Duck, North Carolina

Coordinates: 36°10′11″N 75°45′19″W / 36.16972°N 75.75528°W / 36.16972; -75.75528
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Duck, North Carolina
Boardwalk over Currituck Sound with reflecting sunlight
The boardwalk at Duck Town Park, in 2009
Flag of Duck, North Carolina
Official seal of Duck, North Carolina
Location in Dare County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Dare County and the state of North Carolina.
Coordinates: 36°10′11″N 75°45′19″W / 36.16972°N 75.75528°W / 36.16972; -75.75528[1]
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
Named forThe duck
 • Total3.72 sq mi (9.64 km2)
 • Land2.42 sq mi (6.26 km2)
 • Water1.30 sq mi (3.38 km2)
7 ft (2 m)
 • Total742
 • Density306.99/sq mi (118.54/km2)
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code252
FIPS code37-18060[1][3]
GNIS feature ID (populated place)1025292
GNIS feature ID (town)2406400
Historical population
2021 (est.)758[4]1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

Duck is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 746.[4] During the peak vacation season, starting after Memorial Day, the population increases to over 20,000.[6][unreliable source?] Duck is the northernmost incorporated town in Dare County and the Outer Banks' newest town, incorporated on May 1, 2002. Duck offers visitors outdoor recreational activities, summer events and concerts, watersports, fine dining, shopping, art galleries, and a nationally known jazz festival, as well as the 11-acre (4.5 ha) Town Park and soundside boardwalk.[7]


Duck is located along the northern Outer Banks, between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Currituck Sound to the west. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.3 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), or 35.02% is water. Originally part of Currituck County to the north, the stretch of the Outer Banks which includes Duck was transferred to Dare County in the early 20th century. The region was named for the many ducks and waterfowl in the area.


2020 census[edit]

Duck racial composition[8]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 697 93.94%
Asian 7 0.94%
Other/Mixed 22 2.96%
Hispanic or Latino 16 2.16%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 742 people, 288 households, and 202 families residing in the town.

Tourist attractions[edit]

A morning theater and music show at Duck Town Park

The town park is a recreational facility with trails through the maritime forest and willow swamp. It also has an amphitheater, playground, picnic shelter, and public kayak/canoeing launch. The town has built a boardwalk which can be accessed from the park and through the commercial village. The boardwalk extends 0.78 miles (1.26 km) along Currituck Sound. Duck's beach was named one of the "Top 15 Family-Friendly Beaches in America".

In October, Duck hosts its annual Jazz Festival. During the summer months, the town offers over 60 events and programs including Yoga on the Green, Movies on the Sound, a family magic show, live concerts and interactive theater. Programs are free and open to the public.[9]

Town Council[edit]

The town of Duck encourages people to play an active role in their government. There are regular scheduled town meetings with the Town Council, where the public can address them on any matter they feel needs to be discussed. The community can also get involved and express their thoughts and concerns through attending council meetings and participating in public hearings.[10]


On March 28, 2001, Representative Bill Culpepper introduced the Duck Incorporation Bill in the House. On August 29, 2001, after clearing the Senate on August 28 and the House on August 29, the bill became law. On November 6, 2001, voters voted in favor of the incorporation of Duck. Duck was incorporated as the sixth town in Dare County on May 1, 2002.

Lifesaving Station[edit]

The Caffeys Inlet Lifesaving Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 1978.[11]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Duck was ranked one of USA Today's "Best Coastal Small Towns" by USA Today and 10Best.[12]


The town of Duck marks the northernmost extent of hardiness zone 8b along the east coast of the United States.[13]

Climate data for Duck, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °F (°C) 45
Source: NOAA[14]


According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Duck, North Carolina would have a dominant vegetation type of Live oak/Sea Oats Uniola paniculata (90) with a dominant vegetation form of Coastal Prairie (20).[15]


Residents are zoned to Dare County Schools. Zoned schools are Kitty Hawk Elementary School, First Flight Middle School, and First Flight High School.[16] Prior to 2004, First Flight High zoned students were zoned to Manteo High School.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Duck". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. June 17, 1980. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ "Town of Duck". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. March 10, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Bureau, US Census. "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "Duck". Stan White Realty and Construction. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  7. ^ Outerbanks SEO (2012). Town of Duck North Carolina. p. 4.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  9. ^ "Town Park & Boardwalk". Town of Duck. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  10. ^ Ferguson, J. (n.d.). Town council. Retrieved from
  11. ^ "National Register Information System – Caffeys Inlet Lifesaving Station (#78001942)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  12. ^ Bleiberg, Larry; McMillan, Libby; Schrandt, Lydia (2015). "Best Coastal Small Town". USA Today. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "North Carolina 2012 USDA Hardiness Zone Map". Plant Maps. USDA. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  14. ^ "Water Temperature Table of All Coastal Regions". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "U.S. Potential Natural Vegetation, Original Kuchler Types, v2.0 (Spatially Adjusted to Correct Geometric Distortions)". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  16. ^ "Attendance Zone Information". Dare County Schools. Retrieved April 12, 2021. Kitty Hawk Elementary School -- Area north of Cameron Street[...]First Flight Middle School/First Flight High School -- All areas north of Nags Head/Kill Devil Hills Town Line - North Beaches Elementary Schools map
  17. ^ Freeman, Darren (August 18, 2004). "NO LINES, NO CROWDS, JUST MORE SPACE". The Virginian-Pilot. Archived from the original on September 11, 2004. Retrieved October 25, 2009. - Entry at NewsBank

External links[edit]

Preceded by Beaches of The Outer Banks Succeeded by