The town of Duck is located in North Carolina along the Northern Outer Banks, between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Currituck Sound to the west. Stretching for 130 miles, the Outer Banks are a skinny strip of barrier islands whose illustrious high, sandy dunes front a frothy surf on one side and a gentle sound on the other.
The nearest airport is Norfolk International which is 82 miles to the north. If you're driving from there, leave the airport and go west on Norview Ave. Merge onto I-64 E toward Va Beach/Chesapeake. After 12.3 miles, merge onto VA-168 S via EXIT 291B toward US-17 S/Elizabeth City (Portions toll) (Crossing into North Carolina). After 16.5 miles, VA-168 S becomes Caratoke Hwy. Continue for another 50 miles and stay straight to go onto N Croatan Hwy/US-158 E. After 1.4 miles, turn left onto Ocean Blvd. Ocean Blvd becomes Duck Rd/NC-12 after 1.5 miles. It is approximately a 1 hour 45 minute drive. Raleigh Durham International Airport is 192 miles west. Leaving the airport, go north on W International Dr toward Rescue Ct. Turn left onto Commerce Blvd. Take the 1st right onto Lumley Rd. Merge onto I-540 E via the ramp on the left toward US-1/Wake Forest. After 21.3 miles, merge onto US-64 E via EXIT 26B on the left toward Wilson/Rocky Mount. Continue for 93.2 miles and merge onto US-64 E via EXIT 515 toward Plymouth/Manteo. After 80 miles, stay straight to go onto US-64 Byp E/US-264 Byp E/Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge. 5.8 miles later, US-64 Byp E/US-264 Byp E/Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge becomes US-64 E. Then stay straight to go onto S Croatan Hwy/US-158 W. After 14.8 miles, turn right onto Ocean Blvd. Ocean Blvd becomes Duck Rd/NC-12 after 1.5 miles. It is approximately a 4hour drive.
Duck shopping consists of an eclectic mix of boutiques and specialty shops which are unique and individually owned, each reflecting the personality of its owners. From crafts and gifts to ice cream and kites, the shops are all clustered together within a half-mile stretch, so getting about is easy. Nearby, the Southern Shores Crossing Shopping Center has a grocery store and pharmacy. These are located on the east side of U.S. Highway 158. The town of Kitty Hawk is across the street on the west side of Hwy 158 and has many of the major stores (Wal-Mart, Home Depot) for all kinds of essentials.
You can sip a cappuccino in a front porch rocker, have a romantic dinner with a sound view, savor wine under a canopy of live oaks, eat al fresco while listening to jazz, catch sports on a bar TV, grab a slice of pizza, lick an ice cream cone while feeding ducks or take the whole family out for a seafood dinner. For such a small town, Duck has some pretty sophisticated dining options. Whether you want delivered pizza or upscale cuisine matched with an award-winning wine list, you'll find what you're looking for. Most of the restaurants stick to American fare, with an emphasis on local caught seafood. Some popular restaurants are The Paper Canoe, Aqua, Blue Point, Fishbones, Sunset Grille, Duck Duck Burgers, Eastside Restaurant, Kimball's Kitchen, Sooey's BBQ & Rib Shack. There are all the usual ice cream shops, coffee shops, donuts etc that you would expect too.
THE temperate weather in Duck makes it an enjoyable destination all year round. With a combination of bright sunny days tempered by gentle ocean breezes, Duck enjoys around 200 sunny days each year, with a year-round average hovering around 70°. Wind is an everyday occurrence and can range from gentle southwest breezes to strong northeast storm winds. Summer temperatures range from the mid 70's to near 90's, depending on the time of the summer. There are very few bad weather days. Average temperatures climb to 85°, but even on the hottest of summer days you can expect a slight to moderate ocean breeze, giving a distinctly refreshing feel. Fall is the perfect time to visit if you're planning on spending your days outdoors. Expect temperatures in the lower 80's in September, and mid- 70's in October. Winter temperatures are usually cool, though with Duck being on a barrier island, the wind can make it feel colder. Winter daytime temperatures average in the lower 50's with nights averaging in the upper 30's. Spring is typically mild. However, temperatures can be very unpredictable. Average daytime temperatures are normally in the upper 60's and lower 70's. Rainfall varies between 3.1 inches and 5.6 inches with July and August being the wettest months and April the driest.
