Bodie Island and Lighthouse

The modern-day Bodie Island region from Nags Head to Oregon Inlet is sparsely developed, but nevertheless a popular destination for nature lovers and anglers alike. Visitors will find the following activities, attractions and amenities just miles away from the town borders of Nags Head, and all close to the distinguished Bodie Island Lighthouse.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center - This massive marina is home to dozens of local charter fishing businesses and tour boats, as well as public boat launches, gas for mariners, and a ship's store.

Whalebone Junction - This small Visitors Center located just south of where NC Highway 12, US 158 and US 264 intersect, offers a small information center, public restrooms, and plenty of picturesque, rugged scenery.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Campground - This seasonally operational campground, close to Oregon Inlet, offers 120 rustic campsites for tents and RVs. Open from the third weekend in April through Columbus Day Weekend, this popular campground is exceptionally close to Nags Head, as well as great fishing and beautiful beaches.

Bird watching - Visitors who are cruising along NC Highway 12 will spot a number of wooded bird stands that are stationed along the roadside from the town borders of Nags Head to Oregon Inlet. Open to the public, visitors can park just off the road and admire the soundside wildlife year-round, at any time of day or night.

Beach Driving - A Beach Driving Permit Office is located at the National Park Service Campground on Bodie Island, and there are three ORV access ramps in between Oregon Inlet and Nags Head. Remember that a NPS beach permit is required to drive on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Coquina Beach - Located just south of the Nags Head town borders, this beach is renowned for its exceptional fishing, 4WD vehicular access, and thousands of colorful coquina clams that seasonally burrow along the ocean wash.


Ben Franklin

Stop by Nags Head's Ben Franklin at Mile Post 10 on the Bypass where you will find everything you need for the beach! From Clothing, T-shirts and Swimwear to Boards, Chairs, Umbrellas and Tackle. You'll find it all…and of course, we have the best selection of Souvenirs anywhere on the Outer Banks. Enjoy your vacation! Independently owned by a member of one of the Outer Banks’ oldest families, the Ben Franklin store is stocked with just about everything a visitor would need to go to the beach.


Ben Franklin stores were once part of a five-and-dime retail empire, with about 2,500 locations across the country in its heyday. As decades passed and the times and customers began to change, many closed their doors, leading to fewer than 150 of these nostalgic shops. Nags Head Ben Franklin, however, has withstood the test of time and adapted to the needs of its customers to provide a memorable shopping experience on the Outer Banks.


Debbie Terry Tolson, manager of the Ben Franklin location in Nags Head, recalls working with former owner Tommie Daniels. Daniels’ father, Moncie Daniels, started the business in downtown Manteo in the early 1900s. The Daniels family has been a longstanding fixture in the Outer Banks business community—Moncie even sold gas to the Wright brothers in 1903.


Tommie, with an excellent business mind, saw the opportunity the new Bypass presented and, in 1977, he opened the Nags Head location of Ben Franklin. He was one of the first businesses on the Bypass,” Tolson says.In addition to a new location, the Ben Franklin store saw a new group of customers.


“People would come from all around because Tommie had a little bit of everything—it was more like a five and 10 then,” Tolson explains. “As he went to the beach, he began to get more tourists, so he started catering more and more to visitors.”


Today, the 21,000-square-foot souvenir shop quickly catches the attention of anyone driving by thanks to the ocean-themed mural that decorates the façade of the building, painted by local artist Rob Snyder. This Ben Franklin location has become the must-stop shop for both first-time visitors to the area and generations of families who escape to the Outer Banks annually.


Tolson credits the great prices and friendly customer service to the success of the location, which keeps families returning.“People come in all the time and tell me, ‘my grandmother or my grandfather used to bring me here and now I’m bringing my children,’” she shares. “One of my favorite parts about working here is seeing the people come back year after year.”

The Farmer's Daughter
Kitty Hawk Kites