A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Cumberland Island National Seashore vs. Duck for Beaches, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a pristine, secluded, and undeveloped island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for beaches and hiking.

Duck

Duck is a traditional, compact, and charming beach town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include shopping, food, and beaches.

Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Duck. Although Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck are both popular with visitors, Duck has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Duck is more popular for its food, nightlife, resorts, shopping, and small town charm, while Cumberland Island National Seashore is known for its hiking. Duck is more touristy than Cumberland Island National Seashore and is popular for its quaint atmosphere and small town charm. It is also home to the wide sandy beach. Cumberland Island National Seashore is popular for its pristine and undeveloped beaches, miles of hiking trails, and wild horses.

How is Cumberland Island National Seashore different from Duck?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Duck and Cumberland Island National Seashore. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Neither Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck offer quality museums and landmarks.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Cumberland Island National Seashore. There aren't any museums on the island, but on the mainland there's a visitor center as well as the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum.

Duck offers a few options for museum-goers. Hanging out at the beach and enjoy water sports or outdoor activities are the main draw of this town. You won't find much in the form of museums or indoor activities.


Is the Food Better in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Duck is a popular place for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Duck. For such a small town, there's a decent selection of restaurants that range from local seafood eateries to pizza delivery. Homemade ice cream is a favorite in the area, but you also can't skip out on the flagship Duck Donuts store.

Most people don't head to Cumberland Island National Seashore for a culinary experience, but it does have restaurants to choose from. There are no restaurants on the island, so you need to pack any food that you might need before you arrive.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Nightlife?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Duck is adequate for nightlife. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for nightlife and partying.

Duck doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. It's known as a family-friendly destination that isn't often associated with a strong nightlife, but there is often live music and other festivals during the summer months.

People don't go to Cumberland Island National Seashore for the nightlife. Stargazing is amazing on the island, but you're left to your own devices when it comes to evening entertainment options.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Resorts?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Duck is a popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not a resort destination.

Duck has a handful of resorts to choose from. Most of the accommodation around town is in the form of vacation beach rental houses that are perfect for family gatherings or larger groups.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is not a resort destination.


Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Beaches?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck are first-rate choices.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Cumberland Island National Seashore. There are 17 miles of pristine beaches along the island. You'll also find wild horses and miles of hiking trails. Swimming is popular, but do take note that there are no lifeguards on the island.

With world-famous beaches, Duck is a very popular vacation destination. Long sandy beaches with great surf and a wonderful boardwalk make this a great beach destination. Kids play in the tidal pools and families relax under their beach umbrellas in a classic beach setting.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Hiking?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Cumberland Island National Seashore is renowned for the nearby hiking options. Also, Duck is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its hiking trails.

People visit Cumberland Island National Seashore specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. You'll find more than 50 miles of hiking trails on the island. They pass through a number of ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, and beaches. Most visitors come for the day and spend most of their time on the Southend of the island. This is where you'll find the highest concentration of hiking trails. Some of the most popular trails are Dungeness Roadways, River Trail, and Nightingale Trail.

Many people include a hike when visiting Duck. The Duck Trail runs for six miles and passes through town. It's popular with walkers, cyclists, and inline skaters.

Is the Shopping Better in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Duck is a great beach town for shopping. However, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not known for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Duck. Head to the Waterfront Shops for some of the town's best shopping. You can wander along the boardwalk and check out the independent vendors and local restaurants.

Cumberland Island National Seashore has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There aren't any shops or stores on the island so plan accordingly.


Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Families?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Duck is a great beach town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its family-friendly activities.

Duck is a very family-friendly destination. Kid-friendly beaches, local ice cream joints, and the famed Duck Donuts all make this an ideal kid's beach destination. There's a waterpark nearby and plenty of water sports that the whole family can enjoy. The boardwalk is also a very family-friendly environment.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a family-friendly place to visit. In addition to the hiking trails, coastline, and wildlife, the island also has junior ranger programs and educational experiences for kids.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Couples?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

With fun activities for couples, both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck make for a high quality place to visit.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a great island if you're traveling as a couple. Couples will appreciate the pristine coastline, beautiful wildlife, and secluded hiking trails. Many people visit the island as a day trip, but it's also possible to stay at one of the island's campgrounds. For a truly romantic experience you could also stay at the Greyfield Inn.

Duck is a very popular place to visit for couples. It's a charming beach town with great local restaurants and a beautiful and peaceful setting. For couples who want to enjoy a relaxing beach town without the energy of a larger destination, then this is the perfect place. Much of the accommodation is in the form of rental houses, which can be a bit much for a couple, but the setting is perfect for a weekend escape.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Duck is not a good beach town for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore. Backpackers appreciate the secluded and pristine atmosphere. There are miles of hiking trails as well as campgrounds on the island for those who want to stay overnight.

