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