Duck NC Vacation Guide

Attractions near Duck NC

Duck NC is a resort town that has an impressive reputation for great beaches, water sports, and outdoor adventures. Duck is home to first-class events including a nationally-known Jazz Festival, exceptional fine dining, and eclectic shopping. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Currituck Sound to the west,  visitors can enjoy great kayaking, jet skiing, fishing, and much more. Here are some of our favorite things to do in or near Duck, NC.

Renowned for miles of untouched beach and a comforting, small-town ambience, the village of Duck, NC is a favorite destination of those seeking a leisurely pace during their vacation. Whether it be a slow stroll on the beach, sharing a bottle of artisan wine or piloting a kayak through the narrow inlets of Currituck Sound, Duck is where you’ll find that laid-back atmosphere you’re looking for.

As one of the “Top 15 Family-Friendly Beaches in America,” Duck offers several events throughout the summer weeks, including music performances and magic shows that are sure to be enjoyed by the entire family. Duck Town Park, where the Annual Jazz Festival takes place, is a splendid place to bring the family for a picnic or walk along the scenic trails and boardwalk along the Currituck Sound. Duck Trail, which winds through the length of town, is a perfect way for pedestrians, bicyclists, and in-line skaters to take in all the beautiful sights.

Duck’s locally owned boutiques and shops, many specializing in merchandise with Outer Banks appeal, guarantee your shopping trip is unique and memorable. Several shopping centers located in Duck Village and along the Currituck Sound offer fantastic collections of apparel and jewelry, souvenirs and novelties, and even rejuvenating massages – all in one place!

Equally exceptional restaurants, delis and cafés in Duck reward visitors with handcrafted coffee drinks and Italian ices, waterfront dining along the Currituck Sound, and gourmet sandwiches and paninis stuffed with hand-carved meats and imported cheeses. While you’re in Duck, be sure to complement your dinner with a bottle of one of the many award-winning vintages from area wineries.

Best Family Stuff

The Lost Colony
Where: The Waterside Theater at Fort Raleigh National Site
Roanoke Island, NC
Phone: (252) 473-3414  (800) 488-5012

Rates: Tickets range from $8 for children to $20 for adults, depending on seating. Monday is Kid’s Night and children’s tickets are half prices. Advance purchase is recommended.
Hours: Showtime is 8:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday from June through August.
Located 25 miles south of Duck, Roanoke Island in 1587 became the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. It soon proved to be not-so-permanent, however. Just three years after the settlement’s 117 men, women and children were deposited on the shores of the Outer Banks, they disappeared without a trace. Four hundred years later, the nation’s longest-running outdoor performance re-creates what is known of their story. Visitors can also tour the remains of the settlement at Fort Raleigh, although the “fort” is really just some scattered ruins.

Best Day Trip

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Visitors Center
Where: Highway 12, Buxton, NC
Phone: (252) 995-4474

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The nation’s tallest lighthouse — towering at an impressive 196 feet — is a two-hour drive south of Duck on NC 12, but there are enough small-town stops and coastal views to make the trip half the fun. During the summer months, visitors can climb the 268 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view of the national seashore. But even from ground level, the lighthouse is well worth a look. The visitors center details the island’s maritime history, and a nature trail makes for a pleasant walk.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Rates: Free
Hours: The visitors center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Christmas day.


Best Historical Site

Wright Brothers National Memorial and
Visitors Center
Where: US 158 Bypass, Milepost 8,
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Phone: (252) 441-7430

Wright Brothers National Memorial

With its towering sand dunes and an ever-present wind, it’s no surprise that the Outer Banks was the site of the first powered airplane flight, made by Orville Wright on Dec. 17, 1903. The craft built by Orville and his brother Wilbur only made it aloft for 12 seconds and only rose 120 feet, but it was enough to start aviation on its way. Today a visitors center and memorial commemorates the Wright brothers’ work and offers a fascinating look into the past.

Rates: $2 for walk-ins; $4 for cars
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Best Place to Fly a Kite

Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Where: US 158 Bypass, Milepost 12 1/2,
Nags Head, NC
Phone: (252) 441-7132

Jockey's Ridge State Park

If you’ve always wanted to fly, this might be your chance. After all, what better launch point could there be than the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast? Hang gliding is permitted on certain faces of the dune by anyone who has the appropriate rating, and lessons are offered for those who don’t. And of course, there’s the much more grounded option of simply flying a kite. And if flying whatever it maybe holds no interest, a hike to the top of the dune — while a little strenuous — offers an outstanding view of the 400-acre Jockey’s Ridge State Park and surroundings.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., November through
February; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., March and October; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., April, May, and September; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., June through August


Piers on the Outer Banks

Kitty Hawk, NC Vacation Guide


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