Duck Guide Sections:

Duck Listings

The little town of Duck has garnered quite a reputation as one of the best vacation spots on the Outer Banks. Regularly appearing on a number of national Best Beaches' lists, (including the Travel Channel's best beach directory), Duck features all the elements of a fantastic Outer Banks vacation destination. Enjoy waterfront access on the ocean and soundside, sublime shopping and dining, and plenty of hiking, surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding, and beach space to go around. Despite bordering the larger Outer Banks towns of Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and even Corolla, Duck retains its small town quirky character and distinctive draw to vacationers from all around the country.

Large rental homes in Duck

Where to Stay in Duck

Most vacationers opt to rent a home during their Duck vacation. Dozens of Outer Banks property management companies represent vacation rentals in the area, so the selection of homes varies greatly. Visitors can opt to stay in a soundfront or oceanfront home with a private pool, hot tub, game room, or theater room, or spend their vacation in a smaller, modest beach box, tucked away under the Live Oaks.

Vacation Rental Companies

An American flag flies at the Duck Waterfront Shops

Vacation rentals in Duck generally fill up fast, but many rental companies allow reservations up to a year in advance, so booking your vacation early is easy to do. A number of companies even allow visitors to "reserve" their favorite beach home for the same time the following year while on vacation, allowing guests to have first dibbs to their favorite vacation properties. Be sure and book early, and be prepared to stay for at least a week, as unless it is a last minute reservations, most homes are only rented from Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday. The good news is that you'll surely savor every day that you're on your Duck vacation. Vacation Rental companies offering homes in Duck include:

Duck Waterfront Shops

 

Duck Attractions

Duck Town Park and Boardwalk - This 11 acre park in the heart of Duck offers Maritime forest, willow swamp, an open lawn with ampitheatre and public shelters, and a beautiful over-water boardwalk winding along the Currituck Sound. The Duck boardwalk is a wonderful place to view a soundside sunset. It also links several boutique shopping centers.

The Beach - The beach in Duck is public and open to everyone, there are no public beach access points. Most rental homes and communities offer private access, so if you are staying in Duck, beach access shouldn't be a problem. Here are some things to know about Duck beach policies:

  • Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round, unleashed (although leashes are recommended). Owners must keep their dogs under control at all times.
  • Fireworks and beach bonfires are not permitted in Duck.
  • Beer is allowed on the beach. Wine and liquor are not officially permitted. Please drink responsibly.
  • Metal detecting is allowed.
  • Red flags = no swimming. When you see red flags flying, dangerous conditions are present and swimming is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to walk on the dunes, and it is also illegal to pick live sea oats growing on the beaches.
  • Fill in any holes you dig. Holes in the sand can be a hazard.
  • Be mindful of Noise. Most communities consider a violation of the noise ordinance to be any sound that can be heard from inside a nearby residence, and any load noise after approximately 11:00 p.m.
  • No glass on the beach. Be mindful of glass bottles. Alcohol is allowed on all beaches, but if at all possible, stick to cans and plastic to save future beach-goers from any bare foot injuries.
  • Surf fishing is allowed. A fishing license is required in North Carolina and can be obtained before your vacation via the NC Marine Fisheries and Wildlife website, or a fishing license can be purchased at most any tackle shop on the Outer Banks.
  • 4x4 Driving on the Beach - There is no public 4x4 access in Duck. Private access allows vehicles vehicles on the beach between October 1 - April 30.

Duck Waterfront Shops

Popular Duck Activities

If you can pull yourself away from the pristine beaches, which offer seasonally warm temperatures, decent surfing and shelling, and plenty of room to stretch out, you'll find lots of places to explore in Duck.

