Corolla Guide Sections:

Corolla, NC Business Listings:

Corolla offers luxury and modern class to the classic Outer Banks vacation. Prized for its natural beauty, seclusion, and its abundance of upscale, boutique  shops and dining options, Corolla is the ideal vacation destination for families who are just as happy lounging on the beach in flip flops as they are indulging in an afternoon at the spa. If your family group is large, Corolla offers plaenty of palatial and spacious vacation rental homes with an unending assortment of amenities.

Corolla NC Oceanfront Homes

Corolla, NC Accommodations

Corolla is a unique destination that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound, allowing visitors to access to the salty ocean waves, the calm kayak-worthy sound waters, and the idyllic maritime forests that lie in between.

Most vacationers book a vacation rental home, which are rented in 1 week increments, and can vary from modest 3 bedroom homes to large, luxury 18+ bedroom event venues. Due to the growing upscale reputation of the area, many of these homes offer a variety of luxury amenities such as private heated pools, hot tubs, game rooms, plush theater rooms, internet access, and easy beach access. A number of reputable vacation rental management companies service the area, so there is generally a wide selection to choose from. The grandiose nature of these vacation homes make them ideal for special events, weddings, or corporate retreats. The following companies offer vacation rentals in Corolla:

Vacation Rental Companies

Corolla, NC Activities and Attractions

Corolla's wild Horses - Roaming the Northern beaches of Corolla and Carova, this herd of Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs is perhaps more popular than the Currituck Beach Lighthouse or Whalehead in Historic Corolla. Visitors can find the horses along the beach and within the community of Carova. A 4x4 vehicle is required to access this rather remote area. It's no wonder that Corolla's Guided wild horse tours are the most popular Outer Banks Tours!

Corolla Wild Spanish Mustangs

The Corolla Wild Horses have been a draw to vacationers for decades, as their mystique and centuries old legacy is simply unmatched on the local OBX coastline. Added to this is the romantic idea of a beach vacation that's truly wild, with mustangs who travel up and down the Carova beaches with ease and absolute abandon. It's no wonder that popular fiction and movies, such as the recent release of "Nights In Rodanthe" has romanticized their presence, and why so many vacationers fall in love with the wild horses and make a visit to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund every year to find out how they can help.

It is important to remember that the Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs are, infact, wild. Do not approach within 50 feet of the horses, or feed them. Wild horses cannot digest fruits and vegetables like domesticated breeds. Close interaction is dangerous to both humans and horses.

Historic Corolla Park Corolla NC

Whalehead in Historic Corolla - Completed in 1925, the sprawling lemon yellow Whalehead in Historic Corolla has served a number of purposes during its decades of operation, including housing a private school for boys and acting as a rocket fuel-testing base. Today, the Whalehead in Historic Corolla is one of Corolla's best attractions, offering seasonal guided tours, 39 acres of picturesque landscape for picnic baskets, and special facilities for weddings and special events. Seasonally, you'll find a number of the area's best events on the premises, like the weekly Wednesday wine festival, where visitors are encouraged to sample North Carolina's best wines and local foods while listening to a little live outdoor music.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Currituck Beach Lighthouse: Vacationers with stamina are welcome to climb the 214 steps to the top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse for unparalleled 360 degree views of the Outer Banks. The historic and distinctive red lighthouse is open seasonally to visitors from 9a.m. to 5p.m., and the wooded grounds, which include the original light keepers home, is idyllic for a bike ride or a stroll through the live oaks. As one of the last testaments to Corolla's early roots as a local seaside community and guardian for sailors travelling past the Outer Banks, the lighthouse is a must on every visitor's list.

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education

Center for Wildlife Education - Located in Historic Corolla Park, the center is an impressive and marvelous 22,000 square foot interpretive center for young and old alike to explore the history and vast diversity of North Carolina's wildlife. One of the key displays is a massive living aquatic ephemera of fish, native to the region, housed in an 8,000 gallon aquarium where families can get up close and personal with a rich variety of finned swimmers. "You have to remember we have a variety of marine eco-systems here. The ocean, the sound and an estuary so it is pretty diverse.

