Things to do in Duck North Carolina Aerial Photo

17 Fun Things to Do in Duck NC in 2024

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Duck, NC, is a quaint but lively coastal town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There are many fun things to do in Duck NC. 

If you want to experience the Outer Banks without the in-your-face excitement of other beach towns, the Town of Duck is the perfect place to go. Known for its beautiful beaches and lovely shops and restaurants, Duck is full of southern coastal charm. 

If you are planning a trip to Duck, or you will be in the area looking for things to do, well, you’ve come to the right place. The article below has all the most exciting and fun activities to do in and around Duck NC. 

Things to do in Duck NC

1) Duck Town Park

Duck Town Park is a beautiful spot to visit any time of year. It is 11 acres by the Currituck Sound, with a mix of Maritime forest, willow swamp, a playground, and an open lawn with a public amphitheater and picnic areas.

Town of Duck Sign

Duck Town Park is a hub for residents and visitors to the area, holding many public and live events for people of all ages during the year. From children’s puppet shows in the morning to Fourth of July celebrations and Ducks’ Jazz Fest, this public park is a very happening little area. 

Duck NC Town Park

2) Enjoy Live Music Options

Duck is no stranger to live music events. Many restaurants and bars hold live music all year round inside or on their open patios. Places like Tap Shack, Roadside Bar & Grill, and Aqua Restaurant all have great venues for outdoor live music.

The nightlife in Duck has the perfect small-town vibes with some excellent local music that you won’t want to miss. And, of course, the beloved Duck Jazz Festival that takes place in early October is a highlight of the town’s live music scene. 

3) Shop at the Waterfront Shops

One popular shopping destination in Duck is the Waterfront Shops. This is a collection of 27 unique boutique shops and restaurants located alongside a large pier bordering the Currituck Sound.

This boardwalk has become a centerpiece of the town and has everything you might need. The stores have all the souvenirs, trinkets, clothing, and other Duck or Outer Banks-themed items. It is a friendly environment, perfect for bringing the family and spending the day out and about. 

You’ll have lots of fun shopping in Duck, NC, and make sure to check out the gift shops to take some gifts home.

Waterfront Shops

4) Stroll along the Duck Boardwalk

The Duck Boardwalk is a staple piece of the town. It stretches over 3,000 feet into the water and is a great place to watch the sunset; it has amazing views of the Currituck Sound and stops at some local restaurants.

The Duck NC Boardwalk is an absolute must-see if you are in the area, even if just for a nice evening walk after dinner; everyone needs to take a stroll down the pier. 

Duck NC Boardwalk

5) Find your perfect kite at Kitty Hawk Kites

Kitty Hawk Kites is a one-stop shop for all your adventure needs. At Kitty Hawk Kites, you can get gear like kites, games, toys, clothing, and more.

Through Kitty Hawk Kites, you can book several outdoor adventures like hang gliding tours, tubing, and kayaking trips, as well as boat cruises in Duck. For an adventurous person or family, this will be your dream come true.

6) Enjoy lots of Water Sports

Being the coastal town that it is, water sports are an extremely popular thing off the coast of Duck. If you are looking to go jet skiing, water skiing, take out a pontoon boat, or just simply kayak, you can do it all.

North Duck Watersports has a very large selection of all watersports equipment. If you are looking for jet skis rentals, a paddleboard rental, or even parasailing, North Duck Watersports is the place to look into. 

7) Take a Kayak Tour

The Maritime Forest, the Salt Marsh, and Kitty Hawk Bay are all wonderful places around Duck to take out a kayak and sail through the waters. There are a few places in Duck that offer kayak tours and provide the proper equipment.

Duck Village Outfitters and Kitty Hawk Kites are excellent places to look into when choosing a tour. They offer 2-hour kayak trips that allow you to explore the waters and can be fun for the whole family! 

Kitty Hawk Kites Sign

8) Enjoy the Duck Trail

The popular Duck Trail is a 6-mile-long trail that runs the entire length of the town. There is no better way to see the town than by taking this trail. The trail mainly runs along the water, then through the village to the outskirts of town.

Along the way, there are many access points to shopping areas and other popular parts of Duck. The trail is open to pedestrians, bicycles, strollers, and dogs. If you are interested in taking the family out on bikes, you can rent some through Outer Banks Bicycle Rental. 

Duck Trail Duck NC

9) Relax and enjoy a Beach Day

It is important to note that there are no public beaches in Duck. However, if you get a vacation rental or are staying at a resort, there are plenty of private beach entrances.

The beaches are very well maintained and are some of the best in the Outer Banks. Spending a vacation on the coast means you must take at least a couple of days to relax and lounge in the sand. Grab a towel, a beach blanket, and your bathing suit, and kick back. 

10) Watch the Sunrise

If you are an early riser, a beautiful way to spend the morning is to watch the sunrise over the ocean.  Head out early and even find some shells on the beach.

Restaurants in Duck NC Beach Side

Things to do Near Duck NC

11) Spend some time in nature in the Maritime Forest

Maritime forests are some of the rarest habitats in the United States. They are natural shoreline forests that provide shelter from storms and a home for a large, diverse selection of plants and animals that often aren’t found anywhere else.

There is nothing like the maritime forests in North and South Carolina, and if you get the chance to explore one, you should definitely take it. The best place to visit a maritime forest near Duck is the Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve in Kitty Hawk, which is only about 15 minutes from Duck.

It is over 1,800 acres of woods reserve that has the best access to the forest and the marshy swamplands. It is an excellent place for a bike ride or a walk. 