  • Shopping - One of the largest draws to Outer Banks visitors is the fantastic collection of locally owned shops in the center of Duck. The stores are arranged in a series of low-key, coastal shopping complexes, and are close enough to each other that it's easy to park the car and explore all the stores on foot. Visitors will be delighted to find a number of local art galleries, gourmet markets, surf shops, clothing boutiques, and funky gift stores for some of the Outer Banks' best shopping opportunities.
  • Restaurants - Duck is also home to some of the Outer Banks's favorite restaurants. Visitors can take advantage of four star dining while overlooking the Currituck Sound, grab some fresh veggies for a home cooked meal from local produce stands, or pull up to the soundfront docks of local restaurants for a round of tropical drinks and a waterfront sunset.
  • Watersports - Because of Duck's ocean and sound borders, water sports are a must for any Duck vacation. Local businesses offer rentals and lessons for a number of beach sports, allowing everyone in your group to try something new. Rent an ocean kayak or enjoy a guided sound kayak tour, spend a couple afternoons learning how to surf, kiteboard, or stand up paddleboard (also known as SUP), or rent a Jet Ski for the afternoon and cruise the Currituck Sound. Off the water, visitors can explore the endless walking trails that meander around Duck and take in the lush maritime forest setting. Be on the lookout for Duck natives including dozens of species of waterfowl, like herons, egrets, cormorants, and wild geese.

Kitty Hawk Cycle / Duck Cycle Company

Explore the northern Outer Banks on two wheels! Weekly rentals delivered to your door. We are currently taking orders for the 2023 season. As always, for the best selection, we recommend booking at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your vacation. Already here on vacation? Please call for availability...(more)

Kitty Hawk Cycle / Duck Cycle Company

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Multiple locations

Experience more adventure, fun, and style with Kitty Hawk Surf Company. As the trusted Outer Banks retailer for all top surf and lifestyle brands, including, Hurley, Billabong, RVCA, The North Face, Patagonia, Salt Life, Salty Crew, Volcom, O’Neill, Roxy, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hobie, Catch Surf...(more)

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Kitty Hawk Kites

Multiple locations

Kitty Hawk Kites has been Teaching the World to Fly since 1974 and is home to the world’s largest hang gliding school. As the Outer Banks leader in quality outdoor recreation and adventure, Kitty Hawk Kites offers more than 30 activities to choose from, so get out that pen and start crossing...(more)

Kitty Hawk Kites

Duck Corolla Parasail

Discover the beauty of the Outer Banks with Duck Parasail. Duck Parasail is proud to partner with Corolla Parasail and together, they take pride in being the longest running, family owned and operated parasail company on the Outer Banks. Duck Parasail is the only company running a FLEET...(more)

Duck Corolla Parasail

ZoomAround Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals

ZoomAround Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals provides our communities and our visitors with fun, safe and convenient access to innovative transportation while providing an unparalleled customer experience. Don’t carry all of your beach gear, we’d love to make it easy for you! DUCK &bull...(more)

ZoomAround Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals

Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports

Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports beautiful location and top-of-the-line equipment, together with a friendly and professional staff make it one of the premier water sports centers on the Outer Banks. Nor'Banks' sound front location has a huge grassy lawn, restrooms, showers, a 200 foot pier and...(more)

Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports
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Duck Restaurants

Duck boasts a dynamic restaurant scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. From casual seafood shacks to upscale soundfront fine dining, Duck offers a diverse range of dining experiences. With an emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood, Duck's culinary offerings highlight the rich history and culture of the Outer Banks. Whether you're looking for a romantic dinner for two or a family-friendly meal with a view, Duck's restaurant scene has something for everyone. Here are a few popular Duck restaurants:

Donutz on a Stick

Stay, Play and Eat- Donuts, Ice Cream & Coffee Treats! Located on the Duck Boardwalk, behind Dockside Seafood, this breakfast & Dessert-Shop features treats you've never tasted before! Try the hot, made to order, donutz on a stick with more than 35 toppings! They'll melt...(more)

Donutz on a Stick

Cookshak Fried Chicken

Multiple locations

There’s an art to doing a home-style chicken dinner right in the South. You need a chicken fried to golden, crispy perfection obviously. Then you need the appropriate fixings, like mac and cheese and coleslaw. Finally, you need that familial setting of passing the plates, helping yourself and...(more)

Cookshak Fried Chicken

Island Smoothie Cafe

Multiple locations

At Island Smoothie, we have created a menu and atmosphere that is designed to be as unique as the northern shores of the Outer Banks. Our creations utilize fresh local produce when possible. There is nothing better than local NC strawberries, blackberries or blueberries. Make sure to try our...(more)

Island Smoothie Cafe

Pizzazz Pizza Company

Multiple locations

Pizzazz Pizza now has FOUR convenient Outer Banks locations in Grandy, Corolla, Duck & Nags Head. Made with only the freshest ingredients and finest meat toppings! Dine in, carry out or delivery (from Corolla to South Nags Head; from Powell's Point to Aydlett).(more)