Sunset at Currituck heritage Park

Watersports and Outdoor Activities - For those who crave a little more outdoor excitement, there are a number of water sport rental and instruction companies that cater to Corolla. Specialty shops offer rentals and lessons for corolla-surfing, ocean kayaking, and SUP (stand up paddle boarding) for vacationers who want an adventure on the water. For a relaxing outdoor excursion, take in a guided kayak tour of the Currituck Sound for a lazy sunset and an evening surrounded by egrets and Blue Herons.

Shopping - The heart of Corolla is a mini shoppers' paradise with a small number of shopping complexes, such as The Shoppes at the Currituck Club, TimBuck II, Monteray Plaza and Corolla Light Town Center, which offer both chic boutiques for souvenirs, and national chain grocery or staple stores for necessities. There are a couple hotels in the area for short stays, but most of the accommodations in Corolla are vacation rental homes which generally rent on a weekly basis, and are scattered throughout the area. Essentially, Corolla vacationers have the option to stay close to the shopping, dining, and activities of Corolla, or relax on the outskirts of the more developed center, in relative privacy.

Dining - After dark, there's a wide variety of Corolla restaurants to take in a quick North Carolina BBQ platter, have a pizza delivered to your vacation rental home, or enjoy a five course waterfront meal. Entertainment from karaoke to local bands is seasonably available, and provides an outlet for Corolla night owls.

Golf and Amusements - Out of the water, Corolla offers an 18-hole golf course, a skate park, putt-putt courses, and soundside nature trails to keep vacationers entertained.

Carova 4x4 beach

Bob's Wild Horse Adventure Tours

Welcome to Bob’s Wild Horse Adventure Tours, Corolla’s #1 source for family fun since 1996. We offer guided tours to see the Corolla Wild Horses in several ways. The first is Absolutely Wild – The Corolla Wild Horses Tour. It’s Wild squared! While it’s...(more)

Bob's Wild Horse Adventure Tours

Pirates Island at Corolla Light Town Center

Check out Corolla's newest 5-star attraction! Pirate-Themed 18-Hole Minature Golf Course and Arcade with waterfalls, a pirate ship, caves, skulls, and more! So much fun for the whole family! Come to Corolla Light's premier attraction located in Corolla...(more)

Pirates Island at Corolla Light Town Center

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

Corolla Wild Horse Tours knowledgeable guides will ensure you and your family have a great wild horse tour! Along the way the guides will stop and point out interesting sites and local history and details of the Corolla Wild Horses history. Be sure to ask them lots of questions and keep them...(more)

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

Kitty Hawk Kites

Multiple locations

Kitty Hawk Kites has been Teaching the World to Fly since 1974 and is home to the world’s largest hang gliding school. As the Outer Banks leader in quality outdoor recreation and adventure, Kitty Hawk Kites offers more than 30 activities to choose from, so get out that pen and start crossing...(more)

Kitty Hawk Kites

Wild Horse Adventure Tours

Wild Horse Adventure Tours has been voted the #1 tour company in the USA by TripAdvisor. Feel the ocean breeze and taste the salty beach air as you cruise the Outer Banks beaches in our exclusive OPEN AIR, 13-passenger Hummers with one of our seasoned guides in search of the Colonial...(more)

Wild Horse Adventure Tours

Back Country Safari Tours

Discover wild Spanish Mustangs and our unique Barrier Island ecology on the Wild Horse Safari. Explore over 30 miles of "off road" beach, dune and sand trail and ride with a professional naturalist guide in a custom 4x4 open-air Safari Cruiser, or experience the Beach Cruiser and Kayak Safari...(more)

Back Country Safari Tours

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is the non-profit 501 (c) (3) charity that is responsible for the care and protection of the wild Banker horses roaming the northernmost beaches of the Outer Banks. Our museum contains exhibits of the horses' historic and cultural significance, and our gift shop is...(more)

