"b1bob goes to Nags Head, NC" Top 5 Page for this destination Nags Head by b1bob

Nags Head Travel Guide: 117 reviews and 193 photos

I will remember my first trip to Nags Head, Sunday, 3 August 1975, as vividly as yesterday. We got up with the chickens that morning, leaving Virgilina, VA at 5.00 a.m. (probably the earliest I had gotten up at that point in my life). The first three times, we always stopped for breakfast at a restaurant at the Holiday Inn in Wilson, North Carolina not far away from an International Harvester truck dealership (I used to be real big on trucks, particularly of that brand, back then). The ride through the Eastern North Carolina countryside through Oxford, Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Columbia before crossing the causeway to the Outer Banks seemed interminable. From getting up that early, the joke was on us, our room at the Ramada Inn (now a Comfort Inn) was not ready. From 1976 forward, we stopped in Plymouth, North Carolina to visit a friend of Daddy's to kill that time. I remembered wondering why we couldn't just sleep in and arrive right when our hotel was ready. Our hotel was the best I had ever seen at that point. It stands 7 storeys high. We had an ocean front room, number 623. Ocean front rooms had blue and green shag carpet and those across the corridor which faced the parking lot had orange and red shag carpet. (No one would notice if you dropped a pizza there.) I'll always remember the beaches, swimming (or trying to) in the hotel pool drinking Lipton ice tea in a tin poolside (while Daddy enjoyed a Schlitz [that's a type of beer for those born after 1980]), going out to eat adult size portions of seafood Norfolk and fried scallops at Owens before I was even 6 years old. During that first trip everything was an excellent adventure, even shopping. We returned to that same hotel 2 years later, and had a kitchenette then, but, somehow the 1975 stay was most memourable because it was first. Although the last time I slept in Nags Head was 23 June 1977, I have passed through, shopped, and eaten here many times since. Sadly, some places that made my first trip to Nags Head memourable have gone out of business. For example, Newman's Seashell and Gift Shop had been in business since 1939, even pre-dating Owen's Seafood Restaurant by 7 years, closed down circa 2004. The unique shopping complex called the Galleon Esplanade went the way of the dinosaur in the 1980s. The Dareolina restaurant (a cheaper alternative to Owen's once it went upmarket, but every bit as good) either changed its name and management. In the summer of 1981, there was a mini golf course right at the foot of Jockey's Ridge, but the couple who ran it retired and the dune overtook the course. The beaches and Jockey's Ridge even survived Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nags Head is a family-friendly beach community that is not as overdevelopped as many others.
  • Cons:Try getting a cheap, decent hotel room in peak season.
  • In a nutshell:Nags Head will always stand out as my most excellent adventures.
  • Last visit to Nags Head: Aug 1995
  • Intro Updated Aug 3, 2006
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Reviews (29)

Comments (36)

  • kemisteryoso's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Great page about this nice beach.

  • Jan 27, 2009 at 6:00 AM

    Also nice tips here!

  • Mikebond's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2008 at 7:22 AM

    I have read some of these tips. It looks like an interesting place!

  • Sep 18, 2006 at 7:13 AM

    We try to go there every other year or so. Have been since I was a tyke. In addition to Newman's closing, there is a sign on the big Christmas shop in Manteo that says "Closed Forever" That was one of my favorite places.

  • eslim_81's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2006 at 6:27 AM

    I would like to taste that scallops.....:)

  • Aug 2, 2006 at 12:35 PM

    Sadly, Newman's closed I think two years ago. I always loved that store.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2005 at 3:20 PM

    I've heard that Nag's Head is a great destination--it's nice to know the community watches over its development. By the way, most kids are terrified of thunderstorms...don't give it another thought, it did make a cute story!!

  • l_joo's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2005 at 10:38 PM

    deathly afraid of thunderstorms, ran head long into a fat lady's belly. You got all Nat, nice one.

  • dr.firas's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2005 at 5:49 AM

    Great page and great photo of yours in 1975! you were Blond hair Naty! LOL wonderful new tips Nat great job :-))

  • easyoar's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2005 at 12:40 PM

    Interesting page! Can you eat sea oats? The moral of the story is, don't take 6 year old kids anywhere near lightning!


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