Pizzazz Pizza Company

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Multiple locations

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The...(more)

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream
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Duck Shops

Duck offers a wide array of boutique shops and specialty stores, many of which are locally owned and operated. One of the most popular shopping centers in Duck is the Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, which boasts over a dozen unique shops and restaurants, including the renowned Duck's Cottage Coffee and Books. Another popular shopping destination in Duck is the Waterfront Shops, which offer a variety of upscale boutiques, galleries, and gift shops with stunning views of the Currituck Sound. Whether you're searching for the perfect souvenir, a unique piece of art, or fashionable beachwear, Duck's shopping scene is sure to delight visitors with its distinctive offerings and quaint charm.

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Multiple locations

Experience more adventure, fun, and style with Kitty Hawk Surf Company. As the trusted Outer Banks retailer for all top surf and lifestyle brands, including, Hurley, Billabong, RVCA, The North Face, Patagonia, Salt Life, Salty Crew, Volcom, O’Neill, Roxy, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hobie, Catch Surf...(more)

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Kitty Hawk Cycle / Duck Cycle Company

Explore the northern Outer Banks on two wheels! Weekly rentals delivered to your door. We are currently taking orders for the 2023 season. As always, for the best selection, we recommend booking at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your vacation. Already here on vacation? Please call for availability...(more)

Kitty Hawk Cycle / Duck Cycle Company

The Cotton Gin

Multiple locations

For those traveling to the Outer Banks, The Cotton Gin is a beloved landmark with its large windmill and picturesque gardens. The Cotton Gin has stood in the same location since 1929, starting as a working cotton gin and growing to a gift store with 4 locations. Visitors are treated to a unique...(more)

The Cotton Gin

Sound Feet Shoes

Multiple locations

Sound Feet Shoes is family owned and operated. Sound Feet has been in the retail shoe business for over 60 years, opening their first store in 1953. They provide the best customer service and are the only Outer Banks’ area full service shoe store since 1987. Now, the family owned...(more)

Sound Feet Shoes

Gray's

Multiple locations

Gray’s Outer Banks Lifestyle Clothing Company offers the absolute best in Outer Banks T-shirts and Sweatshirts including Champion, Under Armour with "Outer Banks” and Gear! We carry quality fashions and accessories for the whole family by all your favorite brands including Tommy Bahama...(more)

Gray's

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Multiple locations

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The...(more)

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Kitty Hawk Kites

Multiple locations

Looking to fly a kite on the beach or atop the spectacular dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park? Kitty Hawk Kites offers the largest selection of kites, wind art, flags, games, and toys on the Outer Banks, with experts on staff to get you flying … or playing … in no time! Always...(more)

Kitty Hawk Kites

The Farmer's Daughter

Multiple locations

Founded in 1984 on the coast of the Outer Banks, NC, Farmer’s Daughter still remains a destination for people wanting great quality, outstanding selection of unique clothing, accessories, and gifts at affordable prices. Committed to offering great customer service, we strive to bring the...(more)

The Farmer's Daughter

Donutz on a Stick

Stay, Play and Eat- Donuts, Ice Cream & Coffee Treats! Located on the Duck Boardwalk, behind Dockside Seafood, this breakfast & Dessert-Shop features treats you've never tasted before! Try the hot, made to order, donutz on a stick with more than 35 toppings! They'll melt...(more)

Donutz on a Stick

Nags Head Hammocks

Multiple locations

We love the outdoors at Nags Head Hammocks and handcraft our Classic Hammocks, Swings and Durawood Furniture to help you enjoy every moment. It all started in 1974 when our first hammocks were made in a little shop on The Outer Banks.(more)

Nags Head Hammocks

Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports

Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports beautiful location and top-of-the-line equipment, together with a friendly and professional staff make it one of the premier water sports centers on the Outer Banks. Nor'Banks' sound front location has a huge grassy lawn, restrooms, showers, a 200 foot pier and...(more)

Nor'Banks Sailing & Watersports

The Mystic Jewel

Multiple locations

Walk into this shop and you’ll be delighted by all the glittering and sparkling from the way the mirrors and lighting show off jewelry from over 100 different designers and local artisans. Artfully-designed cases line the walls, filled with gorgeous sterling silver and semi-precious gemstone...(more)