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Just for the Beach Rentals

Just for the Beach Rentals (not to be confused with the similarly-named "Just for the Beach") offers rentals to accommodate your stay. Equipment includes linens, baby gates, cribs, monitors, seats, joggers, bikes, kayaks, skim boards, surf boards, and SUP. Free delivery is available with a modest...(more)

Just for the Beach Rentals

Corolla Raceway

Corolla Raceway is the premier Go-Kart experience. Our upscale facility is designed to provide a first class entertainment experience. Corolla Raceway provides the newest Single, Double, and Jr. Go-Karts, along with Bumper Cars for the entire family. Open May - September.(more)

Corolla Raceway

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Multiple locations

Experience more adventure, fun, and style with Kitty Hawk Surf Company. As the trusted Outer Banks retailer for all top surf and lifestyle brands, including, Hurley, Billabong, RVCA, The North Face, Patagonia, Salt Life, Salty Crew, Volcom, O’Neill, Roxy, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hobie, Catch Surf...(more)

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.
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Summer Parking Permits for Currituck County beaches (Corolla / Carova)

Vehicles MUST have a county-issued Beach Parking Permit properly displayed to park on the beach from the last Saturday of April through the first Saturday in October. Visitors renting in the 4-wheel drive area north of where the paved road ends should contact their rental company or property owner with any questions. Two parking permits should be provided to you. Visitors NOT renting in the 4-wheel drive area may purchase a weekly Beach Parking Permit online through the Currituck County website. Parking permits are limited to 300 per week and cost $50 each. Once purchased, the permits can then be picked up at the Currituck Outer Banks Visitor Center in Corolla (500 Hunt Club Drive, Corolla).

Corolla NC beach

Corolla, NC Beach Information & Guidelines

Like all Outer Banks vacation destinations, the beach is the main attraction, and with miles of unspoiled beaches without the development of commercial boardwalks, businesses, or 4WD traffic, Corolla is ideal for families who want a large patch of sand to play on. Still a relatively small vacation destination, vacationers will have no problem finding a spot to put their beach blanket, and the seclusion of Corolla is one of its many draws as a beach vacation hotspot. Here are some things to know about Duck beach policies:

  • Dogs are allowed on Currituck County beaches all year. They must remain on a leash. There is no leash length requirement.
  • Fireworks and beach bonfires are not permitted in Corolla.
  • Beer is allowed on the beach. Wine and liquor are not officially permitted. Please drink responsibly.
  • Metal detecting is allowed.
  • Red flags = no swimming. When you see red flags flying, dangerous conditions are present and swimming is prohibited.
  • It is illegal to walk on the dunes, and it is also illegal to pick live sea oats growing on the beaches.
  • Fill in any holes you dig. Holes in the sand can be a hazard.
  • Be mindful of Noise. Most communities consider a violation of the noise ordinance to be any sound that can be heard from inside a nearby residence, and any load noise after approximately 11:00 p.m.
  • No glass on the beach. Be mindful of glass bottles. Alcohol is allowed on all beaches, but if at all possible, stick to cans and plastic to save future beach-goers from any bare foot injuries.
  • Surf fishing is allowed. A fishing license is required in North Carolina and can be obtained before your vacation via the NC Marine Fisheries and Wildlife website, or a fishing license can be purchased at most any tackle shop on the Outer Banks.
  • 4x4 vehicles can access the beach at the Northern end of NC 12 where the paved road ends. 4x4 access North of this point is allowed year round. 4x4 access South of this point is permitted between October 1 and April 30. Driving at night is allowed. Overnight parking is allowed if the occupant is actively fishing. ATV's allowed for residents with permit. In season parking requires a permit (See information above in this article).

