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Barrier Island Station-Duck

Duck, NC 27949 PHONE: +1 252-261-8101 Map it / View Street Address

Featured Review: Barrier Island Station-Duck

by Jason Farlam, Clawson MI 
First printed in Mar/Apr 2005

North Carolina's Outer Banks have been one of the most consistently fast growing resort areas on the East Coast for forty years. We remember $25,000 building lots in the 1960's. Today you'd pay at least a half million for a good ocean-ish lot and maybe several million for a real ocean-front lot with a hurricane "resistant" oversized beach house built on it. Timeshares take you to the same world at a realistic budget. The beaches of the Outer Banks are a warm weather ocean play land. We went this past November.

After personal last minute schedule changes we had only a week's notice and were pleased to be offered Barrier Island Station, in Duck through RCI weeks. It currently holds RCI's Hospitality Award status. There are two other similarly named resorts under related management nearby but these comments are for this resort only. After at least fifty trips to the area, usually staying in our home resort at Nag's Head, about a half hour south, we knew the area well but not as well as we thought. Duck is a small historic village where my wife has periodically spent a day, shopping. There are cute stores selling cute things, cute stores selling quality artwork and cute stores selling expensive groceries. But there are no cute public washrooms, so plan on chocolate pie and coffee so you can use one in a cute restaurant.

Barrier Island Station was built about twenty year's ago. It's currently near the point of needing significant maintenance, not unusual for a project of this age exposed to the harsh ocean winters and summer hurricanes. We had occasion to call maintenance and the fellow, thinking we were owners, spoke to us frankly about the weathered exterior appearance. The mostly older, original owner base wants what they bought: Brand new ocean units in a million dollar neighborhood with low maintenance fees. Some of the owners seemed a little disgruntled, and seemed a little hard on the friendly staff.

The maintenance man said they had just had the annual meeting and everyone on staff was hopeful there would be a little money set aside for some upgrading. Don't get me wrong, the resort is still fine, but with everything the same age, over the next few years, the place is either going to get a little more maintenance or get a little more rustic.

Management also runs a Gold Crown resort nearby and here at Barrier Island Station in Duck, hands out a weekly activity sheet worthy of any Gold Crown resort. They organize everything from orientation brunch to water workouts to arts and crafts and organized games. There was a Mary Kay party, a half day deep sea fishing trip and a full day bus tour of the rest of the Outer Banks. Although outdoor water sports like rafting, boating and windsurfing were shut down for the season, it was a credit to the resort to have so many other activities. Never heard a complaint from anyone about the organized activities. The mid November weather was fairly unusual when we were there, mid seventies, sunny, breezy and only a shower one overnight so we made most of our own activities and mostly wore shorts. It was a little more quiet in off season, and we wanted to rent bikes to take advantage of the easily fifty miles worth of trails. The first place had those big cruiser style bikes with fat seats and one gear at thirty five dollars for the week. We're used to shifting and a second place had what we wanted for fifty dollars, then dropped a bombshell on us. "At the end o' the week y'all keep the bike. Its our end o' season sell out." Fortunately we had the van. Two 21 speed Schwinns were great all week, although they are currently in my garage, where I used to park my truck. Biking around you see things and learn things you miss in a car. This part of the Outer Banks is more hilly as the original dune contours were preserved. There is a lot more wildlife up here and a lot more vegetation including an amazingly fragrant hedge shrub that blooms in November. Locals call it Orange Blossom which is how it smells. The village of Corolla Light is nice and has the famous Currituck lighthouse. Giant million dollar beach houses at Pine Island seemed to have come through recent hurricanes mostly okay. Nearby is the fishing village of Wancheese, and we visited several fish processors packing tuna and mackerel in ice for the New York market and enjoyed fresh shrimp, scallops, tuna and mahi mahi that they'll usually sell direct, if you ask. Can't get fish any fresher.

The resort property is large, maybe 250 foot frontage by 1500 foot from road to ocean. You can walk to the ocean from any unit but the grounds are hilly. A resort shuttle runs based on demand. Most of the 270 units are in three storey buildings that look like beach houses and most upper units, even a way back, have some ocean view. Higher units also have the best ocean breeze. All units have individual decks or porches. An unusual feature is a whirlpool bath in the middle of the master bedrooms.

RCI warned us this is not a resort for those with health problems when offering the exchange. Units are large and multi floor with steps inside. Ground floor units have from five to fourteen steps up to the entrance and third floor entrances are up to 42 steps up and up to 200 feet from your car.

A very nice outdoor pool and children's pool are located in the expansive central deck and with the unseasonably warm weather you could almost swim in it in November. There is also an indoor pool, with common hot tub and exercise room all dating from the original construction. The indoor pool was busy every time we checked.

Overall it was a great vacation and a great week and although the place is starting to look its age, we would recommend Barrier Island Station in Duck, especially to families who could use all the amenities, in season.

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Barrier Island Station-Duck is also known as:

  • Barrier Island Station Resort - Outer Banks NC
  • Barrier Island Station
  • Barrier Island Station Duck Resort
  • Barrier Island Station Vacation Ownership Resorts
  • Barrier Island Station Duck
  • Barrier Island Station - Duck Hotel
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