Last week I spent a wonderfully relaxing week with great friends and family in Nags Head. Everyday was at least 85 degrees and sunny except for the last day, so my mom, sister, bro-in-law, Ashley and I decided to check out the newly renovated Jennette’s Pier at MP 16.5 in Nags Head. For someone who isn’t interested in fishing, I fell in love with this pier! From the magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, to the history and science lessons scattered throughout the pier, to the spirit of the fishermen… you, too, will fall in love.
The pier, on property originally owned by the Jennette family, was first built in 1939 for $6,000 and extended 740 feet. It collapsed in 1943 and was rebuilt after WWII in 1947. Since then, there have been several repairs due to storms and hurricanes, most notably in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel came through and destroyed a large portion of the pier. Before then, the Jennette family had sold the pier and then the NC Aquarium Society (a division of the NC Dept of Environmental and Natural Resources) purchased it in 2003. Construction of the new pier began in 2009 and was finally completed earlier this year.
Before going onto the pier, you’ll pass through the main building, which contains the future aquarium, educational programs, and gift/convenience shop. The shop is filled with children’s books, stuffed animals, and prepared food and drinks. A digital tower highlights educational programs, daily temperature and tidal current info, fishing reports, and history about the pier. There is no fee to walk onto the pier, but there is a suggested $2 donation. The daily fishing rates are as follows: $12 adults, $6 children under 12. Additional fishing fees can be found here.
The new pier cost $25 million and has 257 concrete piles installed between 35-45 ft deep. The pier extends 1000 feet, where the water is about 25 ft deep. It is a grand structure, to say the least. As you walk along the pier, it’s easy to get lost in the conversation among the fisherman, the sounds of the crashing waves, and in the educational information about tidal currents, pier etiquette, wind power, marine mammals and birds, and surfing, to name a few. You’ll also see fish plaques throughout the pier showcasing the various sponsors. The sounds from the three wind-powered turbines support the pier’s “green” statement.
On the second story of the pier is a large reception room available to rent for private events. It has a plasma TV, floor-to-ceiling fireplace, and gorgeous globe-like chandeliers. The wrap-around porch with rocking chairs provides 270 degree views of the pier and ocean. Chair sponsorships are also available.
So, next time you’re at the Outer Banks be sure to check out Jennette’s Pier with your family. Whether you’re there to do some fishing or just exploring the pier, there is great fun for everyone!
Thumbs up: beautiful views, educational programs, gift/convenience shop, informational boards throughout pier
Thumbs down: nothing to report