Beach Access

With public parking, located on the following streets in Corolla:

Without parking, at the following locations:

Corolla Restaurants

Corolla boasts a vibrant and diverse restaurant scene that draws food enthusiasts from all over. Whether you are looking for fresh, local seafood or creative twists on classic Southern cuisine, Corolla has something to offer. With an emphasis on local ingredients and seasonal menus, Corolla restaurants embrace innovative new flavors and techniques. From elegant fine dining establishments to laid-back beachfront cafes, Corolla's restaurant scene is a testament to the area's unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some local favorites:

Pizzazz Pizza Company

Multiple locations

Pizzazz Pizza now has FOUR convenient Outer Banks locations in Grandy, Corolla, Duck & Nags Head. Made with only the freshest ingredients and finest meat toppings! Dine in, carry out or delivery (from Corolla to South Nags Head; from Powell's Point to Aydlett).(more)

Pizzazz Pizza Company

Sundogs

Sundogs is a happening spot open year round in Corolla. Along with good food, they feature a nightlife that includes live music, karaoke and a DJ dance party. They have a full bar and a menu suited to a host of tastes. Starters include nachos, crab dip, wings and oysters on the half shell. Steamers...(more)

Sundogs

Mike Dianna's Grill Room

Welcome to Mike Dianna's Grill Room, home to the finest seafood, USDA prime beef, amazing live entertainment and more! Come have brunch or dinner with us in Corolla on the beautiful Outer Banks. Celebrating its 18th season in the Timbuck II Shopping Center in Corolla, Mike Dianna's Grill Room is...(more)

Mike Dianna's Grill Room

Low Tide Bar & Grill

Low Country Seafood from the islands. North, South, East or West, our menu will satisfy any cravings you have while on your beach vacation! Let us do the cooking tonight! We’ve got something for everyone in the family—from cocktails and mocktails to daily fresh catch specials, kids...(more)

Low Tide Bar & Grill

Island Smoothie Cafe

Multiple locations

At Island Smoothie, we have created a menu and atmosphere that is designed to be as unique as the northern shores of the Outer Banks. Our creations utilize fresh local produce when possible. There is nothing better than local NC strawberries, blackberries or blueberries. Make sure to try our...(more)

Island Smoothie Cafe

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Multiple locations

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The...(more)

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream
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Corolla Shops

Take a stroll through charming boutique shops, explore local art galleries, and find unique treasures scattered throughout Corolla. From beachwear to souvenirs, handmade jewelry, to beach decor, Corolla's shops cater to a variety of interests and styles. With a blend of locally owned businesses and larger chain stores, the town's shopping scene offers a diverse array of options for visitors to explore and discover.

Nags Head Hammocks

Multiple locations

We love the outdoors at Nags Head Hammocks and handcraft our Classic Hammocks, Swings and Durawood Furniture to help you enjoy every moment. It all started in 1974 when our first hammocks were made in a little shop on The Outer Banks.(more)

Nags Head Hammocks

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Multiple locations

Experience more adventure, fun, and style with Kitty Hawk Surf Company. As the trusted Outer Banks retailer for all top surf and lifestyle brands, including, Hurley, Billabong, RVCA, The North Face, Patagonia, Salt Life, Salty Crew, Volcom, O’Neill, Roxy, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Hobie, Catch Surf...(more)

Kitty Hawk Surf Co.

Gray's

Multiple locations

Gray’s Outer Banks Lifestyle Clothing Company offers the absolute best in Outer Banks T-shirts and Sweatshirts including Champion, Under Armour with "Outer Banks” and Gear! We carry quality fashions and accessories for the whole family by all your favorite brands including Tommy Bahama...(more)

Gray's

Super Wings

Multiple locations

Best store on the beach! Everything you need for your vacation. The newest ladies' and girls swimsuits, 20% off every day! Largest selection of beach supplies and the best deals on T-shirts, sweatshirts and mens, ladies, and kids, apparel, swimwear and resort wear. Get all your souvenirs, suntan...(more)

Super Wings

Kitty Hawk Kites

Multiple locations

Looking to fly a kite on the beach or atop the spectacular dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park? Kitty Hawk Kites offers the largest selection of kites, wind art, flags, games, and toys on the Outer Banks, with experts on staff to get you flying … or playing … in no time! Always...(more)