Duck is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. It's an upscale town with many beach houses available for rent, and very little in the form of budget accommodation.


Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Cumberland Island National Seashore. The only way to the island is by ferry. It leaves from the town of St. Marys and advanced reservations are recommended.

Public transit is generally limited in Duck. It's best to have a car if you want to exploring the Outer Banks and its many activities.

Is Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck a more walkable city?

Cumberland Island National Seashore
Duck

Duck is an amazing beach town to visit for its walkability. Also, Cumberland Island National Seashore is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its high level of walkability.

Duck is a very easy beach town to get around on foot. It's a wonderfully walkable and pedestrian-friendly town with a great boardwalk and many walking and cycling paths.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a somewhat walkable place. There are many hikes on the island, but the whole island is 18 miles long, making it difficult to walk in one day. Many visitors spend their time near the campgrounds where there's the highest concentration of hiking trails. This area is known as Sea Camp.

For even more information, also check out Is Cumberland Island National Seashore Worth Visiting? and Is Duck Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Duck or Cumberland Island National Seashore?

How long in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Duck than in Cumberland Island National Seashore. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Cumberland Island National Seashore, and 5-7 days is enough time in Duck.

Families should spend more time in Duck than Cumberland Island National Seashore. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Duck, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Duck than Cumberland Island National Seashore. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Duck that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cumberland Island National Seashore than Duck if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Cumberland Island National Seashore.


  • How many days in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 1-3 
    Duck 5-7

One day in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the destination of Cumberland Island National Seashore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Duck is a small town with plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


A weekend in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It's also a great beach destination, too. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many people visit Duck for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Five days in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

You'll find around the secluded destination of Cumberland Island National Seashore. This island offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Duck is a popular place to visit. Even though Duck is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A week in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

The untouched island of Cumberland Island National Seashore offers . Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Duck is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Most people come for the beaches. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Which place is cheaper, Duck or Cumberland Island National Seashore?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cumberland Island National Seashore is $148, while the average daily cost in Duck is $188. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $75
    Duck $107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $150
    Duck $214
Compare Hotels in Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck

Looking for a hotel in Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cumberland Island National Seashore


Hotels in Duck


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $59
    Duck $66

Is it cheaper to fly into Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Prices for flights to both Duck and Cumberland Island National Seashore change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $38
    Duck $45

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $23
    Duck $13

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cumberland Island National Seashore $25
    Duck $45


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck, we can see that Duck is more expensive. And not only is Cumberland Island National Seashore much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cumberland Island National Seashore would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cumberland Island National Seashore and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Duck would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Duck than you might in Cumberland Island National Seashore.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cumberland Island National Seashore Expensive? and Is Duck Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck in the Summer?

Both Duck and Cumberland Island National Seashore during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore because of the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Duck this time of year.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is around the same temperature as Duck in the summer. The daily temperature in Cumberland Island National Seashore averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Duck fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

In Duck, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Cumberland Island National Seashore. In the summer, Cumberland Island National Seashore often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 286 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 279 hours of full sun.

Duck gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 82°F (28°C) 
    Duck 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Cumberland Island National Seashore and Duck. The hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Cumberland Island National Seashore this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Duck for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Cumberland Island National Seashore is a little warmer than Duck. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cumberland Island National Seashore in October average around 70°F (21°C), and Duck averages at about 62°F (16°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Duck this time of the year. In Cumberland Island National Seashore, it's very sunny this time of the year. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Duck during autumn. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives less rain than Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 70°F (21°C) 
    Duck 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Cumberland Island National Seashore as well as Duck. Also, many visitors come to Duck in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Duck can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Cumberland Island National Seashore is generally much warmer than Duck. Daily temperatures in Cumberland Island National Seashore average around 53°F (12°C), and Duck fluctuates around 41°F (5°C).

In the winter, Cumberland Island National Seashore often gets more sunshine than Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 191 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 168 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually gets less rain in January than Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 53°F (12°C) 
    Duck 41°F (5°C)

Should I visit Cumberland Island National Seashore or Duck in the Spring?

Both Duck and Cumberland Island National Seashore are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Cumberland Island National Seashore in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Duck for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty during these months.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a little warmer than Duck in the spring. The daily temperature in Cumberland Island National Seashore averages around 68°F (20°C) in April, and Duck fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

It's quite sunny in Duck. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives more sunshine than Duck during spring. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 285 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Cumberland Island National Seashore usually receives around the same amount of rain as Duck. Cumberland Island National Seashore gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cumberland Island National Seashore 68°F (20°C) 
    Duck 59°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Duck and Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island National Seashore Duck
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Feb 56°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 62°F (17°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (180 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Oct 70°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)