The Mystic Jewel

Super Wings

Multiple locations

Best store on the beach! Everything you need for your vacation. The newest ladies' and girls swimsuits, 20% off every day! Largest selection of beach supplies and the best deals on T-shirts, sweatshirts and mens, ladies, and kids, apparel, swimwear and resort wear. Get all your souvenirs, suntan...(more)

Super Wings

ZoomAround Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals

ZoomAround Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals provides our communities and our visitors with fun, safe and convenient access to innovative transportation while providing an unparalleled customer experience. Don’t carry all of your beach gear, we’d love to make it easy for you! DUCK &bull...(more)

ZoomAround Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals
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Duck History

Like Corolla, Carova, and the other Currituck County beaches, Duck remained relatively undiscovered for hundreds of years after its initial settlement in the late 1600s. Populated by a small number of resilient locals, and providing little income to Currituck County, the 7 miles of Duck was eventually transferred over toDare County to tend to in the early 1900s.

While Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk were gaining notoriety as beach vacation destinations in the 50s, 60s and 70s, Duck remained isolated and unknown. With no paved roads, just a collection of mud and sand trails that were nearly impossible to travel, there was little interest by regular Outer Banks vacationers in Duck. The area did, however, draw dozens of fishermen and hunters. Notorious for its fantastic waterfowl hunting, locals became fishing or hunting guides to bolster their income, and a small but steady stream of adventurous vacationers flocked to Duck for many years.

Duck Town Park and Boardwalk

 

In the early 80s, the paved NC Highway 12 was underway throughout the Northern Outer Banks, providing easy access to the area. As developer attention grew in the northern Dare County and Currituck beaches, the county and local governments stepped in to ensure that Duck would retain its small, natural character. In 1984, The North Carolina General Assembly established Duck as a North Carolina Beautification District, and in 1986 the community agreed to develop a seven-mile multiple use trail within the town limits. Development grew slowly in Duck, and over the next few decades, vacation rental homes were built throughout the area, but chain hotels, massive stores, and other large commercial complexes were purposely kept out due to cautious community building restrictions.

The careful planning paid off, as today Duck is a picturesque seaside community with plenty of accommodations and amenities, but not too much clutter. Considering the area's national popularity as one of America's best beaches, it's hard to believe that just a few decades ago, Duck's only visitors were hunters and fishermen in search of, well, ducks.

Duck town boardwalk with DUCK sign on low branch

The Duck Landscape

Located on the Northern Outer Banks just past Southern Shores and a few miles north of the busy Outer Banks 158 bypass, Duck is a 7 mile stretch of beaches in the middle of NC Highway 12. Visitors love Duck because of its lovely, natural setting. The Currituck Sound and Atlantic Ocean are buffered by acres of maritime forest, and rental homes, walking paths, shops and restaurants are hidden under centuries old Live Oaks and tall patches of cedars. Like all Outer Banks vacation destinations, the beach is the big draw, and while the beaches are seasonally popular, they are generally quiet strips of sand with no commercial businesses or vehicular traffic to drown out the sound of the ocean.

Visitors are treated to waterfront sunrises and sunsets with miles of oceanfront and soundfront to explore, and the modest collection of rental homes and locally owned businesses provides plenty of places to stay and activity, without interrupting the natural Outer Banks landscape. In fact, all the shops are centrally located with a half mile radius, so visitors can enjoy a little retail therapy on foot.

 

Duck Boardwalk

Tips for Visiting Duck

Vacationers should note that there are no public beaches in Duck, however most all of Duck's communities have private access to the ocean, so hopping over to the beach shouldn't be a problem for vacation rental guests. Be sure and check with your vacation rental company when booking to find out the most convenient beach access for your rental home.

You'll also want to bring a good pair of walking shoes. With so many walking paths around the village and bordering NC Highway 12, and with summer traffic along the two lane highway a minor concern, one of the easiest ways to explore Duck is on foot.

While deciding when to book your vacation, be sure and keep an eye out for upcoming festivals and special events. The community of Duck regularly has seasonal events including wine tastings, tapas crawls, outdoor live music, and special festivals, like the much loved annual Duck Jazz Festival. Held every year at the Duck Town Park and Boardwalk in the fall, the Duck Jazz Festival has become of the Outer Banks' favorite events and features a weekend of renowned local and national Jazz musicians, with plenty of food, drinks, and fun to go around.

