By Caroline Curtis
I ran down the wooden stairs and shrieked when my toes hit the scorching hot sand. My three sisters followed behind me as we all rushed towards the water. I ran straight into the warm Atlantic Ocean and could smell the salt water below me. As two of my sisters ran into the ocean to join me, I turned around to see my youngest sister, who was three at the time, backing away from the water slowly in fear. The three of us returned to the edge of the water and asked her what was wrong. “Scary!” she responded, her eyes wide. We took her hands and walked her closer to the water, trying to convince her it wasn’t scary. I stood there with her as the tide reached our feet and she laughed and jumped around. As our two weeks spent at the beach came to a close, she learned to love the ocean and cried when we had to leave.
Duck, North Carolina is located on the northern side of the Outer Banks, a popular destination for summer vacations for people across the East Coast. My family began to vacation in Duck in the summer of 2007; we first spent one week, then a few years later decided to spend two weeks and then invited our extended family. We would always center the trip around the Fourth of July, where there was a huge parade during the day and firework shows at night. Every year, I always looked forward to the two weeks at Duck.
There are so many amazing restaurants in the Duck area that add to its charm; after vacationing there for over six years, my family has gotten to know quite a few of them fairly well. My favorite is Red Sky Cafe; this delicious seafood restaurant has a family atmosphere and features a wide variety of dishes. Located at the beach, they specialize in incredibly fresh seafood, including the best crabcakes I’ve ever had.
Another popular food joint is Duck Donuts. Before this donut store became a chain, it had one location in a small shopping center in Duck. The donuts are made to order and are cooked right in front of the customers behind a clear glass panel. The donuts are always warm and delicious, and they have numerous different flavors, creating new ones every day. Understandably, Duck Donuts became a hit, and the chain now stretches as far north as New Jersey and as far south as Florida, with more than 100 locations. Richmond’s Duck Donuts is in the Willow Lawn Shopping Center on West Broad St. These two establishments are not the only amazing restaurants that Duck has to offer. Some of my other favorites include The Blue Point, The Paper Canoe and Duck Deli.
Although the beach is the main attraction in Duck, there is so much more to do other than spending your day on the beach. There are roughly a dozen mini-golf courses within 20 minutes of the center of town; each course is a little different, but all as fun and exciting. My family and I would always have intense matches against each other to see who picked where we ate dinner. Duck, and the Outer Banks as a whole, is home to gorgeous, high-quality golf courses. My favorite, is The Currituck Club, a 20-minute drive from the center of Duck. I have played many rounds on this course during my vacations, and it is one of my all-time favorite courses due to its stunning views of the ocean and Currituck Sound. There are also numerous trails that you can run or walk on that take you through scenic routes of Duck.
Even with all of the outside amenities the town has to offer, the beach is my favorite place to be in Duck. The water always seems to be the perfect temperature, the waves are never too big or too small, and the sand is never over-crowded with people. “My favorite thing [about Duck] are the sunrises. I loved sitting out on the porch in the early mornings and watching the sun come up over the ocean, it was beautiful,” says my sister Madelyn C. (’22). It is the perfect place to spend time with your family. We always used to sit and talk for hours, becoming closer to one another. Our family has grown so busy over the summer that we have not been there in two years, but I will always remember the memories I made with my family during our time in Duck.
All photos by Caroline Curtis.