devil Hill.

Colington Island, though not officially part of the Town of Kill Devil Hills, is accessed through the town and is a part of the Outer Banks that most vacationers never see. Down Colington Road, you’ll find a few restaurants and campgrounds, a few homes for rent and a peek into the lives of the local residents. There are several places along the way to go fishing and crabbing near the bridges.

Kitty Hawk

Town Hall
(252) 261-3552

Kitty Hawk is known the world over for its association with the Wright brothers and flight. The Wright brothers didn’t actually fly their airplane here, but they did arrive and depart the Outer Banks at Kitty Hawk, and they found accommodations in the rural soundside community for some of their visits in the early 1900s.

More than a century later, Kitty Hawk has shifted its focus from the soundside to the ocean. The beach draws thousands upon thousands of vacationers every year to Kitty Hawk, where a variety of accommodations await. Kitty Hawk is known for its old-school beachfront cottages, along with mom-and-pop motels and one of the nicest hotels on the beach.

Kitty Hawk is small, but it offers plenty for a nice vacation, including shops, superstores, restaurants and a golf course.

Nags Head

Town Hall
(252) 441-5508

The first resort area on the Outer Banks beaches, Nags Head is still drawing vacationers more than 150 years later. Nags Head is one of the largest towns on the Outer Banks, and it’s filled with everything anyone needs to enjoy a great vacation by the sea.

Nags Head offers a mix of vacation accommodations, from small cottages to luxurious homes, from mom-and-pop cottage court efficiencies to upscale hotel rooms. For waterfront dining, Nags Head has more restaurants with a water view than any other Outer Banks town. For shopping, Nags Head offers a Tanger Outlet Center, the Outer Banks Mall, several strip shopping centers with a variety of stores and a wealth of souvenir/beach shops.

Outdoor recreation rules in Nags Head. The town is home to the northern Outer Banks’ largest concentration of watersports outfitters, miniature golf courses and go-cart tracks. It also has the greatest number of public beach accesses. The main recreational feature of Nags Head, besides the Atlantic Ocean, is Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the largest sand dune on the East Coast. The town is home to three fishing piers — the classic Nags Head Fishing Pier and Outer Banks Fishing Pier, as well as the North Carolina Aquariums’ impressive Jennette’s Pier, which opened in May 2011.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center

98 N.C. Highway 12, Nags Head
(252) 441-6301

Charter a variety of fishing excursions at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center year round (weather permitting). Nearshore, inshore and head boat vessels offer half-day or full-day trips, while offshore vessels offer full-day trips. Anglers go for a variety of species depending on the season including billfish, tuna, wahoo, Spanish mackerel, flounder, drum, bluefish, cobia and more. Anglers aboard charters do not need to purchase fishing licenses, and all tackle and bait are provided. You can purchase food and drinks for your trip at the on-site marina store, which also carries a wide selection of fishing and boating gear, hardware, fuel, apparel and footwear, souvenirs and a great camping section. Be sure to check out the world record blue marlin replica mount (caught in 1974) displayed in an outdoor case, and take a photo of your group in front of a record setting 805-pound blue fin tuna replica mount caught in 2011. An air pump, public boat ramp, restrooms and ample parking are also available.