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Beaches at Nags Head

Boston, MA
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Beaches at Nags Head

We're considering a week rental in July 2010 and would like to find out what the beaches are like in this area. We would be staying near the Nags Head golf course and would likely just walk down to the beach from our rental. Have any of you been on this beach? Is it rocky, sandy, clean, seaweedy??? There will be some young children with us (4,7,9,12), can you let us know if the water is rough or relatively calm? I love to collect seashells. Are there any shells on this beach? Thank you for your help!

Kitty Hawk, North...
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for Outer Banks
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1. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

We have about 100+ miles of beach from Corolla to Hatteras and Ocracoke, none are rocky or seaweedy. There can be days when you see sea weed floating in the surf but it is not common and usually the result after heavy wave action out at sea somewhere that was it in towards shore. Some days can be calm, other days heavier waves show up but it changes daily.

You will not want to walk over from Nags Head golf course with kids. Crossing the 5 lane highway is dangerous on foot unless you cross at a stop light and those can be far apart. If you are staying in the Village Of Nags Head then you might find out about the free shuttle bus service they provide to the beach and OBX Beach Club that most homes in the Village belong to, or drive over and park in one of the many beach access lots.

Western Ireland...
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2. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

Been to Kill Devil Hill beach a couple of times in the past.....The name speaks for itself. The outerbank beaches are very rough and wicked. I have never found very many shells on any of my visits. The area is beautiful, though if I had small children I would go further south to Wrightsville Beach or Ocean Isle Beach, or even Atlantic beach. The outerbanks tend to be very crowded primetime and the beaches have severe erosion. Check out the travelers photos at all the sand bags on the beaches and the 20 foot high sand dunes to cross over to get down to the sand. Plus the water temp does not get much warmer the 76-78 degrees, and further south it will be close to 85-87 degrees.

Newark, OH
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3. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

I just got back from a week stay in Nags Head & I thoroughly enjoyed the beaches. I found that they were unpredictable as far as what I might find upon waking up - some mornings the shells were abundant while others they had mysteriously disappeared. One thing I would note considering you have smaller children - the ocean was rough during my stay. The no swimming flag was posted most of the time, and I only got out to enjoy the salt water once. I took my daughter about three years ago to Kill Devil Hills during the month of July, and found that the ocean was entirely too rough (she was four). If you do end up going to Nags Head I would definitely make sure your rental house/condo/hotel has a pool, and depend on that as your "water and sun" time. I agree also with the previous post about crossing Croatan Highway - it is five lanes, and constantly busy. Hope this helps & have fun on your vacation!

Pennsylvania
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4. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

I would say that the beaches and the roughness of the surf really depend on the weather the time you are down here. If there is a storm out in the ocean you will see that in the waves on the shoreline. If it is too rough to swim red "no swimming" flags will be up on the beaches at the entrances. Use your discretion but remember rip tides can be quite rough. Keep an eye on your kids at all times! If you really want to ensure time in the water try to look for a place that has its own pool or a community pool (The Village at Nags Head or Seven sisters are places that we have stayed). The beach is not rocky or seaweedy. If anything the sand is difficult to walk on as soon as you are on it because it is really deep but I dont think that is a problem. I find the beaches here to be wide and expansive and quite beautiful. Plenty of shells to look for and if there is a storm get out on the beach before sunrise to get some big conch shells!(i think thats what they are, they are swirly LOL)

Not sure what beach the previous poster has been to as I have not see "huge sandbags" on the beaches in Nags Head. I have seen maybe once set of sandbags around a house but that was it, nothing like you seen in Cancun or Riveria Maya! The beaches are definetly beautiful here.

Also I agree with other posters...do not cross the big highway!! Its way too dangerous! Be safe and take your car over to the beach, there is plenty of beach access parking :)

North Carolina
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5. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

Most of the homes that are sand bagge are in south Nags Head, and not in the Village of NH area. Also, please do note that many of the beaches here are not guarded, so make sure the kids know how to handle rip currents, etc. There are guards who patrol on ATV's, but not always a guard stand.

The beaches can have seaweed wash up, but not usually a lot at all. Not rocky either, and the shells will come and go with the condition of the ocean and the shell beds. I've seen none one morning, and then had good luck a day or two later..it changes all the time.

As stated, do NOT try to cross the hghways, especially with children and beach gear, etc. Way too dangerous. Use one of the many beach access areas, and just park there for the day. Much easier than carrying stuff, and they also have a place to rinse off before getting into the car, which is nice at the end of the day. Have a great trip!

Boston, MA
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6. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

Wow, so far everything you've all posted have convinced me that Nags Head will be a great beach to visit! When I google mapped the house we're looking at it looks like it's located between the Croatan Hwy and S Virginia Dare Trail. That means just crossing the the second road. The house write up says the beach access is 300 feet from the house. The house also comes with a pool! I love to seashell search and sort of enjoy that the hunt may not be too easy. Thank you all for posting!

Virginia
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7. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

I think you and your family will love Nags Head. The area you are considering is very nice. Over the years my family and I have been to 12 different Atlantic coast beaches from ME to GA, and Nags Head (5 trips) is our favorite. In spite of the number of houses there, the OBX is not overdeveloped like Ocean City, MD, or VA Beach. There are no high rise buildings, no boardwalk, no ardcades--just a beautiful setting with plenty for a family to do, especially if you are nature lovers. Lots of restaurants and grocery stores provide a variety of food.

As others have reported, the beach in Nags Head is just sandy (absolutely no rocks and sea weed only brought in by storms). The surf varies from gentle waves to big pounders, but it is totally dependent on weather conditions. You are most likely to find rip currents and strong surf during the fall hurricane season or during storms. Always observe the red no swimming flags if they are out. The rip currents are very dangerous. Nags Head beaches are patrolled by life guards in ATVs, but I've never seen any life guard stands there such as KDH has.

The beach is quite wide through most of Nags Head and the dunes are small to moderate in size, with path access or boardwalk. None are "big" as one poster said. I stayed at MP 10 (the northern boarder of NH)this month and MP 16.5 in South Nags Head in June of this year. There is more beach erosion in south nags head, and there is at least 1 condo there that is sandbagged. I found small, perfect shells at low tide this fall aroud MP10. I didn't find any shells in June around MP 16.5.

I hope you'll post a followup after your trip next summer. It's always fun to read about other's experiences.

Virginia Beach...
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for Ocracoke
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8. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

Rip currents occur anytime-not just in stormy weather. Please educate yourself:

http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/

9. Re: Beaches at Nags Head

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