So, You Want to Be a Mermaid?

Proper tail-smacking is just a session away at an ocean-side resort on the Outer Banks.

Valerie Luesse
Mermaids Splashing at Sanderling Resort
Photo: Epic Shutter Photography

Get your fin on at the Sanderling Resort just north of Duck, North Carolina, on Bodie Island. Sanderling just rolled out a new Mermaid School for the summer season. Partnering with local outfitter Kitty Hawk Kites, which offers everything from kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) to hang gliding and bi-plane flight lessons, the Sanderling is bringing quality mermaid instruction to the resort.

Sanderling Resort Mermaids
Photo: Epic Shutter Photography

Learn breath control; master a fluid dolphin kick so that you glide through the water like, well, a fish; and perfect your tail smacking and Hula-Hoop diving skills. Plus, you’ll learn stylish mermaid posing, as you can expect to be photographed. (That tends to happen when you lounge poolside in a mermaid tail.) It goes without saying that tail fitting and rental are included with your session. And you’ll receive instruction on tail application, removal, and care.

As soon as we heard about the new school, we just had to contact the Sanderling and ask: Are you kidding?! Actually, no. They’re just smartly riding the wave of mer-mania. Mermaids, it seems, are having a moment. The fishtail braid is a hair-fashion phenom. Pinterest is overflowing with the handiwork of mermaid fans. Some chalk it up to lingering nostalgia for The Little Mermaid and even Splash (but you’ll seriously date yourself if you admit to seeing that one at the theater).

The idea for the school came from a member of the Kitty Hawk Kites team who has had a longtime interest in mermaids and helped the resort bring the experience to life.

Mermaid School Tails
Photo: Epic Shutter Photography

“Kitty Hawk Kites is the adventure partner for Sanderling Resort, with a pop-up shop on property, so they knew that, in addition to two outdoor pools, the resort also has an indoor pool that would be the perfect training ground for would-be ‘Ariels,’ come rain or shine,” said Dick McAuliffe, general manager of the resort. “Our resort is a popular destination for multi-generational travel, and this is just the type of unique activity that little ones, hard-to-please tweens and teens, and even moms and aunts can enjoy together.”

Mermaid School is all about fun for guests, but the resort takes water safety seriously. All the instructors are lifeguard-certified swimmers with additional training in synchronized swimming.

The response so far? Classes just started in June, and Sanderling already has added more sessions to meet the demand. In other words, Mermaid School is making a big splash on the Outer Banks. (And once you complete the school, you’ll be . . . wait for it . . . a Mer-tified Swimmer.

Plan Your Trip: Sanderling Resort is a classic, Four-Diamond property located on the Atlantic Ocean, just across State Highway 12 from Currituck Sound. For more adventures in the Outer Banks, check out Kitty Hawk Kites.

Mermaid Swimming at Sanderling Resort
Photo: Epic Shutter Photography