28 Apr 2022
Outer Banks Piers
Piers On The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks has a wide variety of piers that are open to the public (one exception) that are perfect for fishing, walking, and enjoying amazing views right over the Atlantic ocean. Some OBX piers even have special activities like arcades and aquariums. Be sure to check out our Fishing Fanatics Outer Banks Trip Planner to learn how to make the most of your fishing time. Read on as we start at the northern beaches of the Outer Banks and travel south to help you learn everything you need to know about Outer Banks fishing piers.
Duck Research Pier - Duck, NC
Let’s start with a pier that is unlike any other pier on the Outer Banks, the Duck research pier. Established in 1977 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the pier is part of the Field Data Collection and Analysis Branch in Mississippi and the U.S. department of defense. The 1,840’ long pier is one the best locations on the globe to research weather, waves, currents, tides, and changes in nearshore morphology. The pier utilizes state of the art video, radar, sonar, lidar, and wave buoys (that stretch to the continental shelf) along with amphibious vessels to conduct research that is utilized by scientists, government agencies, and universities around the globe. Ongoing projects at this OBX pier include studies to improve emergency response to hurricanes and other storms as well as nearshore ocean depth surveys. While not open to the public, you can view the pier and its instruments from the beach. It’s a super neat spot to check out.
Duck Research Pier
Kitty Hawk Pier - Kitty Hawk, NC
The Kitty Hawk pier was built in 1953 and hit hard by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, right after it had gone through $300,000 worth of renovations. The pier was acquired by the Hilton Garden Inn and restored in 2008. The pier remains open for fishing and sightseeing, but the main focus of Kitty Hawk Pier is its 2,200 sq. ft. event space, the Pier House. Many, couples have held their wedding, wedding reception, or both at the Pier House with the waves from the Atlantic rolling beneath them. The Outer Banks pier event space is also available for parties and corporate evens.
Kitty Hawk Pier
Avalon Pier - Kill Devil Hills, NC
A local Outer Banks fishing pier favorite, the Avalon Pier, is a Kill Devil Hills staple. Built in 1958, the Avalon Pier includes a classic arcade, bait and tackle shop, and the Stonefish Beach Bar which serves up brews seafood and pub fare. The pier also has a High Tide bar upstairs, the only pier on the Outer Banks with a second story deck. The pier is 400’ long after losing 220 feet during Hurricane Dorian. This OBX pier is all about fishing, good vibes, and good times. Daily, three day, and week-long fishing passes are available.
Nags Head Pier - Nags Head, NC
If you’re looking for a fishing pier on the Outer Banks with great food, and an actual tiki bar overlooking the ocean, then Nags Head pier is your place. The 750’ pier is one of three piers in the town of Nags Head, and is the second oldest OBX pier, built in 1947. The pier hosts its own tackle shop as well as a small arcade. As you walk into the pier past the bathrooms and the arcade, through the tackle shop you will find the Pier House restaurant on your right. This is an amazing spot for a family meal, especially if you can find room on the porch. There’s nothing like enjoying some Carolina home cooking with the Atlantic rumbling under you. The pier house will also cook your catch for a gratifying meal after a day of OBX fishing (plus their hushpuppies are pretty amazing-crispy on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside). The Pier House restaurant also cooks up a delicious breakfast. Ask your server about a free stroll on the pier included with your meal. Across from the Pier House restaurant is Capt. Andy’s Oceanfront Tiki Bar & Grill. Open air-check, ocean views-check, beach views-check. Capt. Andy’s serves much of the same coastal fares as the Pier House restaurant along with specialty drinks and over 30 beers on tap. You can gather with fellow beach lovers and enjoy six big screen TV’s inside of the covered portion of Capt. Andy’s, or enjoy a front row seat to the Atlantic under a colorful beach umbrella on the outside deck. Enjoy the live music that jams out from this Outer Banks pier everyday of the week.