Kitty Hawk Kites

The Farmer's Daughter

Multiple locations

Founded in 1984 on the coast of the Outer Banks, NC, Farmer’s Daughter still remains a destination for people wanting great quality, outstanding selection of unique clothing, accessories, and gifts at affordable prices. Committed to offering great customer service, we strive to bring the...(more)

The Farmer's Daughter

Just for the Beach Rentals

Just for the Beach Rentals (not to be confused with the similarly-named "Just for the Beach") offers rentals to accommodate your stay. Equipment includes linens, baby gates, cribs, monitors, seats, joggers, bikes, kayaks, skim boards, surf boards, and SUP. Free delivery is available with a modest...(more)

Just for the Beach Rentals

The Cotton Gin

Multiple locations

For those traveling to the Outer Banks, The Cotton Gin is a beloved landmark with its large windmill and picturesque gardens. The Cotton Gin has stood in the same location since 1929, starting as a working cotton gin and growing to a gift store with 4 locations. Visitors are treated to a unique...(more)

The Cotton Gin

Salt Coast Outfitters

Multiple locations

A resource for products, recreational equipment suppliers, weather protection clothing, and gear to Coastal outdoor enthusiasts. Browse the fullest collection of coastal lifestyle clothing on the beach. Featuring a sizable selection of brand names such as Simply Southern, Fish Hippie, Salt Life...(more)

Salt Coast Outfitters

The Mystic Jewel

Multiple locations

Walk into this shop and you’ll be delighted by all the glittering and sparkling from the way the mirrors and lighting show off jewelry from over 100 different designers and local artisans. Artfully-designed cases line the walls, filled with gorgeous sterling silver and semi-precious gemstone...(more)

The Mystic Jewel

Sound Feet Shoes

Multiple locations

Sound Feet Shoes is family owned and operated. Sound Feet has been in the retail shoe business for over 60 years, opening their first store in 1953. They provide the best customer service and are the only Outer Banks’ area full service shoe store since 1987. Now, the family owned...(more)

Sound Feet Shoes

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is the non-profit 501 (c) (3) charity that is responsible for the care and protection of the wild Banker horses roaming the northernmost beaches of the Outer Banks. Our museum contains exhibits of the horses' historic and cultural significance, and our gift shop is...(more)

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Multiple locations

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The...(more)

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Brew Thru

Multiple locations

No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without cruising through Brew Thru, the Outer Banks’ original drive thru convenience store. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing cold beverage of Coke, Pepsi and other soft drinks on the go, stocking up your cooler with refreshments to enjoy at...(more)

Brew Thru
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Corolla Events

Blackbeard's Revenge 100
  • March 23rd, 2024 - March 24th, 2024

Not for the faint of heart, the Blackbeard's Revenge 100 is a relatively new event that first launched in 2019, and which will test the strongest athletes from the Outer Banks area and...

more
 
Annual Under the Oaks Art Festival
  • June 18th, 2024 - June 19th, 2024 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Peruse a colorful array of vibrant artworks and crafts while enjoying the postcard-perfect setting on the grounds of the Whalehead Club by attending the 22nd Annual Under the Oaks Art...

more
 

Wedding venue at Historic Corolla Park

 

Some Corolla History

Corolla wasn't always the vacation hotspot it is today. The village was discovered, along with its neighbors Duck, Carova, and the Currituck mainland, in the late 1600s by a handful or European settlers, who stayed on the island to carve out a community by the sea. Corolla became official town name when the local post office took root in the late 1800s. For several centuries, Corolla remained an undisturbed home to a few hardy locals, and in the late 1800s, the population grew slightly as lifesaving stations, like the Jones Hill Life Saving Station, were constructed to help sailors navigate the oftentimes treacherous waters off the North Carolina coast. In 1873, construction began on the distinctive red brick Currituck lighthouse. Completed and in operation just two years later, the lighthouse literally served as a beacon to countless sailors cruising the dangerous northern stretch of Diamond Shoals.

