Duck: So Much Fun on the Outer Banks!
Duck, North Carolina is the perfect place if you are thinking about a vacation in the Atlantic sun. A former small fishing village, Duck has grown into a quaint, upscale resort filled with eclectic boutiques and excellent restaurants. Duck is located on the Outer Banks, an area thick in legend and engulfed in beauty. Modern flight was conquered here by the Wright brothers. Blackbeard the pirate met his demise along the coast. Seven lighthouses guided ships, sometimes unsuccessfully, through the "Graveyard of the Atlantic". Today, the Outer Banks, a series of barrier islands that meander along 120 miles of coastline, is developing its legend as one of the most beautiful vacation areas in the country. Visitors have their choice of sun bathing, fishing, golfing, swimming, bird watching, scuba diving, sailing, and tons of other active pursuits.
Duck is perfectly positioned as a jumping off point for numerous Outer Banks attractions. The Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills, pays tribute to the two brothers from Dayton, Ohio who successfully completed the first sustained powered flights in a "heavier than air machine". Walk the First Flight Trail, and hear the park rangers give a recount of the famous event. Probably the most famous site in the area is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. At 208 feet, the lighthouse is the tallest in the US. It was recently moved to prevent the sea from carrying it away. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1870 to prevent sailors from running aground on Diamond Shoals, a treacherous stretch of sandbars just off shore. Today, it stands as a symbol for the Outer Banks, and is beloved by locals and visitors alike. The Lighthouse is located in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This 70-mile stretch of land is protected from development and offers a view of the area in its most pristine state.
If you are looking for a great place to soak up the sun, Duck fills the bill with verve. In 2002, the Travel Channel rated the beach around Duck as among the ten best in the country. If you want to add some action to your tanning time, there are plenty of places to rent kayaks, wave runners, jet skis, windsurfing equipment, and sail boats. More beach fun can be found on any number of beaches on the Outer Banks. Pick one. The beaches are surrounded by huge sand dunes and supported by wispy sea oats that dot the coastline and add to the rustic, relatively untouched atmosphere.
The secret is out: the Outer Banks is full of fishin' holes. Anglers can employ surf and pier fishing, freshwater fishing, fly fishing, and inshore and offshore charter fishing to catch their favorite game. The area is probably best known as "the Billfish Capital of the World". Hundreds of blue marlin, white marlin, and sailfish are caught in these waters each year. Another popular method is by small-boat fishing in the Albemarle, Pamlico, Roanoke, and Croatan sounds. Popular targets include trout, croaker, flounder, sheepshead, and red drum.
Golf in the Outer Banks is shaped by the terrain and the good humor of Mother Nature. Courses are reminiscent of Scottish links courses, and wind blown dunes rise up, seemingly out of nowhere, providing vigorous obstacles. The Currituck Club, designed by Rees Jones, offers gorgeous views of both Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.Sea Scape Golf Links in Kitty Hawk offers undulating fairways requiring pinpoint accuracy. Dramatic elevation changes bring spectacular Atlantic views. Nags Head Golf Links offers no respite for long hitters. Tee shots are gobbled up by the wild and untamed sea grass. Golf Digest called the holes along Roanoke Sound "among the most beautiful on the East Coast".
Scuba divers flock to the Outer Banks to visit more than 1500 ships that have sunk in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Wrecks are available at various depths and in various states of preservation. 17th century schooners rest along side WWII submarines. Some of the dive sites are protected and do not allow souvenir hunting. Others are fair game. If possible, bring an underwater camera. The memories you take with you will be worth the trip!
For a vacation on the Outer Banks, Duck simply can't be beat. Bust out your binoculars during a trip to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, an area with over 360 bird species. Head to Roanoke Island and catch The Lost Colony, an outdoor drama presented by the Waterside Theatre. Visit the Duck Pier, a research facility run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and see how the ocean's tides and the yearly hurricane season impact the coastline. Journey to Cape Hatteras and visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, dedicated to enlightening visitors about the many shipwrecks in the area. Duck has everything you need to have a wonderful vacation on the Outer Banks!