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Old 06-25-2009, 04:03 AM
Location: Southport, NC
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We've rented a beach house in Duck for a week in July and have never been to the NC coast or OBX (moved to NC just a year ago). My daughter/3 grandchildren live in China and will be spending the week with us. We are so excited as we haven't seen them in a year!

1. Looking for any suggestions for kids entertainment in addition to the beach. The children's ages are 11, 9 and 5. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.
2. Causal dining recommendations? Good seafood?
3. Traffic on arrival day? It will be a Sunday.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:54 AM
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Lucky you, sounds like you'll have a wonderful time catching up and having fun. While I'm not very familiar with Duck, there's a nice smallish shopping center called Scarborough Faire that has many neat small shops. One of the shops there (Outer Barks) has a Yappy Hour that we went to w/ our dogs where they have paw-printing, doggy yogurt etc (outside in the back, one day a week, it was a lot of fun and we met other ppl and their pooches). Across the street and also across the street and down the road a bit are other small shops (wear your walking shoes, LOL). Down the road (10 miles - ? - more - ?) is another large shopping center called Timbucktoo (sp) which is even bigger and very nice. There's quite a few seafood restaurants (and others) in the area although I'm not familiar specifically with them, when we're in the area we stay in the Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Nags Head area which is up the road and over several miles (many good casual restaurants there incl. McD, pizza, chinese etc, we always enjoy Awful Arthurs (milepost 6 on the beach road) and Western Sizzling (buffets, on the highway road). There's a Walmarts, a variety of drug stores (Walgreens etc), many souvenir shops in the area and a couple of small movie theaters which might be good for a rainy day, am pretty sure miniature golf is on the highway too, check out the Hatteras lighthouse (a bit of a ride though), also there's a Wright Bros. monument and museum and you can see where they flew the first airplane which is kind of neat near Jockey's Ridge (on the main hwy) where there's sand dunes and kite flying, hang gliding etc. There's also fishing trips which you might want to check into, whalewatching trips too - definitely stop at the tourist center as you come in (not far from Walmarts, it's a good location and the volunteers there are very helpful and can give you a lot of info). When our kids were young, we took them housebackriding along the ocean early in the AM which was a real highlight (not sure if they still allow that any more). Hope you have a wonderful time.

We usually rent from Sat - Sat but this past time we rented Sun - Sun and traffic was absolutely fine, maybe even less so, we did get an early start and prob. got there around 3-4PM, I think traffic is heaviest on Sat. but I can't swear to it, just basing it on our limited experience.

Last edited by Honeycrisp; 06-25-2009 at 05:09 AM..
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:04 AM
Location: Ayrsley
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If you are arriving on a Sunday, the traffic should be fine, as most of the rentals in Duck are Saturday to Saturday, so most people will be coming in on Saturday.

As far as kids activities, there are several places that have activities like miniature golf and go-karts, but all of these are down in Kill Devil Hills / Nags Head - which will be just a short drive - none are located in Duck. I would also recommend taking the drive down to Roanoke Island to the aquarium there (North Carolina Aquariums » Home) - it is very kid-friendly and they also have a few tanks where visitors can touch certain types of fish and other forms of marine life. You can also head north to Corolla and take tours where they take you off-road onto the beach after the road ends - see the wild horses, etc.

In terms of casual dining, there are a few restaurants in Duck. There is Fishbones which is in the Scarborough Faire shopping area or Sunset Grille (both are owned by the same people and have essentially the same menu). Both are reasonably priced and the food is about on par for most of the Outer Banks. Other restaurants in Duck are the Roadside Raw Bar and Red Sky Cafe. The latter is our personal favorite (and they can be a little pricey at dinner-time compared to other places in Duck, but the food is wonderful). Again, the choices in Duck are limited and you will find a lot more restaurants down in Kill Devil Hills / Nags Head. As we rent a house, we don't really go out to dinner too much while we are down there, so it has been a while since we have been out to dinner outside of Duck, but the Black Pelican was always a favorite. I would advise to stay away from the few places that do the "all-you-can-eat" seafood buffets. The quality of the food at those places does tend to be rather sub-par.

We love Duck, and have spent a week there every summer for the past 6 years. Prior to that, we stayed down in Kill Devil Hills during the Summers. Duck has become our favorite spot in the Outer Banks because it is a bit quieter and more laid-back that KDH / Nags Head (there are significantly fewer restaurants, stores, etc. - it is also almost all houses, with no hotels). However, if you are looking for activities off the beach, especially for the kids, you will likely need to take the short drive down to KDH / Nags Head to find a wider variety of options.

I'd suggest checking out the Outer Banks Visitor's Bureau's website: The Outer Banks of North Carolina® Official Site - Visitors Bureau. as you can find a lot of activities / restaurants listed there.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:43 AM
Location: Asheville
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I do think the poster's mention of Jockey's Ridge National Park is worth emphasizing. You'll need a half-day to devote to it, and you'll have to drive along the main highway a number of miles to get to it. You cannot miss it... it's these giant sanddunes, people go all over them, the view at the top is amazing and the breeze feels good. The kids will love watching folks try to hang-glide off the tops of the dunes, and there's lots of kiting (altho running in the dune sand isn't easy). It's just a natural sort of fun thing to do, be prepared to walk and climb some distance to get to the top of the sand ridges, some go barefoot, but if the sand is hot, tennis shoes with socks is a good idea. Anyhow, that's probably the biggest thing in the Outer Banks that you should not miss and is worth the drive from Duck to go to it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:10 PM
Location: Southport, NC
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Great suggestions everyone!! The aquarium sounds perfect as does Jockey's Ridge. We'll probably try to stay away from any congestion/commerical stuff as my daughter has plenty of that in China. Might venture to KDH/Nags Head once. I'm jotting down all the information! Thanks to all!
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:46 PM
Location: Eureka CA
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Be sure to take the kids to the Wright Bros memorial ("Kitty Hawk")which is actually in Kill Devil Hills. You'll all enjoy it.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:24 AM
Location: Upstairs closet
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You could try kayaking a bit on the sound side. That is sure to be fun.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:13 PM
Location: Ellicott City MD
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We went on a family trip to Corolla last summer. The drive from Southern Shores to Duck had VERY heavy traffic and it took us about 45 min to go that 5 miles. We were told that we were lucky and at times it could take 2 hours, and that Sunday was not as bad as Saturday but was still bad. I would try to time your arrival early and wander around time a bit before your key pick up if you are able to do so.

We did the off-road beach tour in Corolla with kids and it was well worth doing.

We also got seafood from this place. It isn't local seafood, but it is very tasty: Steamers Shellfish To Go |
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