Duck, NC

Duck, NC is a beach destination with 7 miles of sand stretching far and wide. Stroll the boardwalk and visit shops or restaurants while taking in beautiful ocean views. Ditch the car and peddle a bike or meander on food across this small seaside town. Voted to Travel Channel’s annual America’s Best Beaches list since 2000, locals have worked to preserve the small charm town for residents and visitors to enjoy this safe, fun destination for all ages.

Duck, NC

Duck, NC recently developed into more of an oasis for tourists away from the hustle and bustle of nearby beaches. While admittedly not a party spot or spring break haven, families and travelers who love a bit of quiet mixed in with rustic beauty and access to nearby attractions will love Duck. Shopping, dining, and water sports are just a few ways people can enjoy a visit to Duck, NC. A few unique attractions include

  • Duck Town Park and Boardwalk: an 11-acre park offering a Maritime forest, willow swamp, and amphitheater with a lawn to enjoy open-air concerts and events. Stroll along the Duck boardwalk, watch a sunset over Currituck Sound, or pop into some boutiques for shopping 
  • Enjoy Duck public beach. Most private accommodations offer access for visitors to enjoy surfing, fishing, swimming in the surf, or just laying on the beach enjoying the views

Stuck in Duck

“Stuck in Duck” was a phrase coined by some people in the 1970s to describe the lack of development in Duck, NC. A small seaside town in the Outer Banks, Duck, NC is one of the top places to hit the beach in North Carolina and offers great shopping, dining, and water sports. Explore up to 7 miles of beaches in the middle of NC Highway 12 with Duck being a few miles north of the busy Outer Banks 158 bypass.

Duck Town and Boardwalk

Duck Town Park and Boardwalk include an 11-acre park with a Maritime forest, swamp, an amphitheater, shelters, and an overwater boardwalk along the Currituck Sound. If that doesn’t sound amazing, there are several boutique shopping centers to explore along the way. During the season, the park is open for live theater, stories, and magic shows for kids in the morning. Concert series run throughout the summer months early evening for a relaxing end to the day. Visitors and locals visit the walking trails, canoe, kayak, and visit beach. The Town Park hosts special events like a Fourth of July celebration with a parade and after-party and October’s Duck Jazz Festival featuring national and local jazz artists. A boardwalk offers views of the sound, picturesque sunsets, and a connection to nature. Duck Town Park has two parking areas for visitors and locals to take in the boardwalk and the park.

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Special Events

Duck, NC is no stranger to amazing special events. Families come year after year for special festivals and locals stay for the great seasonal events. Tap into the wine tastings, listen to live outdoor music, or check out the popular Duck Jazz Festival offered annually. The festival is a favorite in Outer Banks with a weekend featuring local and national Jazz musicians with food, drinks, and fun for all ages. Going in winter? Try the annual Duck Yuletide festival. Shop late at night amongst the boutiques in town, nosh on some bueno tapas during the tapas crawl, and take in live music at the park. Any time of year there is something for everyone to enjoy in Duck, NC.

Shopping  in Duck, NC

Get ready for some fantastic shopping  in Duck, NC. One of the best ways to enjoy Duck is to visit the locally owned shops and boutiques. The locals work hard to keep it ‘small’ and support family-owned businesses. The stores are arranged in a coastal shopping complex and close enough together to explore one at a time on foot. Visitors can take in art galleries, surf shops, clothes boutiques, or gift shops for tchotchkes and memorabilia.

Dining In Duck, NC

Want to dine out and grab some grub? Duck, NC is home to some great restaurants. From four-star to beachcomber paradise, visitors can dine while overlooking Currituck Sound, which surrounds almost all the eateries in Duck. Eat fresh veggies and locally grown produce, enjoy locally caught fish-of-the-day and sip on tropical drinks or wine while taking in the sunset. Don’t forget to pick up a kid’s menu as many restaurants offer dining for little ones and are family-friendly.

Water Sports In Duck, NC

Drawn to the water’s edge, visitors come for amazing water sports like surfing and kiteboarding. Stand-up paddle boarding is popular along with beach sports for people to try. Kayak alone, with a group, or try a tour. Stop in for a jet ski rental of the Currituck Sound or just walk the boardwalk and check out the beaches on foot.

Duck, NC F.A.Q.

Duck hunting came to the area in the early 1900s. Thousands of ducks lived in the waters around the town which gave the area its name. Another ‘nickname’ is Waterfowl, NC as it is a center point on the Atlantic flyway for ducks migrating from the Arctic to the tropics.

Beach access points are mainly based in neighborhoods, maintained by HOAs and individual homeowners. Rental companies offer directions for access nearby. There are, however, 12 fixed lifeguard stands staffed Memorial Day through Labor Day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swim near the lifeguards because ocean currents can have an undertow you won’t see. If red flags are flying, that means ‘NO SWIMMING’ that day. Obey the colored flags for safety. Lifeguard stands can be found at Caffey’s Inlet, Barrier Island Station, Christopher Drive, Ocean Pines and others.

Duck is within driving distance of Norfolk International airport. It is 1.5 hours to Duck, NC. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is another nearby airport with a similar drive time. The airport is easier to get around and is smaller than Norfolk. If you’re staying in a neighboring town or want to visit neighboring places, Duck to Corolla is 15 minutes away, Duck to Kitty Hawk is 12 minutes and Nags Head is 25 minutes away.

Duck is on the Outer Banks, a barrier island with water on one side from Currituck Sound and ocean on the other. This is why it is considered a ‘barrier.’ Drive across the sounds to reach Duck, NC. When you arrive from the north, you take the Wright Memorial Bridge then travel up N.C. Highway 12. From the west, drive across Virginia Dare Bridge from the mainland and take U.S. Highway 158. It is not an isolated island but a barrier island with access to main roads and other towns surrounding it. You can drive to the town versus an island where you will need to ferry over.