Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 4.18mi
  3. Distance: 5.59mi
  4. Distance: 5.69mi
  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 4.18mi
  3. Distance: 5.59mi
  4. Distance: 5.69mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 4.18mi
  3. Distance: 5.59mi
  4. Distance: 5.69mi
  1. Distance: 0.04mi
  2. Distance: 4.18mi
  3. Distance: 5.59mi
  4. Distance: 5.69mi

About The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort

Located in the original Caffey’s Inlet Life Saving Station No. 5, the Lifesaving Station is Sanderling’s casual, three-meal-a-day restaurant celebrating southern coastal cuisine. After the winter renovations, the second level now offers sweeping views of the Currituck Sound and available for large parties with an expansive kid’s menu.

The menu changes seasonally, and specials feature the freshest of the day’s catch. This season’s highlights are Shrimp and Grits, Crab Stuffed Flounder or Pan Seared Duck Breast. Since the restaurant's inception in 1985, the Sanderling Blue Crab Chowder has been a favorite.

The Lifesaving Station maintains an impressive wine list. At the newly renovated No 5 Bar now located on the first level, local North Carolina breweries are featured on tap while specialty cocktails include “Keeper’s Watch” . A new No 5 bar food menu is available all day.

1461 Duck Rd
Duck, NC 27949
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Contemporary Southern, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast Daily: 7:00am - 11:30am; Lunch Monday-Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm; Dinner Off Season 5:00pm - 9:00pm, In Season 5:00-10:00pm

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(252) 449-6654

Website:
http://www.sanderling-resort.com/restaurants-and-bars/life-saving-station

Executive Chef:
Executive Sous- John Botkin

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wine

The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.9

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

3.9

ambience

3.9

value

3.5

Noise

Moderate

83% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (4)
Special Occasion (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
See All
Business Meals (3)
Good for a Date (3)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Romantic (3)
Scenic View (3)
Waterfront (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Bar Seating (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Fit for Foodies (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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347 reviews
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vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 20, 2017

The service, from beginning to end, was subpar. No one knew what they were doing, One person took our wine order. After we got our drinks, a waiter came over to tell us about their wine special - which included my husband's favorite wine. Too late! We had already been served wine, and the person who took our wine order never mentioned today's wine special. I was told I was ordering an "oaky" wine, not true. Suffice it to say, the staff knows nothing about wine.

Our appetizers - blue crab soup and tomato burrata salad - were good, but skimpy. Our entree order was taken after we had finished out appetizers. Our waiter seemed to know very little about the menu items. My husband & I both ordered the "Surf & Turf." The waiter did not know the size of the filet. No one mentioned that there was only ONE shrimp. My husband asked if he could substitute "duck fries" for the fingerlings and was told yes. We were charged extra for the "duck fries" which we found out were frozen fries (I guess thawed in Duck, NC). My filet was MW - W (I asked for medium). Would have mentioned this to the waiter, but never saw him until he came to ask if we wanted dessert. Used a butter knife to cut our steaks; luckily, they were not tough.

Many young couples dining tonight, but not a "romantic" setting. Babies, toddlers running amok - which is okay, if that's what you expected. For what we paid, we'll never come back. To top it off, I was counted as a "no show" on Open Table! Nobody in charge.......

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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 19, 2017

Went here for birthday celebration. Pleasantly surprised. The food was fantastic and the staff was super attentive. Definitely a required spot for dinner when staying at Sanderling

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Great Beer, Local Ingredients, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 14, 2017

Delicious dinner, had a nice tim

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on June 12, 2017

Fun and casual. Service was excellent!