An elevated walking path in Currituck Banks  Estuarine Reserve

A few decades after the Currituck lighthouse was constructed, Corolla received a minor population boost in the form of two of Philadelphia's wealthiest residents, Edward and Marie Louise Knight. In 1922, the couple began work on their luxurious seaside home, known today as the "Whalehead in Historic Corolla," and invited and hosted their friends on local hunting and fishing exhibitions. Despite the popularity within the Knight's inner circle, Corolla was still relatively unknown for the next 50 years, frequented only by daring vacationers who were willing to drive miles past the more popular areas of Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk down clay and sand trails that were unpredictable and barely functional as roads.

In fact, there wasn't a legitimate road to Corolla until 1984 when NC Highway 12 was finally extended to the village, and development finally began to boom. The growth was slow at first, with a handful of communities like Ocean Sands and Whalehead popping up along the beaches, but by the late 80s, more and more developers had discovered the area. Over the next three decades, construction in Corolla surged, and the town became home to several hotels, resorts, grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers. Yet despite the developing interest, and thanks to a vocal local community, Corolla was able to maintain its status as a small town beach community, without the grander development of other North Carolina beach towns.

A multi use path in Corolla NC

What to know before you go to Corolla

Because Corolla accommodations are both limited and popular, it's important to book your stay well in advance. Search local vacation rental companies early to ensure the best selection. Traffic on the two-lane NC Highway 12 can be busy on summer weekends, so be prepared for minor delays when traveling, The reward is a vacation stocked with gorgeous beach days and plenty to do off the sand. Restaurant reservations are generally not be required, but might be recommended a few days in advance during the summer months.

With nearby grocery and beach supply stores, it is not necessary to pack a lot of extras, and equipment rental services are available to have your beach necessities waiting for you when you arrive. Be sure and ask your rental company about guidelines for special vehicles, such as RVs and campers, as these may not be allowed in your beach community. Above all else, for vacationers on a budget, don't forget the off-season - the temperate beaches of North Carolina in the Fall and Spring shoulder seasons offer lots of secluded beaches, plenty of local attractions, and lots of open businesses at a better rate.

Corolla may have gained national attention as one of America's best secluded beaches with upscale amenities and luxurious accommodations, but thankfully, Corolla still retains its small beach-town charm that attracted Outer Banks visitors in the first place. For vacationing families who want plenty of sand to spread out, but would like to still enjoy the amenities of a resort beach community, Corolla is an ideal vacation destination.

The beach in Corolla NC

Corolla, NC Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Corolla, NC?

Corolla is located in the northernmost region of the Outer Banks, just north of the town of Duck, and just south of the 4WD beaches of Carova. It is part of Currituck County, and is accessible via Highway 12 North.

How do you pronounce Corolla, NC?

Outer Banks locals pronounce Corolla as “Car-rah-la,” without the obvious “O” sound. Many visitors mistakenly pronounce Corolla like the car model, or “Cor-oh-La.”

What is Corolla known for?

Corolla is known for its miles of beaches, as well as its array of restaurants, shops, and historic attractions. Corolla is also the home of several popular Outer Banks attractions, including the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Whalehead Club, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and the Wild Horse Museum.

What is there to do in Corolla?

Most of the fun in Corolla revolves around the beach, as the town is known for great swimming, surfing, fishing, shelling, and miles of uncrowded shorelines to go around. Corolla also has a number of shops and restaurants, bars and nightlife venues, and several attractions including the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the historic Whalehead Club.

What are Corolla’s top attractions?

Corolla’s top attractions are the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the adjacent Whalehead Club and Historic Corolla Park. Other sites of interest include the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, the Wild Horse Museum, and the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.

Where are the beach accesses in Corolla, NC?

Beach accesses with public parking are located on the following streets in Corolla, NC:

Beach access locations, (without parking), are found at the following locations:

In addition, many private communities have their own beach accesses and / or tram service to the beach.

