Nags Head is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. It is a busy vacation spot because of its beaches and sand dunes of Jockey's Ridge. The population was 2,757 at the 2010 census.
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 is likely to have been named after any one of the Nag's Heads on the English coast.
A folkloric explanation claims that mules or horses (nags) would have lights hung on their heads by nefarious wreckers in order to trick ships into running aground and then loot the ships of their valuables. The town's emblem depicts one such equine accomplice from the tale.
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. The town incorporated in 1961.