Tags: Casual, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on June 11, 2017

Great atmosphere. Very good food. Great service. Had the shrimp and grits. Excellent. Friendly staff.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on June 10, 2017

The restaurant is in the restored/modified Caffey's Inlet US Life Saving Station, a core that dates to 1879(?). It is an integral part of Outer Banks History. Dinning at the restaurant tips your hat to those who made the effort to maintain an historic treasure. We dined upstairs with a view of the sound on a June Sat night. Neigboring diners were boisterous, but that's the luck of the draw.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on June 9, 2017

We loved our meal in this historical, beautifully renovated building. The food was absolutely fantastic. The most buttery scallops I ever put in my mouth! Delicious crab and artichoke dip with a homemade pretzel for dipping. The table bread was wonderful too.
The only down side was our party of 6 sat in the lower dining room and we were the only party in that part of the building. There were diners on the outside patio. It is a sweet patio with a good amount of tables. It felt very isolated and lonely in the big room.
As we were leaving, we discovered there was a fantastic upstairs dining room with amazing views of the bay and there were other diners up eating at the tables. I would recommend asking for a table upstairs. Also it was interesting that our dining room was empty but when I looked for a reservation on Open Table it only presented two time slots available for 6 people. It seemed we could of arrived anytime and eat in the empty room. We were expecting a crowded restaurant because of the limited availability on Open Table.

Tags: Special Occasion, Scenic View, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 29, 2017

We went there based on their website. I wanted authentic fried chicken and they claimed to have excellent fried chicken. It was slimy, old and awful. I got the mac and cheese side dish and it was dry with very little cheese on the macaroni. Our waiter didn't seem like he was properly trained. His service was erratic and forgetful. The building was a historic lifesaving station with memorabilia around the room. There were understandably only a couple of other tables of people so we were able to look at the displays. Too expensive for what they offered.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on May 29, 2017

Food was great. Limited menu

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 28, 2017

The food was very good -- excellent crab chowder and fresh and perfectly cooked fish. The wine list is hugely marked up -- and we did not see a single bottle for less than $40, which seemed odd for a restaurant that is clearly intended for more casual, family dining than its sister across the street, Kimball's Kitchen. As fitting its location at the lovely Sanderling Resort, the prices here overall seemed high when compared to the other restaurants in Duck and Corolla that frequently top the lists of best in the area.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Richmond)·Dined on May 28, 2017

Subpar at best. The food is expensive and very basic....so disappointing. The resort is amazing, but the restaurants need help. The outdoor pool bar is serving better food. Need to step up the cooking. In my opinion it was food you would serve at an retirement community.

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food2
ambience3
service3

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on May 28, 2017

Service was very poor and extremely slow. We went for a late Sunday breakfast and it took 20 minutes for someone to come to the table. We've visited this restaurant many times and have come to expect prompt and friendly service, which made our experience even more surprising and disappointing. Clearly not prepared for the Memorial Day weekend. Food was very good when it finally arrived !

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food4
ambience4
service1
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 26, 2017

There is a nice outdoor dining area but it wasn't open for some reason, even though it was a beautiful evening. We sat indoors and the noise level was very high.
I had mahi mahi. It was a nice piece of fish, but on the small side. The grilling was well done but it was woefully underseasoned and bland. A few years ago they had a delicious shrimp and grits entree. They've changed it unfortunately. Our server noted that other diners complained.
Beware to anyone who orders a cocktail. The martinis were very expensive ($14.50 & $16.50). They came in smallish glasses and weren't even filled. The wine glasses had a fill mark on them. Clearly management is very interested in maximizing their profit on liquor sales!
The service was good. Unfortunately it couldn't make up for the poor value for the money.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 15, 2017

My third year coming to the Sanderling- this time the food was back to "ok" vs very good....there are so many options on OBX that this one can be skipped.

Tags: Good for Groups, Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Scenic View, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual
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food3
ambience5
service4
value2

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on May 8, 2017

Food was great! Drinks too. But everything was really rushed. So much so that they forgot a side we ordered. Maybe they were preparing for busy season? But even if so, just slow it down a bit so your guests can relax. Would definitely go back. Wanna check out that patio. Manager was a delight.

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food5
ambience4
service2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 7, 2017

The service at the bar was fantastic! As was the service in the restaurant. The crab fritters were wonderful and should be a menu item. Wonderful
Place and experience in the outer banks. Will definitely return!

