Nags Head sits on the Outer Banks, a series of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. The area is a haven for beach-loving families, and the vacation rentals in Nags Head feature spectacular oceanfront views along an 11-mile stretch of municipal sandy coastline. Imagine stepping out of your coastal cottage onto powdery sands while you watch the sun rise or falling asleep at night to sound of ocean waves. Stay in a condo complex, and you can also enjoy easy access to pools and other amenities, including play areas and gyms. In addition to offering numerous activities on and around the beaches, the area is rich with a range of fun and thrilling activities for the whole family. Check out these Nags Head vacation rentals as your home away from home!

1. Climb the Highest Sand Dune in the Eastern United States

Nags Head is home to the Eastern Unites States’ tallest natural sand dune, located in Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Hike to the top of the dune to gain amazing views of the surrounding area. Be sure to take your camera to capture the hang gliders as they leap from the edge, and wait there until sundown to watch the changing colors of the sky and sea. Jockey’s Ridge is also a great place for the kids to fly their kites. They’ll return to your vacation rental exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep.

2. Go Fishing at the Longest Public Pier in North Carolina

Pack up your fishing gear, fill the cooler with drinks and snacks, and head off to teach the kids how to fish from the longest pier in North Carolina. The 1,000-foot-long Jennette’s Pier stretches way out into the ocean, giving you the chance to land a wide variety of fish. You can also get personalized angling lessons. The large pier house is home to an aquarium where the kids can get close up to the fish they hope to catch and enjoy interactive science exhibits that explain renewable energy. There’s also a shop that sells tackle, refreshments, and gifts at the pier house. The pier is open 364 days a year, and the hours vary according to the season. There is a small walk-on entry fee and fees for all-day fishing.

3. Search for Bottlenose Dolphins

Join an exciting eco-tour aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch to spot some of the resident wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and other wildlife that inhabit the Outer Banks. The 40-foot pontoon boat spends two hours touring the Roanoke Sound. On-board naturalists provide commentary about the ecology of the area, and passengers observe the local pelicans, osprey, and dolphins.

Find the perfect Nags Head vacation rental on is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

4. Take a Hike Through Nags Head Woods

When you fancy taking a break from the beaches, head into the Nags Head Wood Preserve, an unspoiled natural area of sand dunes, salt marshes and forests dotted with trails. Pick up a map from the local visitors’ center or outdoor information center. Among the seven different trails is the Center Trail, a short quarter-mile loop that is ideal for kids. It meanders over bridges and around a pond full of frogs, offering the chance to spot raccoon and deer. The moderately challenging Roanoke Trail travels through salt marshes and woods to a beautiful, peaceful beach where you can catch a spectacular sunset.

5. Climb Bodie Island Lighthouse

The renovated Bodie Lighthouse is in a great location amidst freshwater marshland. Walk slowly along the boardwalk, where you might spot otters playing in the water and wading birds. The outside area is free to visit, and you can pay a fee to climb to the top where you gain marvelous views across the surrounding scenery. There are height restrictions that might prevent smaller children from making the climb, but older children and adults will have a blast climbing to the top.

6. Visit the Wright Brother National Monument

The Wright Brothers National Memorial in neighboring Kill Devil Hills offers a fabulous way for kids to learn about the first successful airplane flight that took place there in 1903. They can see the flight line of that famous first trip, climb inside a life-size bronze sculpture of the 1903 Wright Flyer, and walk to the top of Big Kill Devil Hill to the base of the Wright Monument.

7. Have a Thrilling Time at the First Flight Adventure Park

Designed for children ages 6 and up, the First Flight Adventure Park is strictly for thrill-seekers. Test your and your family’s mental and physical skills across a course of 42 different obstacles and six zip lines that soar up to 50 feet high, offering fabulous views over the surrounding scenery.

8. Full Speed Ahead at Full Throttle Speedway

Let your kids experience the fun of race day at Full Throttle Speedway, where they can get behind the wheel of their own gas-powered Indy style go karts. Children with a minimum height of 50 inches can venture out in their own single kart. Double karts allow smaller kids to travel around the track with mom or pop. There are also Kiddie Karts for younger racers who are at least 40-inches tall. After the race, the kids can fuel up on ice cream and snacks at the Pit Stop concessions.

9. Play Golf with the Dinosaurs at Jurassic Putt

Travel back in time to play an unforgettable round of golf on a tropical landscape surrounded by towering dinosaurs. Jurassic Putt offers fun-filled mini golf courses. The family’s more serious golfers can head to the Nags Head Golf Links, an attractive, Scottish links-style championship course in a rugged coastal location.

10. Have a Great Time at the OBX Bowling Center

For some indoor fun, head out to the OBX Bowling Center at Milepost 10 in Nags Head. This is the only bowling alley in the Outer Banks. It offers plenty of activities to keep your entire family entertained. In addition to bowling lanes, OBX has an arcade, a game room, and a cafe that sells pizza.

Ready to go? Check out these amazing Nags Head vacation rentals on