Jockey's Ridge State Park is home to the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast of the United States. The ever-shifting nature of these dunes due to wind prevents their habitation by plants and ground animals. It may be right off the main highway in Nags Head, but Jockey's Ridge truly looks like another planet.
From the parking lot, visitors can walk down the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk or take the nature trail to the main dune area. At the end of the boardwalk, there is a viewing platform looking out across the dunes. Many people choose to leave their shoes here and walk barefoot across the sand beyond. Exploring the dunes is fun for everyone—kids love to run, jump, and roll down the dunes. One can even slide down on a sandboard or saucer.
Because of its elevation and unique landscape, Jockey's Ridge is a great place to see the sunset or practice your photography. Evenings are often the best time to go in the summer, when the sand has cooled from the summer heat. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.