Are pets allowed on the beach in Corolla, NC?

Dogs are allowed on the beach all year long in Corolla, provided they are on a leash at all times. Owners must also clean up after their pets while on the beach.

How do you see the wild horses of Corolla, NC?

The wild horses can often be spotted in the 4WD beaches that are located just north of Corolla. There are also several Corolla wild horse tour companies that provide excursions to remote areas where the wild horses can frequently be found.

Can I drive on the beach in Corolla, NC?

There is no beach driving allowed within the town limits of Corolla, however visitors can drive on the 4WD accessible shorelines just north of town. A 4WD ramp is located on the end of North Beach Access Road, off of Ocean Trail in Corolla. Vehicles MUST have a county-issued Beach Parking Permit properly displayed to park on the beach from the last Saturday of April through the first Saturday in October. Visitors renting in the 4-wheel drive area north of where the paved road ends should contact their rental company or property owner with any questions. Two parking permits should be provided to you. Visitors NOT renting in the 4-wheel drive area may purchase a weekly Beach Parking Permit online through the Currituck County website. Parking permits are limited to 300 per week and cost $50 each. Once purchased, the permits can then be picked up at the Currituck Outer Banks Visitor Center in Corolla (500 Hunt Club Drive, Corolla).

Do you need a permit to drive on the Corolla beaches?

You do not need a permit to drive on the beaches north of Corolla. However, you must have a 4WD vehicle, and you should air down your tires to roughly 15-20 PSI before driving on the sand. See our article about driving on the beach. Vehicles MUST have a county-issued Beach Parking Permit properly displayed to park on the beach from the last Saturday of April through the first Saturday in October. Visitors renting in the 4-wheel drive area north of where the paved road ends should contact their rental company or property owner with any questions. Two parking permits should be provided to you. Visitors NOT renting in the 4-wheel drive area may purchase a weekly Beach Parking Permit online through the Currituck County website. Parking permits are limited to 300 per week and cost $50 each. Once purchased, the permits can then be picked up at the Currituck Outer Banks Visitor Center in Corolla (500 Hunt Club Drive, Corolla).

When is the best time to visit Corolla?

The summertime is the most popular time of year to visit Corolla, due to warm air and ocean water temperatures. Many local businesses including restaurants and shops stay open from the spring to the fall, however, and the “shoulder seasons” generally offer cheaper accommodations than the peak summer months.

What are the average air temperatures each month in Corolla?

January: low 50s°

February: low to mid 50s°

March: high 50s°

April: high 60s°

May: mid 70s°

June: high 70s° to low 80s°

July: mid 80s°

August: mid 80s°

September: low 80s°

October: low 70s°

November: low to mid 60s°

December: mid 50s°

Where can you stay in Corolla, NC?

Most visitors in Corolla stay in vacation rental homes or condos, which are rented on a weekly basis by area property management companies. In addition, there are several chain hotels and locally-owned hotels or motels in Corolla. There are no campgrounds in Corolla.

Corolla, NC Photos

A public dock on Currituck Sound at Historic Corolla Park

A public gazebo over Currituck Sound at sunset. Historic Corolla Park. Corolla, NC

Sunset view from the Whalehead in Historic Corolla in Corolla NC

Corolla NC 12 North end

A bike path winds along NC 12 in Corolla NC

An interior view of the beautiful Currituck Beach Lighthouse 

The lightkeeper's house at Currituck Beach Lighthouse 

4x4 Beach access at the North end of NC 12 in Corolla NC  

Sunset over Currituck Sound   

Corolla 4x4 Beach and wild horses

Large homes in Corolla

A large fire pit at the Sanderling Resort in Corolla, NC

Currituck Maritime Museum in Corolla NC

an oceanfront resort in Corolla, NC

Gray's

Gray’s Outer Banks Lifestyle Clothing Company offers the absolute best in Outer Banks T-shirts and Sweatshirts including Champion, Under Armour with "Outer Banks” and Gear! We carry quality fashions and accessories for the whole family by all your favorite brands including Tommy Bahama, Tribal, ESCAPE, Billabong, Quiksilver, Jack O’Neill, RVCA, Olukai, Cobian, Spartina, Scout, Brighton.

