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Jockey's Ridge State Park

Admire the tallest sand dunes on the Atlantic coast, explore the maritime forest and see the shallow Roanoke Sound body of water in this unique state park. 

Jockey's Ridge State Park is home to the tallest active sand dune system in the eastern United States. Explore the three unique ecosystems on a ranger-led program or picnic in the serene natural environment. Walk the sand tracks and nature trails and discover stunning views from the shifting dunes. Experience kiteboarding in the shallow sound and hang-gliding and sandboarding on the dune.

Climb the shifting dunes in the barren desert-like environment. This tall dune area of Jockey's Ridge is known as a médano, a large hill of shifting sand lacking vegetation. See the ocean from the ridge. Watch the breathtaking sunset if you climb in the late afternoon. The dunes are known for their high winds and extreme temperatures in the summer; however, the surrounding maritime forest stabilizes them.

Hike along the Soundside Nature Trail or the Tracks in the Sand paths. See the plant and animal life in the maritime forest. Notice the oaks, wax myrtles and red cedars in the shrub thickets. Many of the animals are nocturnal, though you may see tracks from wildlife, including the six-lined racerunner lizard, raccoon, opossum and gray fox.

Look for the many types of shorebirds along Roanoke Sound, which follows the western boundary of the park. Wind blows sand from the dunes into the water, causing it to remain shallow. These tidal waters host seahorses, blue crabs and other aquatic life. During the warmer months spot majestic ospreys, blue herons and brown pelicans.

Join a free ranger-led program year-round, with activities changing depending on the season. Picnic at one of the many shelters, where you’ll find benches, grills and restrooms. Visit the museum and visitor center to learn about the ecology of the park, including the dunes, weather and local maritime history. Enter from the South Croatian Highway. Parking and entry are both free.

Bring a kite to Jockey's Ridge State Park as it is one of the Outer Banks’ best kite-flying areas. Wear shoes to protect your feet from the very hot sands in the dunes.

*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.


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Lodging Near Jockey's Ridge State Park

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Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront $169
Reviewed on Jun 3, 2019
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Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Nags Head Oceanfront

1701 S Virginia Dare Trl, Kill Devil Hills, NC
     
    3.8 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    What my wife and I liked about this hotel was the all you can eat breakfast, the bar, access to the beach, staff, early check in, and the rooms. I will be coming back if I need to stay in a hotel.

    Semi-oceanfront Home With Pool
    Reviewed on Sep 4, 2018
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    Semi-oceanfront Home With Pool

    Semi-oceanfront Home With Pool

    Nags Head, North Carolina
       
      4.3 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Great location and very accommodating House . Would stay here again

      K1107 Worth the Wait. Pool & Hot Tub, Putting Green, Keyless Entry, Linens!
      Reviewed on Nov 18, 2018
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      K1107 Worth the Wait. Pool & Hot Tub, Putting Green, Keyless Entry, Linens!

      K1107 Worth the Wait. Pool & Hot Tub, Putting Green, Keyless Entry, Linens!

      Nags Head, North Carolina
         
        5.0 of 5
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Rating Details: The property manager was adequately helpful. The vacation rental was spotless. I was very happy with the location. I was very satisfied with the condition of the vacation rental. Overall, I recommend this vacation rental. Reviewer Comments: Our family had a wonderful time at this ...

        Sea Spray Cottage #2
        Reviewed on Nov 18, 2018
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        Sea Spray Cottage #2

        Sea Spray Cottage #2

        Nags Head, North Carolina
           
          4.6 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This cottage fit our needs perfectly! It is centrally located near restaurants and shopping and just a couple of houses away from the beach. The house is comfortable and decor is welcoming- just like a beach cottage should be. Thank you!

          Cozy Cute Historic - Sea Spray Cottage #3
          Reviewed on Nov 24, 2018
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          Cozy Cute Historic - Sea Spray Cottage #3

          Cozy Cute Historic - Sea Spray Cottage #3

          Nags Head, North Carolina
             
            4.9 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Our cottage was exactly what we needed and spotless when we got there. Plenty of room for the two of us and a safe area for the dogs. Kitchen was well equipped, cozy area for watching TV and relaxing, just across the street from the beach (although it was cold and windy for Thanksgiving), it felt ...

            Holiday Inn Express Nags Head Oceanfront $194
            Reviewed on Jun 8, 2019
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            Holiday Inn Express Nags Head Oceanfront

            Holiday Inn Express Nags Head Oceanfront

            4701 S Virginia Dare Trl, Nags Head, NC
               
              4.4 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              We were very pleasantly surprised, because sometimes at beach properties it is very hard for staffing to keep up! We found that our room was ALWAYS clean. The staffing always greeted us with a 'good morning', 'hello' 'do you need anything'! It was great! We received complimentary breakfast and found ...

              Super Cute, Cozy, Historic Sea Spray Cottage #5
              Reviewed on Dec 31, 2018
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              Super Cute, Cozy, Historic Sea Spray Cottage #5

              Super Cute, Cozy, Historic Sea Spray Cottage #5

              Nags Head, North Carolina
                 
                4.7 of 5
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                The house had everything we needed and located in a perfect spot, walking distance to the beach and still close to shops, restaurants and grocery.

                Sea Spray Cottage #4
                Reviewed on Nov 12, 2018
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                Sea Spray Cottage #4

                Sea Spray Cottage #4

                Nags Head, North Carolina
                   
                  5.0 of 5
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  We had a great time in Cottage #4. It was the perfect size for us and our pup. Clean, well-supplied, and a short walk from beach access. Would definitely come again!