Visitors enjoy the Currituck Sound in Duck NC

For winter visitors, the annual Duck Yuletide festival provides late-night shopping opportunities, one of Duck's famous tapas crawls, and live music performed in the Duck Town Park.

No matter when you come, you'll want to keep an eye on the Town of Duck's calendar of events, because in Duck, community celebrations are always in season.

Duck has developed its reputation as one of the best beaches on the East Coast through decades of careful community planning, and vacationers are welcome to visit and reap the rewards. Offering the very best of Outer Banks' dining and shopping locales, and boasting miles of gorgeous ocean and sound beaches, vacationing families will surely fall in love with Duck's modern amenities and small town atmosphere, intertwined with that signature laid-back Outer Banks style.

Duck town boardwalk along the Currituck Sound

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Duck, NC?

Duck is located in the northern Outer Banks, and is bordered by Corolla to the north, and Southern Shores to the south. It is part of Dare County, and can be reached via NC Highway 12 north.

How do you get to Duck, NC?

Visitors can reach Duck by heading to the central Outer Banks and then taking NC Highway 12 north.

What is there to do in Duck, NC?

Duck is known for its beautiful beaches, as well as its myriad of shops and restaurants. The area is home to a number of charming shopping plazas, a popular town park, and a soundfront boardwalk the follows the Currituck Sound shoreline. The area is a popular spot for beaching, fishing, surfing, and watersports, and Duck is also known for a wide array of events, such as the annual Duck Jazz Festival in October.

Where did the name Duck come from?

The name “Duck” originated from the community’s first postmaster, who coined the name as a tribute to the area’s best feature at the time – its fantastic duck hunting. The name stuck and became official when the town was officially incorporated in 2002, making it the newest town on the Outer Banks.

What are the special events in Duck?

Duck is the host of a number of special annual events, such as the Duck Jazz Festival in October, the Duck 4th of July Celebration, and the Duck Yuletide Celebration in December. In addition, the Town of Duck hosts an array of weekly events in the summer months which includes live music and outdoor movies at the central Duck Town Park.

When is the Duck Jazz Festival?

The Duck Jazz Festival is held every year in October, and is traditionally on Columbus Day Weekend.

Where are the beach accesses in Duck, NC?

Beach accesses can be found in the individual communities and subdivisions in Duck. The Town of Duck does not manage any public beach access locations, and there are no public parking areas at beach accesses, or parking along state roads. Visitors can check with their homeowners’ association or their vacation rental company for specific beach access points.

Are there lifeguards in Duck?

Lifeguard stands are maintained at various locations in Duck throughout the summer, including Caffey’s Inlet, Barrier Island Station, Schooner Ridge Drive, Christopher Drive, and Four Seasons Lane. In addition, lifeguards also patrol the town beaches in the summer months on ATVs.

What are the attractions in Duck, NC?

The Duck Town Park is one of the most popular attractions, due to its outdoor theater, picnic shelter, kayak / canoe launch, and soundfront boardwalk. The Duck Town Park also hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as an October Jazz Festival and weekly outdoor concerts in the summer. Additional attractions include the town center, which is home to a number of shopping plazas and restaurants. Duck has also been named one of the best beaches and / or family vacation destinations by Travel Channel, USA Today, and US News and World Report.

Are there shops and restaurants in Duck, NC?

Duck is famous for its distinctive shopping and dining scene, which is concentrated in the center of town. Visitors can park and easily walk to the various shopping plazas and restaurants at expansive public parking areas.

Where do you stay in Duck, NC?

Most visitors opt to stay in vacation rental homes or condos, which can range from one or two bedroom units to 10 bedroom or more vacation homes. There are also hotels and resorts available in the neighboring town of Corolla, and campgrounds in the nearby town of Kitty Hawk.

What can you do on a rainy day in Duck, NC?

A rainy day is the perfect time to go shopping in Duck. The town is known for its variety of unique shopping centers, such as Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, The Waterfront Shops, and the Osprey Landing Shops. In addition, the town is home to a number of art galleries, restaurants, and is close to Northern Outer Banks attractions such as The Whalehead Club in Corolla.

