The northernmost accessible town on the Outer Banks, Corolla has seen rapid development over the past ten years. Up until 1984, when the state extended Highway 12 north from the Dare County line, the town was a sleepy seaside village. Today, multimillion dollar vacation homes dwarf the village proper and make Corolla one of the most desirable upscale vacation destinations in the country. Ironically, it was the opening of the road and the ensuing traffic that eventually led to the relocation of one of Corolla's most famous attractions, the wild ponies.
At the center of the village is the Whalehead Club
and Currituck Lighthouse complex. Millionaire industrialists built the Whalehead Club in the 1920's as a base for waterfowl hunting expeditions to the Banks. Today, the Club is being restored to its original glory and serves as a waterfowl museum.
Next door, the red brick Currituck lighthouse towers over the landscape. The northernmost of the Carolina lighthouses, the 180-foot structure is open for climbing in the summer months and features a small museum and the restored lightkeeper's house.