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Sanderling Resort at Duck on the NC Outer Banks has a casual chic vibe

Sanderling Resort sits on a slice of land in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. On one side: the tranquil Currituck Sound, with beautiful sunsets and waterfowl galore. On the other: an impressive expanse of Atlantic Ocean, with glorious sunrises and miles of sand and waves.

Wind-bent live oaks and scrub pine line NC 12, the winding, two-lane highway to Duck, the beach community that’s home to Sanderling Resort. Beach houses sprout here and there until you reach developments with ornithological names, such as Snow Geese Dunes, Sea Tern, Swan Beach and Osprey.

Three-story Sanderling, with its front-porch rockers and three beach-access walkways, exudes a casual but chic vibe. Stays are punctuated by barefoot treks over dunes to the ocean, incredible sunsets from a gazebo sound side, and s’mores by the firepit under a starry sky.

The Sanderling has undergone changes and major renovations since our first visit in 1999. Our late-April visit marked a milestone—our first overnight trip post-COVID restrictions. Our South building king room welcomed us with a crisp white and beige décor plus beachy touches. We did find the bed oddly slanted downward from foot to head, so we switched sleeping positions on night two.

Our small, oceanside balcony overlooked one of the resort’s two pools and the plant-laden dunes, which offer essential beach protection. Despite the added height of the two barstool-like chairs with hammock netting backs, we had to stand on the chair footrest and crane our necks to see a bit of ocean. The resort’s website outlines what views to expect, so we knew ours would be restricted.

We had the beach almost to ourselves, and on both nights of our stay, we found the supermoon’s rise over the ocean breathtaking.


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