There are two sides to every coin, and some adventurers prefer subtler sound treks to ocean excursions. A sound experience in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills or Kitty Hawk differs from the ocean in wave action, water depths and currents. Generally it is more shallow and calm than the sea, but the wind can kick up some choppy currents and change the depth, so treat all water excursions with care. Because the sound is typically very shallow, even far from shore, you'll often see kayakers, kiteboarders and windsurfers in the sound. Wading in the sound on calm days is ideal for small children, who are often overwhelmed by the noisy ocean. We recommend that you bring lots of sunscreen and water or other liquids when you plan a sound day as it's just wide-open beach at most accesses with no shade, and these summer days get hot, hot, hot. And, speaking of hot, make sure you and your kids wear shoes of some sort so the sand doesn't burn your tootsies.
Note that none of the accesses in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills or Kitty Hawk have lifeguards on duty, so keep a close watch on your little ones.
Nags Head Soundside Sites
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Walk the lengthy shore behind Jockey's Ridge off Soundside Road at sunset for a peace-filled jaunt. The setting sun, lapping waters and attendant wildlife make a soothing combination. But, if you do this jaunt, keep your eye on the time toward the end of the day. You don't want to return to your car all relaxed and find the gates locked. Hours are posted on the gate. They usually lock up at 5 p.m. off-season and 7 p.m. in-season. This site also is the most popular sound swimming area in Nags Head. Folks like the sandy beach and shallow water. You'll usually find a lot of families here because the shallow waters provide a safe swimming experience for little ones. You’re also allowed to launch kayaks here
Nags Head Estuarine Site on the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
Little Bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
Harvey Estuarine Site, MP 16 on The Bypass
These sound accesses include parking and are handicapped accessible. They do not allow motorized watercraft. You can launch your kayak at the Nags Head Estuarine Site or the Harvey Estuarine Site.
Kill Devil Hill Soundside Sites
Hayman Boulevard Estuarine is a beautiful area that has parking, a pier and a picnic area. It’s handicapped accessible. Kayakers are welcome here.
Kitty Hawk Soundside Sites
Windgrass Circle is a public sound access that’s handicapped accessible.
Bob Perry Road access is a county-run public boat ramp. It’s located off Kitty Hawk Road.