Duck, North Carolina

Duck, NC is known for its award-winning beaches, laid back vibe and family-friendly fun. Named for the abundant waterfowl gracing its lands and beaches, Duck boasts over 400 species of birds!
Only recently developed, Duck consists of 7 miles of lovely, natural beaches along NC Highway 12. Duck actually has a fairly short history as it was only incorporated on May 1, 2002, making it the Outer Bank’s newest town! That same year, the Travel Channel named Duck one of “America’s Top Ten Beaches”. That being said, development in Duck first ramped up in the 1970’s, little by little, until it became the charming town we know today.

With a year-round population of only around 400 residents, the island town is quiet and tranquil in the winter months. Once summer vacation season hits the population swells to 20,000!

Known as an “upscale residential rental community”, there are no hotels, motels or campgrounds in Duck. Comprised mostly of colorful vacation rentals, this community is full of like-minded folks who choose Duck for its peaceful beaches, well-maintained trails and parks, and simple activities like shopping, bicycling, and enjoying nature.


Outdoor Adventures in Duck, NC

The soft, sandy beaches are clearly the main attraction when you visit Duck. If you are feeling adventurous, the ocean side of the island offers fun, frothy surf ideal for boogie boards and wave hopping. The sound side is perfect for little ones, with gentle, warm waters, or to anyone requiring serene seas for kayaks or paddleboards.

When it’s time for an adventure there are a several options in the town of Duck. Conveniently located in Duck Village are several bait shops, equipment rental companies and the Town Park.

Kittyhawk Kites, for example, offers kites (of course) but that doesn't even scratch the surface. Hang gliding, kite boarding, parasailing, airplane tours and horse tours are all accessible through their company. You can also rent kayaks, jet skis, pontoon boats, or surfboards. Mermaid lessons are also available! Yes, really!


Things to Do Near Duck, NC

Honestly, Duck is one of the best-kept secrets on the Outer Banks. Renting a vacation home off the beaten path offers you a certain amount of safety, peace, and room to really relax. Whether your rental offers a pool, easy beach access, air hockey or just a stack of puzzles, it’s a great way to bond with your family or friends in a gorgeous setting. Here are some of our favorite near by adventures that you will want to make sure you take part in while you are on vacation in Duck!

If you are looking for non-beach related activities, the Village has an impressive array of locally owned shops and galleries. They are arranged in a series of shopping complexes that are easily accessed once you park your car and start walking around, since they are all within a half-mile radius. It’s a great spot to grab a gift for your pet sitter or favorite teacher before you head back to reality.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located just 20 minutes down the road in Kill Devil Hills.

You might also enjoy the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, although that is about a 50-minute drive.

Just 30 minutes away you can find the Corolla Adventure Park, which is “the Outer Bank's largest aerial adventure course” for ages 5 and up!


Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Duck is home to several amazingly delicious restaurants. Eating good food is one of the best parts of vacation! While each town of the Outer Banks boasts its own unique flavor, Duck is probably the sweetest of them all since it is the home of the original “Duck Donuts” shop, which opened in 2007.



Take a Stroll on the Boardwalk in Duck

Duck Town Park and Boardwalk sits right in the heart of town and offers the perfect setting for many town activities such as live theater, concerts, magic shows and a Fourth of July Celebration. Visitors can enjoy the park’s playground, amphitheater, kayak access and picnic shelter all year long. The Town of Duck offers events and activities all year long, so be sure to check out their events page and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get the most out of your visit.

Following the beautiful Currituck Sound, the Boardwalk is still a fairly new addition to Duck, completed in fall of 2014. At just under a mile in length, it’s an amazing addition to this charming town. Oh, and the Duck Town Park is very dog friendly, complete with a doggie water fountain!

If you visit in October don’t miss the Duck Jazz Festival on Columbus Day weekend.


More Duck, NC Details:

  • Beach access is only for homeowners or vacation rentals! There is no public beach access, which means that the beaches will be reserved only for residents and renters of vacation properties. Read more here.
  • Duck is “One of the Top 10 Fido Friendly Beach Towns in the United States”! Here is some information about traveling with your dog provided by the Town of Duck.
  • A fishing license is required in North Carolina. You can get a 10-day recreational fishing license for just $5-$10. Find all fishing license details here!

  • Town of Duck Events can be found here: https://www.townofduck.com/events/
  • There are a few small grocery stores in Duck, including Wee Winks and Tommy’s Natural Foods Market. You can find Harris Teeter, Food Lion, and Walmart Supercenter by driving to Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk or Corolla.

Life is simple here. Search for seashells. Go on a nature-inspired scavenger hunt. Eat good food. Don’t overthink your vacation. That’s what makes the Outer Banks such a great destination for anyone looking to reconnect with family, friends, or nature itself.