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on April 25, 2017

Awesome restaurant and Travis was a great server!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 23, 2017

Great location! Located in a historic lifesaving house. The ambiance was perfect, food was good but not life changing. I would recommend this place to a friend.

Tags: Bar Seating, Romantic, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on April 23, 2017

Excellent. Been here before and will go again. Liked the remodel.

Tags: Disabled Access, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 21, 2017

We were the only ones there for a long time. Felt weird. Ceiling fans blew too much air. Food very good but pricey.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Family went here for Easter brunch. Food was really good, service was really lacking. Definitely wish I had skipped the mimosa, waitstaff had no idea what was on the menu. Very nicely decorated place, lots of cool vintage nautical things. Overall, we enjoyed our experience and had a good time with our family on Easter :)

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food4
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Food was a bit better than average (some was very good, some disappointing). Portions of appetizer and soup very very, very small. Overall meal was much too expensive considering the portion sizes and the ingredients.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value1

vip
 (Richmond)·Dined on April 16, 2017

There for Easter brunch-start with appetizer-bloody mary shrimp- one shrimp with dab of cocktail sauce. Move on to "bowl "of crab soup with sherry. A cup with 3 spoonfuls of canned -soup with no sherry. Our server opined that yes they are all that small. My entree came after 1hour 30 minutes served well done not the medium rare but just wanted to flee. Wait staff never present though servers drop off food and run-empty drink glasses conveniently ignored. The last reservation for Easter brunch that remained on opentable-lesson learned. Feel embarrassed for Sanderling resort which is otherwise first-class.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience5
service1
value1

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Food was good, but soup was barely luke-warm when it came out. Our waitress was friendly but didn't check on us at all after our food came.

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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Fantastic mussels & great homemade potato chips. Small menu but everything is fresh & good

Tags: Casual, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on April 14, 2017

Steak good but very small, asparagus the tiniest ive seen. Brie apprtizer excellent. Menu ordinary without much choice of entrees. Overpriced.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Great place to have a wonderful dinner on New Year's Eve!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 2, 2016

After staying at the Sanderling many times and always enjoying the meals, this trip was a severe disappointment. The movement of the restaurant to Kimbells Kitchen was very poorly handled. The wait staff was inadequate in numbers and dinner was mediocre, the entrees and dessert especially were not up to par and not engaging at all. Worst of all was breakfast the next morning. We started by having to wait at least 15 minutesp for a table because the host was otherwise occupied. This was despite there being many unoccupied tables. Service thereafter did not improve. Despite getting very typical egg breakfasts, the plates arrived slowly and the food, including the grits( which are usually arrive appropriately as hot as naplam) was so cold we had to send it back. It returned slowly and was still not hot. At that point after being there for an extended period of time, we gave up and did not send our food back a second time. Instead we ate a portion but it was not enjoyable at all. When it become obvious we were unhappy with our experience, our wait person advised me to go to the spa after breakfast and "chill out." She then asked if I wanted to talk to the manager and I advised yes, but only if it would do some good. She assured me it would, but after waiting at least another 15 minutes to see the manager, our waitress returned to advise the manager would not be coming over and he was going to comp breakfast but he saw we were on the bed and breakfast plan so they was nothing he could do. After complaining later to the front desk, the on duty manager graciously reduced our bill, but it still did not prevent a most disappointing birthday celebration stay. While we were advised of the shut down of the Life Saving Station before our arrival, we had no notion that dining would become a trip ruining experience.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 24, 2016

I wouldn't recommend this restaurant to any of my friends. We arrived 6:15 and we were asked to sit and wait but the couple behind us were asked to go upstairs to wait until their table opened up. We didn't feel welcome at all. My wife and I will not be dining at The Life Saving Station ever again.

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food4
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Without question, dining at the Lifesaving Station - Sanderling is one of the most rewarding experiences ever!!!! I have been there many times, and each and every time, the food, atmosphere and service are top notch!!!!!! It is definitely a "bucket list" item, if you have never been before.