 

Whether you’re shopping for apparel, shoes & accessories, gifts & toys or OBX and Big Duck souvenirs, Gray’s offers the best brands and quality for a beach lifestyle at any of our 4 locations! From sportswear to beachwear and everything in between, Gray’s will outfit your entire family. You can also find great beach accessories at Gray’s, such as Costa sunglasses, Olukai sandals and Sun Bum sunscreen and hair products. Be sure to shop Gray’s signature Big Duck found on t-shirts, sweatshirts and gift items!

 

Established in 1948 by Walter and Stelle Gray, Gray’s began as a single store on the beach road in Nags Head, a land mark that has been beautifully transformed into Seagreen Art Gallery. Visitors to the original Gray’s may remember that the family home was located above the store and that Walter Gray had a passion for Big Band music that was often playing on the store speakers, giving shoppers a little swing in their step.

 

Modern-day Gray’s is still family owned and operated by their children Ronnie and Julie Gray, who carry on a legacy of superior customer service and traditional values. Ronnie’s wife Susan is also an important part of the business. “It really was always a family operating as a business rather than a business being run by a family,” explains Ronnie Gray. “When our visitors come in, they are greeted by a warm hello and a ‘Welcome to Gray’s.’ We try to welcome them as if they’re entering our own home”

(More Locations)
Henry's Restaurant
Currituck Banks Coastal Estuarine Reserve
The Cotton Gin

For those traveling to the Outer Banks, The Cotton Gin is a beloved landmark with its large windmill and picturesque gardens. The Cotton Gin has stood in the same location since 1929, starting as a working cotton gin and growing to a gift store with 4 locations. Visitors are treated to a unique shopping experience in our main store in Jarvisburg, as well as our beach stores in Corolla, Duck, and Nags Head. Explore room after room filled with décor for your home and coastal fashions for both men and women. Discover the brands you really want, like, Vera Bradley, Vineyard Vines, La Mer Luex, Simply Southern, Lindsay Phillips, Scout, Pandora, Kameleon, Brighton, Spartina, Tommy Bahama, Southern Tide and Salt Life and Old Guys Rule - all under one roof!

 

Don’t forget the gourmet market, or shop our beautiful linens for your bedroom and bath. We also feature coastal books and fine art, or just a whimsical fun gift to bring home to family and friends. Stop by soon and don’t forget to try our estate grown wines in our stores or visit our vineyard and winery, Sanctuary Vineyards, located adjacent to the original Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg.

 

Most know The Cotton Gin as a must-stop shop for fine gifts, beachwear, souvenirs and so much more, but this retailer has a long-standing history within the Outer Banks. A local landmark that holds almost a century of memories, The Cotton Gin started from humble beginnings and continues to adapt to the times and tourists. Tommy Wright’s family has been in the Outer Banks for nearly 200 years. His great-great grandfather, Jacob Francis Wright, shipwrecked in Duck back in the early 1800s. Calling these barrier islands his new home, Wright and his family acclimated to their new environment.

 

Adaptation is a common theme for the Wright family. Tommy and his wife Candace, who continue to steer The Cotton Gin, have seen not only their business change with the times, but the Outer Banks as a vacation destination as well. A farm market in Jarvisburg eventually transformed and flourished into several retail locations dotting the Outer Banks.

 

“As the area changed and tourism took off in the 1960s, the family saw people coming for vacations, so they began to grow vegetables and things developed from there,” says Tommy Wright. The Wright family expanded upon the farm market and began to remodel a working cotton gin, later transforming the gin into The Cotton Gin general store in the late 1960s. While the additions to the farm store drew visitors, it was their encounters with the Wright family that kept people coming back year after year, which is something that remains true today.

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