We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best beaches?

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Best beaches?

I need help finding nice public beaches that have calmer water. I will be staying in Duck, but I am willing to drive 1-2 hrs+ from Duck to find great, safe beaches to swim in--water that is safe to go in without flotation devices. Also, it would be great to be near a lifeguard if possible. On vacations, I usually like to spend most of the daytime swimming in the ocean and at the beach. Also, is it possible to rent umbrellas and chairs at the beach?

Duck, North Carolina
Level Contributor
227 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Best beaches?

You can find information on lifeguard locations in Duck here: http://www.townofduck.com/surfrescue-duck/. It has not been my experience that the ocean off of Duck is any more or less safe than the ocean anywhere else in the Outer Banks. Wave height and currents can vary a lot from day to day depending on winds, etc. You can rent beach equipment -- a few of the local companies are Ocean Atlantic Rentals - (800) 635-9559 or www.oceanatlanticrentals.com, Moneysworth Equipment Rentals - (800) 833-5233 or www.mworth.com, and Just for the Beach - (866) OBX-RENT or www.justforthebeach.com

Edited: 20 May 2013, 04:00
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best beaches?

Duck sounds like a wonderful vacation spot. I'll be at the Schooner's Ridge beach, and apparently there is a lifeguard there. And, I'm going to bring boating life vests for us to wear as my partner is not a good swimmer. Is there any place available on the sound side to swim?

I am going to try swimming in the Chesapeake Bay (on my way to Duck) as I hear that the water is fairly calm there. Do you know of any other beaches on the Atlantic coast with a calmer surf? I don't care how crowded the beach is.

Is it possible to rent umbrellas and chairs right on the beach including set up? I would rather not haul them around with me all week as it is apparently a bit of a walk to the beach.

MD
Level Contributor
790 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best beaches?

Could you describe what you mean by 'swimming'? Most of us use that to describe playing in the waves, not actually swimming up and down the beach for a mile or two beyond the waves. It sounds like you're more interested in actual swimming.

I'm looking at the Chesapeake Bay right now. Where did you have in mind to swim? It's not known for people really swimming it much. Lot of boat traffic, not many beaches. Just curious.

Schooner's Ridge in Duck is an awesome community. Have stayed there a dozen times over the years. Love the pool at the top of the dune right at the beach - helps on days when the surf is unfriendly (strong winds, jellyfish, etc). They also have a great recreation center with tennis, racquetball, pool, etc. And they are close to the town where walking the shops and restaurants is so enjoyable in the evening. Ocean water in Duck is about on par with the rest of the Outer Banks apart from the Hatteras stretch which tends to be pretty rough water. I would think Duck is an ideal location for swimming parallel to the beach - there is a lifeguard on duty right at Schooner Ridge.

Maryland
Level Contributor
316 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best beaches?

In the opinion of another Marylander, Marylander6 is right on target.

Virginia Beach...
Destination Expert
for Ocracoke
Level Contributor
1,352 posts
116 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best beaches?

The Chesapeake Bay off Virginia Beach is most definitely for swimming as well as other water sports.

Very calm with little to no current, often able to walk out hundreds of yards on a sand bar.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Best beaches?

May what I call swimming is just playing in the waves. ; ) I like to do sidestroke, backstroke and swim back and forth...not too far away. And, I like to float on my back...so peaceful. Gentle waves are so relaxing. And, I love the smell of the ocean/sea.

I saw a national park (First Landing, I think) on the Chesapeake Bay. They advertise as, "For beach goers looking for kinder, gentler waves, refuge can be found along the calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay, just off Shore Drive." I am a strong swimmer (unlike my partner), but we will both wear boating life vests in Duck water (and stay near the lifequard) just to be safe.

Living so far from a beach, the beach is the highlight of all of my vacations--usually in the Carribean.

Glad to know that Duck is probably a good beach and town for us. We look forward to our July visit. Thanks so much.

richmond
Level Contributor
926 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best beaches?

Judy you do not want to swim in the sound in Duck. Very shallow and mucky. Kayak yes.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best beaches?

OK. I don't want mucky. Thanks.

MD
Level Contributor
790 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best beaches?

Shore Drive in Virginia, as Lynn posted, got it. Here's a link to that - visitvirginiabeach.com/visitors/…

Edenton, North...
Level Contributor
19 posts
188 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Best beaches?

Well, the ocean is the ocean is the ocean--unpredictable at times, rought at times, calm at times. I would suggest that you check out Coquina Beach for the convienence of a bath house/changing area if you have little ones, and just keep an eye on them. Tell them to stay in the surf, they'll be fine! Check the rip tide reports!!

I would find a sound access if you're worried about the ocean. Contrary to what others have told you, the sound isn't icky or mucky. It's sandy, brackish water. Find an access, bring a chair, and there ya go. I don't venture to Duck often, but I'm sure if you were to ask a few folks they could tell you of an access point. Good luck!

Get answers to your questions about Outer Banks
Recent Conversations