Are pets allowed on the beach in Duck, NC?

Pets are allowed on the beaches in Duck year-round. They do not need to be on the leash at all times, but should be carefully watched by their owner.

Can I drive on the beach in Duck, NC?

Vehicles are not allowed on the Duck beaches from May through September. Beaches are allowed in the winter months at designated private vehicular access points. There are no public 4WD beach ramps within the town of Duck.

Are there shells in Duck, NC?

Because of Duck’s uncrowded beaches, it can be a popular shelling destination. Shelling is best after a low tide or seasonal storm or hurricane, and particularly in the off-season months when the beaches are uncrowded.

Are beach bonfires allowed in Duck?

Beach bonfires are not allowed on any beaches within the town of Duck.

When is the best time to visit Duck?

The most popular time to visit Duck is in the summer, when the water and air temperatures are at their warmest. In addition, a number of businesses including shops and restaurants are seasonal and may be closed in the winter months.

What are the average air temperatures each month in Duck?

January - high: 52°,  low: 36°F 

February -  high: 54°,  low: 38°F 

March -  high: 60°,  low: 43°F 

April -  high: 69°,  low: 52°F 

May -  high: 77°,  low: 59°F 

June -  high: 84°,  low: 69°F 

July -  high: 88°, A low: 73°F 

August -  high: 86°,  low: 72°F 

September -  high: 81°,  low: 68°F 

October -  high: 72°,  low: 58°F 

November -  high: 64°,  low: 49°F 

December -  high: 56°,  low: 40°F 

Duck, NC Photos

The bike/walking path along NC-12 in Duck

 Duck Waterfront Shops 

Duck Town Boardwalk

Waterfront Shops at Duck

 

 

 

Enjoy ice cream on the Currituck Sound at Duck Waterfront Shops

A public dock in Duck NC

One of several walkable boutique shopping centers.

Nags Head Dolphin Watch
Ben Franklin

Stop by Nags Head's Ben Franklin at Mile Post 10 on the Bypass where you will find everything you need for the beach! From Clothing, T-shirts and Swimwear to Boards, Chairs, Umbrellas and Tackle. You'll find it all…and of course, we have the best selection of Souvenirs anywhere on the Outer Banks. Enjoy your vacation! Independently owned by a member of one of the Outer Banks’ oldest families, the Ben Franklin store is stocked with just about everything a visitor would need to go to the beach.

 

Ben Franklin stores were once part of a five-and-dime retail empire, with about 2,500 locations across the country in its heyday. As decades passed and the times and customers began to change, many closed their doors, leading to fewer than 150 of these nostalgic shops. Nags Head Ben Franklin, however, has withstood the test of time and adapted to the needs of its customers to provide a memorable shopping experience on the Outer Banks.

 

Debbie Terry Tolson, manager of the Ben Franklin location in Nags Head, recalls working with former owner Tommie Daniels. Daniels’ father, Moncie Daniels, started the business in downtown Manteo in the early 1900s. The Daniels family has been a longstanding fixture in the Outer Banks business community—Moncie even sold gas to the Wright brothers in 1903.

 

Tommie, with an excellent business mind, saw the opportunity the new Bypass presented and, in 1977, he opened the Nags Head location of Ben Franklin. He was one of the first businesses on the Bypass,” Tolson says.In addition to a new location, the Ben Franklin store saw a new group of customers.

 

“People would come from all around because Tommie had a little bit of everything—it was more like a five and 10 then,” Tolson explains. “As he went to the beach, he began to get more tourists, so he started catering more and more to visitors.”

 

Today, the 21,000-square-foot souvenir shop quickly catches the attention of anyone driving by thanks to the ocean-themed mural that decorates the façade of the building, painted by local artist Rob Snyder. This Ben Franklin location has become the must-stop shop for both first-time visitors to the area and generations of families who escape to the Outer Banks annually.

 

Tolson credits the great prices and friendly customer service to the success of the location, which keeps families returning.“People come in all the time and tell me, ‘my grandmother or my grandfather used to bring me here and now I’m bringing my children,’” she shares. “One of my favorite parts about working here is seeing the people come back year after year.”

Currituck Banks Coastal Estuarine Reserve
Duck Corolla Parasail
KEES Vacations