Where to stay in Duck

Vacation rental homes are the most popular way to stay in the Outer Banks. Rental homes are available in Duck from:

Duck is rapidly becoming one of the most popular vacation destinations on the Outer Banks, and for good reason. With hundreds of vacation rental homes that are among the East Coast's very best, and an assortment of eclectic shopping, premier dining, and beautiful beaches, Duck is an ideal retreat for beach vacationers who savor the good life.

Vacation rentals come in all sizes and styles in Duck, but the majority of properties are exquisite 5-10 bedroom resort-quality homes, that have all the amenities a modern family expects while on vacation. With an overall feel that's both upscale and family friendly, and just enough Outer Banks laid-back charm to make every beach bum feel right at home, Duck is a scenic retreat that's fit for all members of the family.

The Duck Beach Scene

Duck is located in the Northern Outer Banks, but is just a quick 10-15 minute drive away, depending on traffic, from the central Outer Banks and the Wright Memorial Bridge, the main route on and off the island. Duck is accessed by the small, two-lane NC Highway 12, which is one of the busiest Outer Banks roads on a Summer Saturday or Sunday turnover day, but remains relatively quiet throughout the rest of the week and year.

A long walking and biking path runs the length of the town, bordering the highway, providing visitors with an easy way to scoot from one region to another, and this path certainly comes in handy considering everything that Duck has to offer. The town features the essentials, including a gas station, convenience stores, and even a chain fast food restaurant or two, but Duck's unique Outer Banks' character is based on its assortment of shops, restaurants and other businesses that are locally owned, and are nothing short of exquisite.

Visitors will find a handful of these plazas tucked away along the soundside of NC Highway 12, all with central parking and all located within walking distance of each other. This makes a walking tour an easy venture, even for patrons with arms loaded down with shopping bags. The shops and boutiques here cater to all tastes and styles. Shoppers will find exceptional art galleries, surf shops and apparel stores, gift shops, book stores, and even extensive watersports stores that offer everything from rental equipment to scenic tours and lessons.

The dining scene in Duck is equally exquisite, with a number of both casual and fine dining establishments that are located right on the soundside waterfront for simply astounding views. For a romantic sunset dining experience or a quick ice cream stop while scanning the soundside horizon for passing pelicans and gulls, Duck has every taste covered.

Like the majority of the Outer Banks, Duck has not one, but two major bodies of water that attract saltwater sports lovers of all genres. The soundside of Duck borders the expansive Currituck Sound, and many visitors take advantage of this proximity to try their hand at some of the OBX's most popular sound-based sports, including kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and even jet skiing or parasailing. Duck visitors will find multiple launching points, including several bordering the shopping plaza, and a popular access point by the gorgeous Town Park. This park is the seasonal home to a number of weekly events that are open to the public, and also features a series of gorgeous nature trails that wind through the maritime forest, and even hover over the open sound waters, presenting one of the best wide open water views on the northern Outer Banks.

Essentially, the soundside is a wild refuge that can be shaded with pines, cedars and thousands of live oaks, or a scenic waterfront retreat that beacons watersports lovers with miles of sound access. It's all in the eyes of the beholder, and Duck vacationers love the combination of soundside seclusion and on-the-water fun.

The oceanside of Duck is an equally appealing attraction, with wide beaches protected by a squat line of sea-oat covered sand dunes. The ocean temperatures here can be a little cooler than other southern regions of the Outer Banks, but summer conditions are almost always perfect for swimming, body boarding, and even surfing with the arrival of an occasional summer swell. Shell lovers will find colorful scallops and coquinas washing up on a daily basis, and beach-goers who like a bit of privacy will find plenty of room to spread out a beach blanket. There are no 4WD vehicles allowed on the beaches here, and the town is strict with its rules pertaining to pets, littering and excessive noise, and this contributes to the overall enjoyment for the Duck beach population.

When you put all of these factors together - pristine beaches, a wild soundside, and plenty of charming and exquisite shops and restaurants - the end result is a beach community that can cater to all tastes and styles. With an equal focus on the fun found in the great outdoors, and the exceptional local amenities, visitors will enjoy the best of both worlds in Duck - a quietly entertaining beach town, with plenty of shorelines to go around.

Types of Rentals Available

While visitors can certainly find small bed and breakfasts, and charming homes in the 2-3 bedroom range, the majority of vacation homes in Duck are modern, beach-cottage style homes that feature between 4-12 bedrooms, and span both the ocean and soundside communities.

Visitors will notice that the vacation rental homes in Duck are all enclosed within distinct subdivisions, with some larger and more elite than others. Four Seasons is certainly one of the largest communities in Duck, but other neighborhoods include Sanderling, Sea Tern, Carolina Dunes, Tuckahoe, and a good dozen others, ranging in size from a side street or two to a large, multi-neighborhood portion of Duck's overall area.

Each of these communities and subdivisions have their own unique covenants regarding party sizes, extra equipment, and RV or boat parking restrictions, so visitors who are planning a special event or are bringing along large vehicles will want to check with their vacation rental company to be sure they are in compliance with the community rules and regulations.

The good news is that these communities are also extremely family friendly, with lovely manicured yards and landscapes, small streets that are ideal for walking and biking, and even community amenities such as public pools and tennis courts.

The rental homes themselves are nothing short of exquisite, and because Duck has only been commercially developed in the past 20-30 years or so, visitors will find a number of vacation rental homes that are new, modern, and completely accommodating getaways. Sun decks, flat screen TVs and wireless high speed internet are all but standard amenities, and the majority of properties also feature expansive private pools, hot tubs, theater or media rooms, game rooms, and gourmet kitchens complete with dual appliances and upscale accompaniments.

