The barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina are dotted with quaint towns and villages, each with its own individual character and charm — but Duck has one thing no other Outer Banks community can claim: A Soundside Boardwalk.

The nearly mile-long boardwalk can be accessed from strategic parking and pedestrian right of way crossings to play, shop and dine.

Throughout Duck, an array of shops are arranged in a low-key collection of shopper-friendly complexes, including Osprey Landing, Scarborough Faire Shopping Village, Scarborough Lane Shoppes, The Waterfront Shops, Wee Winks Square, Duck Commons, Duck Soundside Shops and Loblolly Pines.

Shops range from gourmet markets and funky gift shops to upscale boutiques and specialty merchants — and all within walking distance. Along the way, you can enjoy a favorite coffee, tea and fresh-baked pastry or stop for a relaxing meal at The Bluepoint Restaurant, Aqua Restaurant or Fishbones Sunset Grille, where a stunning sunset and live music are on the menu.

There’s no shortage of free fun to be had in this quaint community, from live music to special events designed to enhance the Duck experience. Here’s a sampling:

Rise and shine

Start your day on the Duck Town Green with a yoga class for students of all levels led by Duck Village Yoga. Classes are held on the Town Green Tuesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. through Sept. 4. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat or a beach towel and water.

On Wednesday morning, local trainer DL Althoff leads an energizing workout at 7:30 a.m. through Sept. 5 (excluding July 4th). The Dynamic Flow workout is a natural, practical, and playful calisthenics workout for the amateur and the athlete. A yoga mat is not needed for this class, but water is encouraged. Find out more about his practice at

Free family fun

On Wednesdays, the Scarborough Faire Shopping Village courtyard is the site of Scarborough Faire’s Faire Days Festival Series. The free event, which is from 1 to 5 p.m. through Aug. 29, features live music, games with prizes, shopping specials, food tastings, face-painting, art projects, magic and more.

Children's shows

Enjoy interactive shows presented by the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island that includes live animal interactions, or a performance by characters from “The Lost Colony” that provides opportunities to participate on stage. Performances start at 10 a.m. at the Duck Amphitheater, with gates set to open at 9:45 a.m. All shows are free and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis and not guaranteed if the venue is full. The schedule is as follows:

  • July 3: NC Aquarium (snakes)
  • July 10: The Mystery of the Lost Colony
  • July 17: NC Aquarium (alligators)
  • July 24: The Mystery of the Lost Colony
  • July 31: NC Aquarium (opossum)
  • Aug. 7: The Mystery of the Lost Colony

Grab a hoop

Learn how to hula hoop on the Town Green on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. Participants will earn to hoop around the waist, trying simple tricks, and playing fun games with hula hoops. This class is an excellent way to get kids moving and having a fun time outside. The town will be providing the hula hoops, however please bring your own if you have one.

Kids should bring a water bottle to class… a yoga mat or towel to sit on is recommended. Please wear sneakers or whatever play shoes the parent prefers, and athletic attire. Parents are welcome to come watch or even join in the class.

Concert on the Green

Enjoy a free concert on the Duck Town Green from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday evenings through Aug. 23. Coolers, picnics, pets and children are welcome. Chairs and blankets are encouraged.

Thursday evenings through Aug. 23, Duck Town Green is the site of free concerts from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Coolers, picnics, children and leashed-pets are welcome, and chairs and blankets are encouraged. Following is the 2018 schedule of performances:

  • July 5: Matt Phillips & The Back Pocket
  • July 12: Intangible Cats
  • July 19: MikeMickXer
  • July 26: Barefoot Wade
  • Aug. 2: USAF “Full Spectrum”
  • Aug. 9: Chisman Creek Band
  • Aug. 16: Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey
  • Aug. 23: Heather Gillis Band

Fall in love with Duck

Make plans to visit Duck in the fall for the 2018 Duck Jazz Festival. The free event — which begins Saturday evening, Oct. 6, and continues Sunday, Oct. 7 — features a variety of jazz performers. Food and drinks will be available to purchase from town eateries and chairs will be available for rent. Attendees may also bring food, coolers, chairs, blankets and well-behaved leashed dogs. The Duck Jazz Festival is held rain or shine.

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