Tags: Casual, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Went for Thanksgiving and was assured of an appropriate kid's menu only to arrive and told there was no food for children under 2 available nor would the chef accommodate. With a party of 6 @ $55/person, the chef also wouldn't allow simple side dish substitutions. My 1 year old doesn't like Rockfish or Ribeye, sorry, and what family restaurant at a resort doesn't have macaroni and cheese?

The wait staff were rough around the edges, smelled of cigarettes and seemed frazzled. There was no ambiance in the upper dining area and there was a fly buzzing around us all night.

Also, this may seem picky, but the traditonal Thanksgiving turkey dinner option was processed white meat and no cranberry sauce was included.

For the high price point, the experience was lacking in every area and the service was lackluster. I would not return or recommend for a holiday meal.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 24, 2016

We had a great lunch (corn/crab chowder was excellent) and outstanding breakfast (omelets and biscuits are wonderful).
However, we had a couple of issues on our visits to the Lighthouse this time at the Outer Banks.
First, when we came for lunch and breakfast we had to wait about 5 minutes for any host/hostess to show up to seat us, and then the attitude was one of seeming to do us a favor by seating us.
When we arrived for the Thanksgiving dinner we discovered that we were seated upstairs (we did not know there was an upstairs). Since two of our party could not climb stairs we had to wait 20 minutes for a table, and 5 us of us were seated at a table for 4. We were constantly "in the way" of someone--waitress or other diners. Then the dinner was just ok. Aside from the soup, everything was served lukewarm and seemed to have been re-heated rather than fresh. While it is difficult to serve such large numbers on a holiday we have had better at the Lighthouse and other places. The waitress was excellent under very trying circumstances.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Got our order wrong and overcooked the duck entree. Once that was fixed, the food was very good. There were only two other tables of people when we were there but the service was pretty bad. We thought it was overpriced.

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food4
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Great staff, wonderful food. Perfect way to end the day.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal, Waterfront, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Food and service were wonderful. Attractive setting.

Tags: Good for a Date, People Watching, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (London)·Dined on October 13, 2016

First night in Corolla so tried the Life Saving Station. Epic heroic story behind the building's history. We were put upstairs: view could have been good but lot of post hurricane condensation on windows. Very few other diners upstairs so lacked atmosphere. Lovely steak for me and risotto for my wife. Not cheap.

Tags: Scenic View
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

 
 (Yorkshire)·Dined on September 30, 2016

Went here with my sister and brother in law and my husband. We have all eaten in a wide variety of restaurants around the world, but have never felt we have had such poor service, food , or staff incompetency .
The list of mistakes, errors and slip ups are so numerous. Ranging from bread removed from another table brought to ours, wine arriving late, no cutlery , one starter having to be returned three times, gluten free toast taking half an hour to arrive, very small portions, tasteless food, and a very expensive final bill.....
On speaking to a manager we were only offered one starter cost subtracted from the menu, we spoke to staff in the resort twice and are awaiting further contact from a food and beverage director . We have been contacted by the manager again but the outcome was very unsatisfactory .
Do not eat at this restaurant.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 19, 2016

We ate at the Lifesaving Station while staying at the Sanderling Resort. Would call it modestly good, but nothing to write home about. Moreover the prices are not much lower than the Sanderling's other spot Kimballs where we also dined. Kimballs is more upscale and the sunset views are beauts.

We also dined at the Lifesaving Station for breakfast three days and one can only say while fairly priced and perfectly acceptable the service totally discombobulated.

For a good lunch or breakfast nearby the Duck Deli is perfect. The Blue Point Restaurant in Duck is superb--ate there twice. Actually, in our view superior to Kimballs except for ambiance.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 17, 2016

Wonderful service, food terrific. Can't beat it if you are staying at the Sanderling Resort.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Casual, Romantic, Kid-friendly
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on September 15, 2016

We had heard good things about the Life Saving Station, but it exceeded our expectations. Everything was top-notch.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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