WHERE TO STAYwww.thesanderling.com
We stayed at the Sanderingling in the middle of the week right after Memorial day weekend so there were not many people at the resort at all and that’s just how we wanted it. The Sanderling boasts that it is the only AAA four diamond resort on the Outerbanks and it definitely lives up to that standard. The Sanderling has 88 guest rooms and five vacation homes, all of which have sunrise views of the Atlantic Ocean or sunset views over the Currituck Sound. We opted for the beach side sunrise view and visited The Paper Canoe across the street to catch the sunset for dinner.
The Sanderling offers various packages for different occasions and we had the Special Occasions Package. Serena and I were there to celebrate our last little vacation as a twosome before our son’s arrival later in the summer. This package included an ocean front room, couples massage at the Sanderling Spa, welcome amenity on arrival and champagne and strawberries on the second night. In the spirit of staying on a pregnant woman’s good side I decided it was most likely not a good idea to have my wife watch me down a whole bottle of champagne myself so opted for the sparkling cider.
The Spa was excellent and they do have specialist on hand that can do pre-natal massages. Serena was elated that this was the only place that had a special pillow that allowed her to lay on her stomach during the massage. To see the excitement of a woman able to lay on her stomach for the first time in months is a special thing.
WHERE TO EATDUCK DONUTS Osprey Landing Center 1190 Duck Road Duck, NC
On our way into Duck we passed by Duck Donuts and knew this would be our first stop the next day. No words were needed when we woke up the next morning, we know what had to be done…DUCK DONUTS. After vacationing in the Outer Banks, Duck Donuts, founder Russel DeGilio realized something was missing from this vacationland….fresh donuts, and from there Duck Donuts was born.
As soon as we opened the door and stepped inside we knew we had come to the right place. It was a small space, and the smell of fresh donuts and sugar filled the room. In the corner, a worker was frantically preparing fresh donuts and lathering them with sweet toppings. We ordered four donuts, two with maple icing, one with strawberry icing and one with cinnamon sugar and took them outside and sat on a bench along the Currturick Sound. The donuts weren’t just warm, they were hot and sweet. We devoured our donuts and giggled at the man with butterfingers who’s excitement must have got the best of him as he dropped a dozen donuts on the floor while exiting.The Lifesaving Station Restaurant and Swan Bar 1461 Duck Road Duck, NC
One of the on-site restaurant options at the Sanderling is the Lifesaving Station Restaurant. The Lifesaving Station Restaurant is housed on the site of a restored United States Life Saving Service Station that operated under the name of Caffey’s Inlet Lifesaving Station. Caffey’s Inlet Lifesaving station was one of the original stations built along the Carolina coast to save shipwrecked sailors and their vessels. The U.S. Life Saving Service and the U.S. Revenue Cutter service would merge in 1915 to form what we know today as the Coast Guard.
Being someone who works on the water I appreciated the history of the building and the respect it was paid by the nautical décor and memorabilia dedicated to the US Lifesaving Station.
The lunch special was a rib-eye with shrimp alfredo and it was a great dish. The alfredo did not come as a side pasta dish as I expected but was four large shrimp sautéed in an alfredo sauce drapped over the steak. Although the presentation was different from what I expected I was pleasantly surprised. The steak was cooked to a nice medium and the sauce was excellent.The Paper Canoe 1564 Duck Road Duck, NC www.papercanoebx.com
On our second day it rained all day keeping us quarantined to our room which gave us
an excuse to open the windows and let in the sound of the rain and ocean and
stay in bed all day. The rain stopped just in time for us to make our way across the
street to the Paper Canoe for dinner and a prime view of sunset.
When stepping into the Paper Canoe you are immediately hit by its excellent view of
the Currituck Sound. Hovering near the bar area is a large black board boasting
the daily specials highlighted by locally caught sea dwellers like fried oysters
and stuffed clams with wasabi remoulade and halibut with a crab and tomato
I was overly impressed by the Pork Empanada which was slow roasted Carolina pulled pork, gouda cheese, tomatoes, southern slaw and smoked aioli. The crust of the empanada had a nice crunch, the pork was moist and full of flavor. The wood fired pizza was excellent and the menu has plenty of fresh , locally caught fare to keep any seafood lover happy. I can’t say I was a fan of the Paper Canoe Ravioli which I found to be too watery and swimming in a smoked tomato broth. The meal was closed out with a nice sunset and an incredibly delicious Tiramasu.Sunset Grill and Raw Bar 1264 Duck Road Duck, NC
What To DoWright Brothers National Memorial Kill Devil Hills, NC www.nps.gov/wrbr/index.htm
If you are visiting Duck from the south then you have to come right past the Wright Brothers National Memorial and stopping in and paying homage to the fathers of flight is a must. We stopped in on our way out and unfortunately some indoor parts of the exhibit were closed due to leaking roofs from the previous days downpour of rain.
We did get a chance to see the flight lines that show liftoff and landing points for the groundbreaking flights, a replica of the brothers 1903 living quarters and flight hanger, the visitors center which housed various artifacts and exhibits along with a replica of the 1903 flyer. One of the most impressive things to see at the park is the 60 foot granite memorial that sits on top of the 90 foot high Kill Devil Hill Dune. It was from this hulking dune that the brothers carried out many of their glider tests.Bodie Island Lighthouse http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/bodie-island-lighthouse-restoration-project.htm
A trip to the Outer Banks is not complete unless you visit one of the Outer Banks lighthouses. On our way home we detoured south to stop by Bodie Island Lighthouse . Bodie Island Lighthouse stands 156 feet high and is located four miles north of Nags Head. Bodie is one of the seven lighthouses (five on the Outer Banks) that has alerted mariners to the treacherous North Carolina Coast since 1872. There is a small exhibit housed within what was once the keepers quarters and details both the history and restoration of Bodie lighthouse and the lives of the keepers who once called this lighthouse home.
Our first trip to the Outer Banks had us question why we hadn’t made the relatively short drive sooner. We will certainly be back as a threesome next summer to continue to explore the surrounding islands.