Sunset view from the Paper Canoe on the north end of the town of Duck.

One of the most spectacular facets of life of the Outer Banks are the sunsets. Looking west across the one of the sounds, as the sun sinks beneath the horizon, the colors of the sky take on every imaginable color, usually with a deep blue, red and yellow dominating but there are so many hues and shades that describing all of it seems an impossible task. 

But those sunsets can be experienced over dinner. There are not a lot of restaurants on the our sounds, but enough that dinner and a sunset should be a part of any Outer Banks visit.

Here are three just to get started.

Sugar Creek

On the Manteo/Nags Head Causeway, Nags Head

Looking slightly north and west, Sugar Creek sits on pilings in the water, so the building qualifies for being in Roanoke Sound. As a consequence it may have the most spectacular sunsets of any Outer Banks restaurants.

The kitchen specializes in seafood—the Hatteras Chowder is especially good—but there are a lot of other selections as well. Also very family friendly.

Aqua Restaurant


Located on the south end of the Duck Boardwalk, Aqua is the perfect place for a date. There is an outdoor deck that sits right on Currituck Sound, during the summer there is often live music, the wine list is extensive and the food is decidedly gourmet.

The setting is beautiful and the combination of food, wine and music lends itself perfect to leisurely conversation.

Paper Canoe

North End of Duck

The food served at the Paper Canoe is wonderful—perfectly prepared…only the freshest ingredients. But what really sets Tommy Karole’s venture apart is how perfectly relaxed it all is. 

The bar is reminiscent of something that might be seen in the Florida Keys, the dress is casual, and there is something special about a plate of perfectly seared scallops, a drink in hand and as the sun painting the sky as it sets behind the islands of the Currituck Sound.