About This Place
Nags Head is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,700 at the 2000 census.[dated info]
Early maps of the area show Nags Head as a promontory of land characterized by high sand dunes visible from miles at sea. The origin of the town's name is obscure but it may have been named after Nag's Head Island, an island in the River Thames in England at Abingdon. Another possible source of the name was in reference to the lights hung on mules' heads by "wreckers" who would lead ships to be shipwrecked near shore where the economically challenged could loot the ships of their valuables.
Around 1830, Nags Head became known as a resort area, and so remains today. Jockey's Ridge is the last vestige of the sand dunes seen by the first explorers, as the area is now highly developed.