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About Dare County

Dare County is located in the Northeastern section of North Carolina and stretches along almost 110 miles of shoreline known as the Outer Banks.  Manteo is the County seat and is approximately 200 miles east of Raleigh. Virginia Beach is about 90 miles north and is the closest metropolitan area. 

The sun sets over a pier in Nags Head. 

The area is rich in history. In fact, Dare County is named after Virginia Dare, the first child born in the Americas to English parents. Early American history enthusiasts will recognize Roanoke Island as the famed Lost Colony, founded by Sir Walter Raleigh. Additionally, the Wright Brothers traveled to Kill Devil Hills in the early 20th Century to refine their plans for machine-powered aviation. 

The county contains much of what is known as North Carolina's "Outer Banks" resort and vacation areas and comprises approximately two-thirds of the North Carolina coastline. It is the host to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Wright Brothers National Monument, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, the Pea Island  National Wildlife Refuge, Jockey's Ridge State Park, the Elizabeth II State Historic Site, the Roanoke Island Festival Park, the North Carolina Aquarium and the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve.

                        A surfer enjoys the waves on the Outer Banks.

Dare County's permanent residents number approximately 33,000. However, the County attracts a sizable amount of tourists on an annual basis. In some cases, more than 300,000 people visit the County each year from June to August. 

Six municipalities are located within the county: Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Manteo, Nags Head and Southern Shores.

The county has a Commissioner / Manager form of Government. The seven members of the Board of Commissioners serve staggered four-year terms.

Learn more about the strong partnerships between Dare County Schools and the local community.
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