Corolla NC is a small beach community with upscale dining, accommodation, and shopping. With minimal development but plenty of accommodations, visitors can enjoy a rustic feel with everything they want to escape and get away from it all. Families and visitors come to lounge on the beach, enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and take in the best the Outer Banks has to offer.

Corolla NC

Corolla (pronounced “Kuh-RAH-Luh”) is a popular beach destination for visitors to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Enjoy 24 miles of beautiful beaches with quaint, upscale restaurants and shopping in a true southern community. Natural beauty brings visitors to the seashore, surrounded by historic sites like Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Currituck Maritime Museum and the famous wild Spanish mustangs who roam the remote beaches. A visit to Corolla is relaxing and enjoyable for visitors of all ages with families enjoying the beaches during the day and fun activities available in the evening. This coastal getaway offers rustic to luxurious rentals, a small-town atmosphere, and unique experiences sure to build memories for years to come. The mild climate makes it the perfect place to explore the great outdoors and activities including surfing, fishing, golfing, and, of course, lounging on the beaches. Take a 4WD on the beach and explore the surf and sand or look for the wild horses who have lived there since the 1500s. Why not stay and play at this gorgeous, charming destination.

Corolla Location

Corolla is located between the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean in the northern part of the Outer Banks in Poplar Branch township. Located north of the town of Duck and south of Carova, Corolla is part of Currituck County. It is accessible by Highway 12 North. Corolla has a population of about 500 people but thousands come during summer months to vacation.
Resting between the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean


Corolla is the place to come for relaxation, fun, and a fantastic getaway. Enjoy the many beaches, activities and small-town atmosphere that make Corolla so unique. Dine in upscale restaurants, visit historic museums, or look for wild mustangs on the beach. Take a 4WD tour on the beach or catch a wave and surf the breakers.

Corolla Beach

The Outer Banks has beautiful beaches from remote and pristine to more widely utilized by locals and tourists. Many people come to beaches in Corolla, on the border of the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound, to surf, drive a 4WD or just hang out on the sand. Miles of unspoiled beaches exist without development and away from human footprints. The seclusion of Corolla beaches is the main draw. Corolla Beach offers picturesque views and an escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Visitors can bring dogs on leash all year round. Drivers may use a 4×4 vehicle to access the beach at the Northern end of NC 12 where the paved road ends.


Famous Corolla Horses

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund operates as a charitable organization that cares for and protects the wild horses on the northernmost beaches of the Outer Banks. The Corolla wild horses are a huge draw for locals and tourists but they are endangered by continued development and tourism. The organization monitors the horses, rescues injured mustangs, and promotes breed conservation and safety. The wild Spanish mustangs are unique to the area and are the only remaining wild herd left in the world. Brought in the 1500s on Spanish ships, they survived to make a home for themselves on the beaches. The best time to view them is from mid April to the end of May during off season when beaches are less crowded and mating season is in full swing. Take a 4×4 to spot them, take a tour and visit the Wild Horse Fund to get educated on conservation efforts.

Housing & Accommodation

Get away to Corolla where there are quiet places to retreat, hotels, and luxury accommodations such as homes and condos in this coastal paradise. Corolla and communities of Currituck Outer Banks offer upscale vacation rentals with all the amenities and places to stay that are smaller but still offer great options for visitors to explore the area. Although many renters in this area prefer vacation property rentals, a handful of hotels are available as well. Vacation rentals may offer pools, hot tubs, space for large groups and smaller spaces for quiet retreat. Check out the many B&Bs for a quaint feel to your stay or look at staying in nearby areas if those are full or you want to be close to a specific area in Corolla.

Corolla F.A.Q.

A great way to see the famous Corolla Wild Horses is by guided tour. The wild horse tours are booked through a tour company or the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. Visitors must stay 50 feet or further away from the wild horses, not feed or try to interact with them on tours. It is not advised to go out on your own but you may wish to rent a 4×4 to drive on the beach and may encounter them on your journey.


The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is part of Historic Corolla. The lighthouse is open for climbing every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The lighthouse requires a waiver before climbing the more than 200 steps to the top of this ancient red brick lighthouse. It is the only lighthouse in America that continues to flash its original first-order Fresnel lens light to serve as a navigational aid. Admission costs $12 for ages 4 and up, ages 3 and under are free with adult admission. The lighthouse is closed between December and mid-March every year to climbers. Don’t forget to bring a camera or binoculars to take in the fantastic views.

Visitors can bring a personal 4WD vehicle to the beach in designated areas only. 2WD and AWD are not advised on beaches as they are at risk of getting stuck. Speed limits are posted and traffic laws for pavement nearby are posted for safety. Motorists and pedestrians share the beaches so caution is required while driving. The two main areas of access are Corolla/Carova with no driving permit required (just parking permits). Permit information can be obtained here. South Nags Head Hatteras/Ocracoke Islands require permits as they are maintained by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. They also offer great fishing and a nice trip aside from beach cruising.

Who said the beaches are the main thing? Aside from the wonderful sand and surf, there is much more to explore. Enjoy nature trails, visit the Currituck Beach Lighthouse to climb the staircase for a majestic view of the ocean or try something more thrilling with Corolla Watersports. Rent kayaks, paddleboards, wave runners or try parasailing. Hit the streets for some great shopping at high end boutiques, specialty stores and buy local art. Dine on delicious food and drink at many of the restaurants in Corolla, NC from fine dining to a more laid back atmosphere. Try Corolla Village Barbecue or eat a slice of pizza at La Dolce Vita. There are also award-winning vineyards and beautiful golf courses to try with friends and family.

Corolla offers two public beach accesses. One is south of Twiddy Corolla office, across from the Lighthouse and the other is across from the CUrrituck County Visitors Center. Overnight parking is not permitted. For public beach access locations, vehicles must have a county-issued Beach Parking permit displayed on their cars from the last Saturday of April through the first Saturday of October. If a house is in the 4WD rental program, the management company distributes guest permits to renters. Weekly beach parking permits are available through the county website for $50 each. Due to limited parking, it is best to seek out parking early for beaches during high season.