THINGS TO DO
Boredom is hardly a threat in Duck. After all, the 7 mile stretch of wide sandy beach is the main attraction. So Duck offerings mostly focus on getting wet in one form or another. Oceanside, respectable surf is ideal for boogie boarding, body surfing, kite boarding and swimming while the sound provides a perfect playground for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts who require calmer waters. Surprisingly, the Town of Duck has no public beach accesses. You can't go to the beach in Duck unless you're staying here. Remember, it is illegal to walk on the dunes or to pick live sea oats growing on the beaches. Currituck Sound is a perfect place to sail, paddle a canoe or kayak, parasail, Jet Ski and windsurf.
If fishing is what you're after, then welcome to hours of happiness. The fish are biting almost all year and fishermen who know the ropes will often just set off on their own to surf fish, drop a line in the Currituck Sound or cast off from one of the nearby Outer Banks fishing piers. Bluefish, red drum, puppy drum, speckled trout, flounder, striped bass, Spanish mackerel, cobia and bottom fish are just some of what you might catch. While many of the fish in local waters are not regulated and you can keep as many as you'd like of any size, regulations apply to some fish regarding size or amount so you need to inform yourself before you go out. For those new to fishing in Duck and want a bit of help, you can choose from head boats, off-shore charters or private guides where you'll have a captain and a mate to show you the ropes.
The Duck Town Park is a community recreational facility for all seasons. It features 11 acres of natural beauty including trails through the Maritime Forest and willow swamp, open green space, views of the sound, open lawn with amphitheatre and picnic areas, and access to the Town's Boardwalk. The mile-long boardwalk extends along the lovely shallow waters of Currituck Sound, linking restaurants, marsh and forest. The Park is at the heart of most of the town's public activities. During high season, the smoke-free Park has live theatre, stories and magic shows for children in the mornings and a concert series for all ages in the early evenings. In October, on Columbus Day weekend, the town hosts a jazz festival in the park, featuring music from a variety of jazz performers. The festival is held every year, come rain or shine. They also have a 4th July Parade which runs a mile through the town. Afterwards, trophies are presented in the Town Park with music from a live band.
For golfers, the nearest golf course is Duck Woods Country Club in nearby Southern Shores. Their spectacular 18-hole championship golf course and practice facilities are situated on 300 acres of maritime forest. Membership is not required.
Seasoned beachcombers and shelling connoisseurs know that the Outer Banks is home to some of the best shelling around. It's incredibly popular, probably because it's something that everyone can do, is completely free, and can be enjoyed on any stretch of shoreline on the ocean or sound-side. Shelling is more fruitful after a low tide or seasonal storm, and particularly in the off-season months when the beaches are uncrowded. Due to the Outer Banks sitting on a cluster of slowly migrating islands, it's possible to come across the most remarkable and ancient finds so don't be afraid to look well off the beaten path too. You may even find such treasures as sand dollars, which can range from a dark brown or green color with a fuzzy exterior to a bright white with the standard oval mark, to delicate egg cases for both manta rays and whelks, which are common beach finds in the spring and summertime.
If you tire of all that, there are lots of attractions within a short drive; nearby Kitty Hawk can only mean one thing to most people - the Wright brothers' first successful powered airplane flight more than a century ago, on December 17, 1903. Wilbur and Orville Wright had first been lured to the area in 1900 by the steady winds that blow in from the Atlantic and by the high sand dunes that cover the shore. The site of their experiments has been preserved as the Wright Brothers National Memorial. You can visit the exhibits, including a replica of their "flying machine." If you cimb Kill Devil Hill where the 60 foot pylon stands - you'll find stunning panoramic views of both the ocean and sound from the top.
Coastal horseback riding on the Outer Banks is an experience never to be forgotten. It is an invigorating and delightful way to appreciate the area's beautiful natural surroundings. Riding trails go through the only Maritime Forest on the Outer Banks, including the Buxton Woods, the NC Coastal Reserve, and the National Park Service. The exhilarating ride ends with a view of the area with Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Cape Point off to the left.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, built in 1870 is world famous for its black and white candy-cane stripes. It is still in use today, protecting one of the most treacherous stretches of the Outer Banks with a beam of light that spans 20 miles into the ocean. It is the world's tallest brick lighthouse at a staggering 208' ft. tall and now has a steel-enforced brick foundation. The lighthouse has 257 steps from the ground to the balcony level, equal to climbing a 12-story building.
Duck and Outer Banks Vacation Rental Homes
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