|Duck Village Outfitters, Kill Devil Hills, NC|
Location: Duck Village Outfitters, 3213 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948 Phone: 252-255-6222 Fax: 252-441-8336 Website: HERE
Ease Of Access to Site: DVO is located off North Croatan Highway and it relatively easy to get to and can be seen form the road. The trick to the kayak tours is that they are at a different location. There’s no dock outback or anything – you have to meet up at the Outfitters to pay and get directions and then drive over to the drop site. It’s basically right around the corner and the directions they give you are clear! So don’t think of it as a hassle; think of it as a treasure hunt and they just gave you the map to the gold!
Upkeep: Duck Village Outfitters is a nice little surf shop in the heart of KDH. The store and storefront are nice, clean, and organized.
Now I know that the drop point for the tours is not necessarily their property, but I feel it should be noted! The water entry is literally next to a recycling center. So trucks may be in and out, but there’s a huge parking lot with plenty of well kept spaces for everyone to have a spot or two to park. There are port-o-potties and picnic tables available in shade as well to enjoy the beautiful day! So bring some lunch and relax.
|My usual camera shot as we paddled through the maritime.|
Tours and Activities Available:
- Kayak Tours: Only one available and it’s a two (-ish) hour tour through the Kitty Hawk maritime forest. It’s a super fun and relaxed time. Single kayaks are $33 and doubles are $59 and do accommodate booster seats for children!
- Surf Lessons: We didn’t partake in these but they do offer a 2-hour group or 1-hour private lessons for $59 and $69 respectively. They now even offer SUP lessons (my new favorite activity)!
Age Restrictions: None listed on the website. They do say on the tours they can accommodate children.
Food/Concessions: No food or drink given out for the tours for the tours or anything. You can bring your own water bottle; but they do not offer any water or food during the tours. There might be some snacks available at the shop; but honestly I’m not too sure. I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to that.
Other Amenities: DVO is a surf shop! So it offers just about everything you need to get started and they employ a knowledgeable staff to steer you in the right direction! You can either purchase or rent equipment from them at either of their locations in the Outerbanks.
You can also rent more than surfing equipment here… so if you forgot something at home, just call them up! They offer other products such as beach chairs/umbrellas, strollers, Kayaks/Canoes, Surf/SUP boards, and bikes/bike attachments!
|Hanging back to get a candid group shot! What a great group to paddle out with!|
Staff Personalities: If you want the real deal, come to DVO. Our tour guide was astounding. I was a bit taken aback by her tardiness to the drop point. But she came prepared, informed, and ready to go once she got there!
Tanya was the best part of this endeavor… Honest! She was so laid back and knew everything there was to know about the islands and their history. Our tour group had all kayaked before and some of the fellow kayakers even have kayaked with Tanya previously! They had nothing but nice things to say about her and everything they said was truthful. She may be a bit tardy to the tour, but she is a TON of FUN!
Best time to visit: Definitely in the morning or afternoon. Not in the middle of the day due to the sun being at its highest. We kind of made that mistake and totally paid the price in sunburns for the rest of our trip!
Business Hours: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (unless otherwise noted)
Tips and Tricks:
Sunscreen – I can’t say this enough and there’s a reason why it’s #1 on this list. BRING IT. WEAR IT. LOVE IT. You’ll be kayaking out into open water and there is no protection from the sun. If you can stand it, you can also choose to wear more clothing. There’s not a huge chance of you getting wet, so it’s fine to wear a long sleeved shirt and shorts or something that protects you a little bit more from the harmful rays.
|Out in the bay!A porpoise jumped right by me! Amazing!|
Water – Bring a bottle of water! If you’re outdoors, it’s definitely a good idea to stay hydrated and water is the best way to do so! Kayaking is a physical activity and you don’t want to be dehydrated or getting heat stroke! And please, do not litter! Use a reusable bottle and try not to keel it overboard!
Have an island sense of time – The others in the tour group had toured with Tanya before and had informed us that she usually runs about 15 minutes late but that she’d make up for it! We were a bit skeptical but went along with it! And let me tell you, she made it a great day. We all were engaged and having a good time paddling out and, before we knew it, had been out on the water for 3 and a half hours! Thankfully we were her last tour before the mid-day break so we didn’t have to worry about any group after us getting shorted.
Ask Questions – Tanya is an open book on these tours! She can tell you about the maritime forest wildlife, history of Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk, and even shared with us her story of how she came to live in the Outerbanks! It was wonderful to not feel like a tourist on a tour and more like a student. To me, tourists get the same generic, regurgitated spiel and students of the earth get an experience. When you’re with Tanya and DVO, you get the experience.