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Nags-Head is the largest resort in the Outer Banks region, and has been one of North Carolina's most popular beach resorts for more than a century. Some say it got its odd name from land pirates who used to hang lanterns from the necks of ponies to lure unsuspecting ships onto shoals. However it got its name, Nags Head has tons of seaside charm, with many handsome, old wooden homes from the late 19th century - known as the "Unpainted Aristocracy" still cling to the shore. The East Coast's tallest sand dune, and one of the Outer Bank's most phenomenal natural attractions, is the focal point in Jockey's Ridge State Park. With its smooth, sandy, 138-foot high slopes and reliable winds, Jockey's Ridge is one of the best hand-gliding destinations in the United States. This 1.5-mile-long, 420-acre dune is open to the public year round until sunset. Besides hang gliding, it's a popular spot for picnicking, playing in the sand, summer hikes, and children love flinging themselves down the steep, sandy slopes. A new visitor center, museum and gift shop is near the park headquarters. Other activities available in Nags Head include biking, skating, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, miniature golf, fishing and boating. For shopping, don't miss the artisans' alley known as Gallery Row in northern Nags Head. Here you'll find an eclectic collection of galleries, jewelry and arts and crafts shops. Just north of Nags Head is Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright brothers made their historic first air flight in 1903.

Surrounding areas: Manteo, North Carolina (4.5 mi), Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina (4.7 mi), Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (8.7 mi), Point Harbor, North Carolina (12.7 mi), Duck, North Carolina (16.4 mi), Sanderling, North Carolina (19.6 mi), Rodanthe, North Carolina (26.6 mi)

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