Our family has been going to the Outer Banks (or OBX for those who like bumper stickers) for decades. Normally, we scour the real estate listings and book a seaside house for a week or two. This year we tried something different and added a four-day stay at the Sanderling to our beach vacation. After our stay, I can say we're hooked and I can think of 10 reasons why you should book a stay at the Sanderling Resort right now.
What is The Sanderling?
The Sanderling is a full-service resort that's perfect for families. From tots to tweens, your kids will love the relaxed vibe of this trusted vacation spot. The weathered shingles on the outside don't do justice to the white-washed classy interior. While it may be wind-whipped on the exterior, it looks well cared for inside.
10 Reasons You Should Go To Sanderling Resort Right Now
We booked three nights on our first stay and were able to enjoy almost all the amenities offered. I would say a week would be time well spent--your family certainly won't run out of things to do. Here's where to start:
- Location: The Sanderling is located on the North Carolina beachfront between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound. It's about midway up the "hook" of the tip of the Outer Banks. While it adds on drive time to get up there, you'll be rewarded with a quieter setting. The area isn't commercial and development has been limited.
- Rooms: The 120-acre resort has 120 guest rooms and suites. Every room has a view and a deck. The resort is narrow, half the rooms face the beach the others face the sound. Our soundside room had the added benefit of gorgeous sunsets. The rooms are well-appointed with clean simple furniture and neutral tones. Our bathrooms was loaded with marble and big fluffy towels and robes. In addition to the rooms and suites, there are five private vacation homes available for families who have 8-16 members total.
- Beach: The Sanderling has a pretty stretch of beach. Each morning the staff brings out the iconic orange umbrellas and chairs for the guests to enjoy. The resort is also well stocked with complementary sand toys--so if you don't want to lug that gear to the NC, the resort can help. The beaches here are clean and wide. It's perfect for sandcastle building, swimming in the cool surf and beach combing. At the end of the day, the Sanderling has outdoor showers to rinse off all the sand, sunscreen and saltwater off before you head to your room.
- Pools: The resort has three pools--an indoor pool at the spa, an adult "Tranquility" lap pool and a large zero-entry family pool. We loved the quiet of the lap pool. If your kids are looking to make friends, head over to the lively area just off the Sand Bar. The gentle slope of this pool makes it perfect for toddlers.
- Restaurants: There are three dining spots and a bar at the Sanderling. We had delicious breakfasts each morning on the deck of the The Lifesaving Station under large orange umbrellas. Our simple seafood dinner was also terrific. The Lifesaving Station offers limited seating by reservation for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We got a little fancy one night and made a reservation at Kimball's Kitchen. This upscale restaurant is located across the highway (be careful crossing the street). Start with a cocktail as you take in the views from the sound. You might even catch a sunset. The menu is classic with loads of fresh seafood options. The whole flounder was perfectly prepared and we both loved our classic steakhouse wedge salad. In addition to these two options, you can get lunch and snacks at the Sand Bar.
- Spa: The spa is a must-visit. The zen-like interior is the perfect place to hit the reset button and settle into a more relaxed pace. I was only able to secure a manicure -- be sure to book ahead!
- Outdoor Games: The resort has strategically placed games throughout the property. There's corn hole, ping pong, and more. It's a clever way to get families off the devices and interacting with each other.
- Staff: This is the summer of difficult staffing. We've heard time and again that it's really hard to staff up right now. But the team at the Sanderling is handling the stress of being booked to capacity with less help VERY gracefully. Our sweet server at the Lifeguarding Station had started her day with a 6:30am breakfast shift and worked straight through a 100 person dinner service, all with a smile. Please be kind to them and tip well!
- Activities: You can be as busy as you want to be at The Sanderling. Start the day with the 7:30 sunrise yoga ($20pp) and then move on to a jewelry making class or water sports. If you want to explore the surroundings, stop by the activities desk to plan an excursion in the air (like dune hang gliding), the land (visit the wild horses) or sea (try some jet skiing on the sound). If you have more energy to burn, the Fitness Center, located in the North Inn, features state-of-the-art equipment and is ready for you in an air conditioned setting. You'll have no problem keeping busy if that's what you're after.
- Vibe: I saved the best for last. The Sanderling has a warm, welcoming southern vibe. Whether you plan to simply sit and read for a week or check off all the activities on your punch list, you'll be welcome here. Dress is sharp but casual, little children are welcome and everyone seems respectful. It's the place to come and slow down a bit with those you love.
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Plan Your Trip
The Sanderling is located at 1461 Duck Rd, Duck, NC 27949 visit www.sanderling-resort.com to book your stay.
One sad note: pets are not invited.
Definitely book your dinner reservations at Kimball's Kitchen and your spa appointments ahead of time. In peak season, things book quickly.
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