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Nags Head is one of the best known vacation areas and has been noted as a summer resort throughout eastern North Carolina since the 1830's. Early vacationers would arrive on Memorial Day and stay straight through to Labor Day.
Much like Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head offers both Oceanside and Westside communities. One of the interesting things about Nags Head homes is the origins of the Nags Head style architecture that is prominent on the Outer Banks. This is taken from the original oceanfront cottages built on "cottage row" that were un-painted wood shingled structures with hip-roofed porches, built-in benches and propped-shuttered windows. Many homes continue to be built to reflect a nod to these origins to this day.
One of the most famous sites in Nags Head is Jockeys Ridge. The sand dune is a natural wonder that is constantly shifting due to winds and natural erosion. It is a popular spot for kite flyers and gliders as well as "sun set watchers". From the top of the dune you can see both the sound and the ocean.
Another great spot in Nags Head is Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. This area was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. There are 3 piers in Nags Head - Nags Head Pier, Jeanette's Pier and the Outer Banks Pier which can be used for fishing.
Origin of the name - there are a couple of different theories on the origin of the name Nags Head but the most popular one is the legend that some bankers tricked passing ships by tying lanterns to the bobbing heads of ponies and running them along the beach to simulate lights of other ships safe in harbor. When the ships would run aground, these "land pirates" would board the ships and loot them.
The other theory, believes that the high dunes reminded early settlers of a familiar promontory called Nags head in England.
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