First Colony Inn

About Us

We look forward to hosting you at the First Colony Inn!

Learn all about us and the First Colony Inn in which we take pride in being part of the longest operating Inn in the Outer Banks and North Carolina.

History of the Inn

The calm peaceful atmosphere of the Outer Banks of North Carolina has attracted mainlanders since the turn of the 19th century. Nags Head, “the summer capital of Albemarle Society,” emerged as the center of summer activity in the 1930’s. Days were alive with sunbathing, fishing, boating, and sight-seeing; nights were filled with dancing to big bands. It was in this era, in 1932, that the First Colony Inn was opened. With its wide two-story encircling verandas, the Shingle Style inn was known for many years as “the place to be” on the beach at Nags Head. An atmosphere of romance, charm, and relaxation has always prevailed under its sweeping roof.

By the spring of 1988, the “Grand Old Lady” had fallen into disrepair and was in imminent danger of destruction. The property had changed hands and the encroaching Atlantic Ocean threatened to destroy the inn. After efforts had failed to save the inn and it appeared there was no hope, the Lawrence family stepped forward in a last-ditch effort. With roots deep in the area, they felt that the inn was too valuable for the community to lose. In August, 1988, after overcoming a myriad of obstacles, house-movers cut the building into three sections and reassembled it over three miles to the south.

In the three years of rehabilitation that followed, the exterior of the inn was returned to its original appearance, interiors were completely renovated, and modern conveniences were unobtrusively added. Traditional furnishings were selected to ensure modern comfort while maintaining the historic charm. Placed in the National Register of Historic Places, the First Colony Inn now stands on the coast at Nags Head as the sole surviving “beach-style” hotel, welcoming new generations to the old-fashioned pleasures of the Outer Banks. 

Read more and see the moving photos here. 

Room Names

The rooms are named for 26 of the 116 colonists—men, women and children who made the 1587 voyage from England to Roanoke Island in the 29th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. These brave souls, and two children born here, subsequently vanished and became known as The Lost Colony.

Awards and Certifications

  • Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame
  • Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2011-2019
  • Recommended on Holiday Check 2019
  • Awarded the Gertrude Carroway Preservation for historic preservation by the Historic Preservation Foundation of NC
  • Awarded a Bronze Award for Landscaping by the Town of Nags Head
  • third party reservation site rating
  • Wedding Wire Rated
  • Featured in Outer Banks Wedding Magazine

Reservation and Cancellation Policies

Reservations / Advance Deposits: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are accepted. Reservations including a Friday, Saturday, or holiday are subject to a minimum length of stay. All reservations will be charged one night’s rent+tax to secure the reservation, the balance will be charged to card on file on arrival – unless otherwise notified by guest.

Cancellations / Deposit Refunds: Refunds are made for reservations canceled fourteen (14) days or more prior to your arrival date, will be refunded the initial deposit amount of one night’s rent+tax. Late arrivals and/or early departures are considered cancellations, with no refund being given.

Reservation for a Specific Room: While we attempt to honor requests for specific rooms, they may not be available for your party. In that case you will be assigned to a very similar room with the same bed arrangement. Note that we sometimes acquire new furniture or move furniture around as you do at home. Your room may not be exactly as shown in the pictures on this website or other promotional material. We hope that you will prefer any alternate arrangement.

Additional Guests: All rates are based on Single or Double occupancy. There is a $20 charge for each additional guest over 18 years old.

Check In / Check Out: Check in after 3:00 P.M. Please telephone on the day of your scheduled arrival if you will be arriving after 8:00 P.M. so that we may give you some instructions. Check out time is 11:00 A.M.

Smoke-Free Environment: The First Colony Inn maintains a smoke-free environment. A cleaning charge of $175 will be assessed if there has been smoking in a guest room.

Pets: Pets are not permitted at the Inn, but we can recommend a local kennel.

Tax Exempt Reservations: Please indicate Tax Exempt status prior to booking or upon arrival/check in. Otherwise, it will be guest’s responsibility to reclaim.

Driving Directions

First Colony Inn
6715 South Croatan Hwy
Mile Post 16
Nags Head, NC 27959

Driving from points north (Washington, DC):

  • Follow I-95 South to Richmond, VA
  • Turn on to I-64 East and continue to Norfolk, VA
  • Turn on to US 168 South (Exit 291-B) and continue
  • US 168 turns into US 158 East in North Carolina
  • First Colony Inn is on the left side of US 158 at Mile Post 16 (16 miles from the end of the long bridge after you cross to the Outer Banks)

Driving from points west (Raleigh, NC):

  • Follow US-64 East through Rocky Mount, Williamston, and Manteo, NC
  • Continue on US-64 East crossing over the bridge to the beach
  • Proceed through the traffic light on US 158 West (you are actually traveling north)
  • First Colony Inn is one (1) mile from the traffic light on the right just past a store called the Farmer’s Daughter