Nags Head Pier
Jennette's Pier - Nags Head, NC
Jennette’s pier in Nags head is an old/new Outer Banks fishing pier. Originally built in 1939 (the first pier built on the OBX) the pier was decimated by Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and rebuilt in 2011 after being purchased by the NC Aquarium Society. The new 1,000’ pier was rebuilt using concrete and is now one of the newer fishing piers on the Outer Banks. Jennette’s pier serves as a fishing pier open to the public and visitors can take advantage of day rates or multi-day passes. As with most Outer Banks piers, Jennette’s pier has a blanket license that will cover visitor fishing. The pier has a beach shop that sells t-shirts, flip-flops, sunglasses, beach toys along with fishing gear, bait, ice and tackle. They also have fishing instruction. In addition, Jennette’s pier holds many aquatic exhibits throughout the year in their indoor aquarium displays. The pier also serves as a scientific research center. Plus, Jennette’s pier has a large events space ideal for weddings and corporate gatherings, along with meeting facilities. This OBX pier is also a conservation outreach center that features 3 wind turbines that provide electricity for the pier.
Outer Banks Pier - Nags Head, NC
Built in 1959, Fishing Unlimited’s 600’ Outer Banks Fishing Pier can be found in South Nags Head. Daily, weeklong, and weekend fishing passes are available as well as senior citizen discounts. The Outer Banks pier is open 24 hours/day in the summer. The pier house has a stocked and loaded tackle shop, along with souvenirs and video games for the kiddos. This OBX pier is also home to one of the most enjoyable pier experiences on the Outer Banks, FishHeads Bar and Grill. A local hotspot that becomes a visitor hotspot during the summer, FishHeads is family friendly with lunch and dinner options, live music, and 40 craft draft brews as well as a large selection of bottle domestics and imports, all over the Atlantic. FishHeads also serves wine by the glass or bottle. If you’re looking for a mellow beach vibe with long hair locals, and random bursts of karaoke, FishHeads oceanfront bar and grill is your place.
Bonner Bridge Pier - Nags Head, NC
The Outer Bank’s newest and most unique fishing pier, the Bonner Bridge Pier is actually an old section of the old Bonner Bridge. The Bonner Bridge stood over Oregon inlet connecting Hatteras Island with the rest of the Outer Banks and was an Outer Banks landmark for years. In 2019 the taller and longer Marc Basnight Bridge replaced the aging Bonner Bridge. However, a 1,000’ part of the old Bonner Bridge was left standing on the Hatteras Island side of the Oregon Inlet to help shift the ocean current further into the center of Oregon inlet and aid navigation. The cool part about all of this is that the National Park Service also designated that section of a bridge as a fishing pier open to the public as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Since this Bonner Bridge Pier is not a traditional fishing pier visitors can fish, sightsee, and walk the pier for free 24 hours a day. Also, because this is not a traditional pier fishing from the pier does require a coastal North Carolina fishing license to fish from the pier, unlike the other piers on the Outer Banks.
Bonner Bridge Pier
Rodanthe Pier (Hatteras Island Fishing Pier) - Hatteras Island, NC
This family owned Outer Banks fishing pier is simply a trooper. After battles with hurricane Irene, hurricane Sandy, nor’easters, and other storms the once 1,400’ pier now operates at a safe length of 500’. Because Rodanthe is one of the towns that juts out into the Atlantic further than other towns, the Rodanthe Pier juts out into the ocean further than other piers. This is one of the reasons why it seems to take such a beating from mother nature. If you’re a fan of the movie “Nights In Rodanthe” you may already be familiar with this pier as it was utilized as a filming location. As with other OBX piers, the Rodanthe Pier has it’s own bait, tackle and souvenir shop, plus a video game room with tables and chairs. The pier sells daily and weekly fishing passes along with sightseeing passes. The Rodanthe Pier also hosts an annual youth fishing tournament. If you want to feel like you’re standing on the edge of the earth, the Rodanthe Pier is your spot.
Avon pier - Hatteras Island, NC
Known as America’s Pier, the Avon Pier opened in 1963 and was the final fishing pier to be built on Hatteras Island. The 600’ pier is popular for catching giant Red Drum. A world record red drum over 94 pounds was caught near the pier. Daily, annual, and sightseeing passes are available, and visitors can catch great views of the town of Avon from the pier. The Avon Pier sells bait, tackle, souvenirs, and refreshments. This OBX Pier, which is part of the Koru Village campus, is the only pier open within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Avon Pier also hosts weekly kids fishing tournaments.
The next time that you go by a fishing pier on the Outer Banks stop in and check it out, even if you don't fish, you're likely to create a new Outer Banks memory. If you do fish, take advantage of the fact that most piers cover your fishing license and spend your day catching some combination of summer mackerels, mullet, bluefish, puppy drum, croaker, spot, pompano, and even black tip sharks and cobias! Slow down and get lost in the magic of OBX piers.