Corolla, North Carolina



My immediate family gets together over Memorial Day weekend every year and goes on vacation with some of our extended family and adopted family members. Two years in a row we rented a beach house in Corolla, NC and explored this amazing beach town.


Prior to visiting Corolla, when I thought of the beach I thought of the sun and sand but also crowds, boardwalks and cheesy beach bars/clubs where you could see everyone from underage kids to retirees getting drunk and dancing. Most of my beach experiences have taken place in Cocoa Beach, Fl; Ocean City, MD and Panama City, Fl. Corolla does not meet this stereotype. Its a quaint community in the northern part of the Outer Banks, primarily visited by families. The beaches don’t seem to be too crowded, there aren’t an abundance of high rise hotels obstructing the views and you probably won’t run into a drunk person slumped over in a bar. Corolla is kind of like the suburban beach.





Corolla Beach

The first year we went to the OBX we stayed in Nags Head down the beach from Corolla. It was nice, but we kept driving North to Duck and Corolla, so we decided to actually stay in Corolla the following year. Corolla is a little more costly, but its worth it. There isn’t a whole lot in Corolla, so we would always drive down to Duck to go to dinner or shopping.



We were lucky enough to have a salt water pool at our beach house!


So if there isn’t much in Corolla, why would we want to stay there? Its proximity to the off-road beach area. In one of the northernmost parts of the beach area there is a section that can only be reached by foot or a vehicle with 4WD. Lucky for me, I drove a Jeep, so I was able to visit this area. Along the beach are wild horses, Colonial Spanish Mustangs, roaming the dunes. They are not necessarily full size, but they are definitely bigger than ponies. They walk in groups up and down the beach.



Watching the horses 2010












According to, the Corolla horses are critically endangered, so the area in which they live is protected. You must stay 50 feet away and it is illegal to feed the horses. The groups the horses travel in are called harems if they have 1 male and 3 or more females or they are called bachelor stallions if they are all male (these are usually males that are too young to have their own harem or not dominant).  The web site goes on to say that these horses are descendants of some of the finest horses in Spain and were brought over in the 1500s.

If you do make it to Corolla and you don’t have 4WD, don’t worry – there are plenty of tours you can book. Additional attractions in Corolla include: Whalehead, a former historic residence; Currituck Beach Lighthouse and shopping at the Cotton Gin. Further south in Duck there are additional restaurants and shopping.



Driving on the Beach 2011





Photo Credit: Michael Moriarty (see him in the mirror!)



Family shot 2011


Flowers in Duck


Currituck Lighthouse


Currituck Lighthouse Grounds


Currituck Lighthouse Grounds


Currituck Lighthouse Grounds


One thought on “Corolla, North Carolina

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: The Places My Feet (Shoes) Have Taken Me | The Journey of My Feet

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