The largest of these estates can be found close to the ocean or the sound, and can offer enough leg room for parties of 20 or more, making a beachside family reunion an easy affair. With multiple living areas and master bedrooms, in addition to tasteful yet coastal decor and furnishings, the vacation rentals in Duck essentially feel like individual private resorts, making everyone in the family with a taste for the finer things feel right at home.

Benefits of Duck Vacation Rentals

Duck has virtually everything a modern family could possibly need to enjoy a laid-back vacation, but still enjoy the finer things on the Outer Banks. The shopping scene in this beach town is nationally-renowned as one of the best and most unique on the Outer Banks, and there are just enough amenities off the beach and outside the stores to keep everyone entertained. Duck is equally recognized for its spas and watersports companies with lessons and rentals available, ensuring that everyone in the family can enjoy a great day off the beach, regardless of their preferred activity.

In addition to the fantastic shopping, activities and restaurants, the landscape of Duck is pristine and inviting. Soundside vacation homes have a private feel with towering cedars and live oaks to protect them, while oceanside homes are just a hop, skip and a jump away from miles of uncrowded beaches. Several nature trails and pedestrian walkways provide ample access to all regions of the town, and the Town Park is a highlight in the community, with an expansive nature trail that skims the border of the Currituck Sound.

The rentals themselves are among the very best on the Outer Banks, with fantastic amenities and easy-going accommodations that are tastefully appointed, well decorated, and provide all the comforts of home and then some.

Essentially, anyone who appreciates an elite retreat with just a little quirkiness thrown in will appreciate a Duck vacation, where style and high-end living meet classic laid-back Outer Banks culture.

Considerations of Duck Vacation Rentals

The elite feel that attracts a number of Duck's vacationers may also drive some Outer Banks visitors away. Beach-lovers who enjoy roughing it, with a bit of camping or a rustic beach cottage, can certainly have this experience on the Outer Banks, but most likely won't find these attributes in Duck. With an upscale collection of homes and vacation rentals, and no campgrounds in sight, Duck is a more adequate destination for visitors who are looking for the amenities of a resort-style stay.

In addition, while there are ample shops, restaurants, and other services that are more than happy to cater to visitors, Duck has no major chain grocery stores or large chain stores of any kind. This helps maintain its atmosphere of a quiet beach town, but some visitors who appreciate easy access to the larger essentials should note that they may have to drive to Kitty Hawk or Corolla, both located approximately 5 miles away, to access these services.

Soundside vacationers should also note that to access the beach they will need to cross NC Highway 12, and while this is rarely an issue, (and there are crosswalks available), it can take a couple minutes of waiting during a busy summer weekend.

Other than these considerations, however, Duck is a beacon for visitors who want to combine the finer things with a laid-back atmosphere, and Duck has plenty of entertainment, both on and off the shoreline, to keep everyone in the family smiling.

Tips and Tricks for Duck Vacation Rentals

  • Visitors who want to visit Duck on a budget should scope out the shoulder and off-season months, particularly in the fall. The ocean temperatures take just as long to cool down as they do to warm up, and as a result, the ocean can be warm enough for swimming or surfing well into late September in Duck. As a bonus, holiday shoppers will find some of the best deals at the local shopping plazas in the fall, when many Duck stores offer deep discounts on their current year's merchandise.
  • With that fact in mind, Thanksgiving visitors, regardless of where they are staying on the Outer Banks, should consider having a Duck-style "Black Friday." With many local shops open until the end of the Thanksgiving Weekend, a Black Friday shopping spree is an ideal time to get the best bargains on an assortment of exceptional, one-of-a-kind Outer Banks gifts and treasures.
  • Regardless of where you are staying in Duck, make sure you check out the completely scenic Currituck soundside, preferably around sunset. This can easily be accomplished with a trip to a local waterfront restaurant or an evening tour of the waterfront shops, but adventurous vacationers will want to plan a trip to the Duck Town Park's expansive new walkway that borders the sound. Visitors can also plan an afternoon or evening kayaking tour with one of the many local and regional watersports companies available, which take out patrons on in-depth explorations of the wild areas of the sound. No matter how you go, the wooded terrain bordered by miles of open water will surely be a highlight of your Duck vacation.
  • Visitors should also check out the Town of Duck's weekly calendar of events to see what fun activities and entertainment are being offered at the Duck Town Park. The park often features live music at least once a week, in addition to weekly exercise and yoga classes, educational seminars, story hours, and a number of other programs that are available to kids and adults alike. Budget-friendly and open to everyone, a visit to the Town Park for a special event is an ideal way to get your feet wet in the local culture and community.
  • The vacation rentals in Duck have become popular venues for small destination weddings and receptions, due in no small part to their grandeur and array of amenities, (like multiple kitchens and wet bars, and expansive great rooms), that come in handy for large scale events. If you're planning an upcoming destination wedding on the Outer Banks, ask your vacation rental company of choice what Duck accommodations are available to cater to your event, and enjoy getting married island-style with ease.

Considering that nearly a century ago Duck was considered a rustic vacation destination suitable for the most adventurous of vacationers, the town has certainly come a long way. Today, Duck is both a natural paradise and an elite retreat for Outer Banks vacationers who want to soak up the local beach scene in style. With vacation rentals chock full of modern and luxurious amenities, and ample shorelines that are inviting and uncrowded, Duck truly has it all for the modern vacationer.

Enjoy endless miles of beaches and endless miles of Currituck Soundfront to play in, and cap off the day with a trip to the spa, a shopping excursion, or a romantic fine dining meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants. In Duck, living the good life comes standard, and everyone in the family will find something to please their palette, both on and off the beach.


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