A favorite local activity is 4WD cruising the beach when the season allows.
In Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills, you can drive on the beach from October 1 through April 30 as long as you have a permit from each town. Note: The two towns used to have reciprocal permits, but that is no longer the case.
In Kill Devil Hills, permits cost $25 for the entire season or $10 for 14 days. You can purchase them at Kill Devil Hills Town Hall Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at Stop N Shop, 100 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills, and you must pay in cash.
In Nags Head, permits cost $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents for the entire season. You can purchase them at Nags Head Town Hall Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The suggested speed limit is 15 miles per hour. Enter only at designated ramps. Keep an eye out for beachgoers, especially kids and pets who tend to stray! Bear in mind that the wind and water can make a ruckus and impair your hearing and that of pedestrians. Folks also get groggy sunbathing.
Think normal road rules: Pass on the left, keep to the right and yield the right of way to pedestrians. Vehicles and drivers must be street legal – this includes wearing seat belts. If you are in the back of a truck, remain seated in the bed only. Jeep passengers have to remain seated as well. Open alcohol containers are not allowed.
Prepare your tires for the adventure by letting out the appropriate amount of air (and making sure you add it back when you leave the beach!). Pull out of the access way and deflate your tires leaving 20 pounds of pressure. While on the beach keep to the firm, wet section below the high tide line following in already-made tracks. Watch out for shelly, red sand and depressions with standing water, places where your car will surely sink deep into the sand! Always stay clear of dunes and keep a lookout for prohibited areas such as nesting sites. Remember to drive behind those folks who are surf fishing!