12) View the Wild Horses 

Just 20 minutes from Duck, Corolla NC is known for having beautiful wild horses that roam the beaches. One of the best things to do in Corolla, NC, is the Corolla Wild Horse Tours. It’s the best way to view the horses and learn about their history.

For two hours, you can cruise down the 25 miles of off-road land where the horses love to hang out. Currently, there are around 100 horses in this area, as you can see. Hop aboard the open-style 4×4 safari truck and spend time with the horses on the beach! 

Wild Horses Corolla NC

13) Visit Nags Head 

Nags Head is a small but very popular coastal town 30 minutes from Duck. If you are an outdoor lover, Nags Head is the place to be. The town is known for having the largest natural sand dunes in the entire Outer Banks, which open the doors to many outdoor sports such as windsurfing, sandboarding, and kite surfing.

There are many trails through the salt marshes, and the beaches in Nags Head are divine. If you visit the town, stop at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for more breathtaking views, camping, and hiking trails. 

Nags Head Beach NC

14) Explore Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills is a much more popular and busy town than Duck, but being just 20 minutes away from each other, it’s a great town to visit if you are in the area. There are many shops, seaside restaurants, and, of course, some fantastic beaches in Kill Devil Hills.

Kill Devil Kills Beach

It is arguably one of the busiest towns in the Outer Banks because of the number of shops and stores. Kill Devil Hills is largely known for the Wright Brothers Museum, a museum dedicated to the iconic plane take-off powered by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Wright Brothers Visitors Center plane replica

It is also known for its large dunes, where many enjoy going kitesurfing and sandboarding. 

15) North Carolina Aquarium

While there are three aquariums in North Carolina, the aquarium in Roanoke Island is 45 minutes from Duck and has some very exciting features. If you are looking for a good rainy day activity, this is the perfect place to visit.

At the aquarium, there are many live animal encounters and feedings, a 285,000-gallon shark tank, many interactive exhibits, tours, and much more. Learn about the coastal sea life of the Outer Banks, and even get up close looks at stingrays and invertebrates. 

NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

16) The Nature Trail

The Nature Trail is an old dirt road between Corolla and Duck, NC. The trail is 2.5 miles long through a maritime forest, and its primary use is for the Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary.

Walk amongst the trees and spend the afternoon looking at the unique birds native to the Outer Banks territory. The path is easy, great for everyone in the family, and is a lovely way to spend a nice day outdoors. 

17) Enjoy Mini Golf

Who doesn’t love mini-golf? Spending the day mini-golfing is great fun for the entire family and a great way to spend time together. Right near Duck are a few exciting places to play mini-golf.

At Lost Treasure Golf in Kill Devil Kills (20 minutes from Duck), you can get down on an 18-hole golf course, go for a ride in the bumper boats, take a train ride, and enjoy lots more adventures! Galaxy Golf, (26 minutes from Duck, in Nags Head), has been open for 50 seasons, and you can enjoy an 18-hole space-themed course. 

Lost Treasure Mini Golf

Hotels in Duck NC

Probably one of the best resorts in Duck is the Sanderling Resort. This large resort has the best location and award-winning accommodations like excellent spa services, restaurants, pools, and luxury rooms. They offer fantastic vacation packages and even do weddings and other special events. If you want to make your vacation a special time, you will want to book your stay with Sanderlings Resort.
Outside of the Sanderling Resort

Best Places to Eat in Duck NC

There are many amazing restaurants in Duck NC. Here are just a couple we would like to highlight below. We have another article that goes into even more detail on some of the best restaurants in Duck NC.

Coffee Shops

The people of Duck love their coffee shops, and there is certainly a wide variety of different coffee shops in Duck NC. Most are located down the main road in Duck (Duck Road). A few town/visitor favorites include Duck’s Cottage, Treehouse Coffee Co., and Sweet T’s Coffee Beer and Wine. 

Treehouse Coffee
Treehouse Coffee

Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts is an extremely popular destination for many visitors, and it is well-loved by locals. Open from 7-1 pm, Duck Donuts has some of the best freshly made, made-to-order donuts with a huge selection of toppings, coatings, and glazes.

They also have a great selection of coffee drinks, ice creams, and sandwiches. Spend your morning grabbing the most delicious donut, and then go for a walk along the boardwalk.

Duck Donuts has grown to over 100 locations in 23 states, in addition to being found in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Saudi Arabia, and it all started right in Duck.

Duck Donuts

Blue Point

Since 1989, Blue Point has served the finest foods with the freshest, locally grown ingredients in Duck. The excellent food has Southern roots, with lots of new and experimental twists. Pair anything with a housemade, custom cocktail.

Blue Point has a beautiful view of the water, with an excellent back bar where you can sit under the stars, enjoy drinks and dinner, and catch live music events. 

Aqua Restaurant

Aqua is a wonderful mix of fine dining and casual eating. At Aqua, they have a large menu with lots of seafood, soup, sandwiches, and salad options. Each dish is made with only the freshest and locally caught or grown ingredients.

Aqua has one of the best waterfront dining experiences; being practically right on the water, it’s the perfect place to spend the evening. 

Aqua Restaurant

Duck NC: FAQs

📌 Duck North Carolina Weather | Duck NC weather during the summer can reach highs into the high 80s, and in the winter, the lows can reach into the low 30s.

📌 Best Time to Visit Outer Banks | If you are looking to avoid crowds, the best time to visit would be between March and May and then between September and November. If you are looking to enjoy the beach, then the summer months are going to be our best option.

Final Thoughts

Duck NC, is an ever-expanding coastal town. With many seasonal events, lots of delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, and lots of outdoor activities. There are so many great things to do in Duck NC. You will never get bored on your next Outer Banks vacation.

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