At the northern end of the Outer Banks on what’s known as the Currituck Outer Banks, Corolla is an upscale resort area that caters to vacationers with luxurious cottages, numerous shopping, dining and recreational opportunities, and of course, expansive
The area’s 3,000 vacation homes are known for their lavish comforts, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, fireplaces and amazing views. Some of them have sleeping accommodations for 20 or more and are popular places for several families to vacation together. There are 11 planned housing developments in the Corolla area, each with a unique character. Kelly’s beach Retreat is located in Ocean Sands Section D. Ocean Sands is an ocean side community with city water/sewer, tennis, lakes, walking paths and vast areas of open space (undeveloped land for improved ocean views). Section D is directly across from the Currituck Golf Club and Harris Teeter shopping center. The Ten Buck Two shopping center is about 2 and one half miles North. It includes a Food Lion, movie theater, restaurants and additional shopping.
Corolla (pronounced cor-AH-la) gets its name from the term for the inner petals of a flower. Attractions in Corolla include the 1895 red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse, which is open for climbing. Just south of the lighthouse is the Whalehead Club, a
copper-roofed, canary yellow mansion that literally leaps out of the surrounding landscape. It is being restored to its former 1922 hunt-club glory and will one day house a wildlife museum. Old Corolla Village, north of the lighthouse, reveals the history of this once-isolated community with dusty unpaved roads, a one-room schoolhouse, restored homes and the charming Corolla Chapel. North of Corolla is a four-wheel-drive area, where feral horses roam around munching on beach grass and drinking rainwater. Several companies rent ATVs for touring this area and spying on the horses.
More horse pictures below!
Corolla Beach Equipment Rentals:
- Just for the Beach Rentals – Phone: 866-OBX-RENT
- Ocean Atlantic Rentals – Phone: 800-635-9559
- Moneys Worth Rentals – Phone: 800-833-5233
We recommend reserving the equipment before you arrive since the demand is high in the summer. If you use pickup, make sure you use the location closest to the Currituck Golf Club. If you use delivery, our address is 538 White Whale Way in Ocean Sands Section D.
General Corolla Visitor Guides
OBX- Things To Do
Corolla Raceway Phone: (252) 453-9100
Bumper Cars and Go Karts that the entire family will enjoy. Located in the TimBuck II shopping center about 3 miles North
Corolla Adventure Golf and Bumper Cars Phone: (252) 453-7777
Putt Putt golf courses and bumper cars also located in the TimBuck II shopping center about 3 miles North.
North Beach Watersports Phone: (252)455-9977
Near the Inn at Corolla Light about 5 miles North. Offers all types of watersports including jet skis, parasailing, kayaks, tubing, pontoons, etc
Corolla Water Sports Phone: (252) 453-6900
In the TimBuck II shopping center about 3 miles North. Offers all types of watersports including jet skis, paddleboards, paddleboats, sunset cruises, parasailing, kayaks, tubing, pontoons, etc. They also have local blue crabs for sail. Views / photos at sunset from the pier are great.
Coastal Explorations (252) 453-9872
Just past the Currituck Lighthouse in the historic Corolla Village about 6 miles North. Offers paddleboard and kayak nature tours of the Currituck Sound.
There are lots of restaurants in Corolla offering local seafood and NC barbeque, casual or fine dining and at all price ranges. Most are extremely crowded from June the August. Reservation when allowed (way in advance of your vacation if possible) are a must for large groups. Below are some of our favorites.
- Lighthouse Bagels and Deli (252) 453-9998 near Foodlion 3 miles North. Awesome bagels, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast pastries. There will be a long line all morning. I suggest ordering from their website. Seating is limited on outside picnic tables.
- Off the Wall Tap House (252) 489-5114 near Harris Teeter ~1/4 mile North. Great food with beer and cider by the once. Inside and outside casual seating. Open year round.
- Urban Kitchen (252) 453-4453 Great food near Harris Teeter ~1/4 mile North. limited seating – get there early. They do not take reservations nor do they seat parties greater than 6. Great for a date night. Desserts are excellent.
- North Banks (252) 453-3344 Great seafood located in the TimBuck II shopping center. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations and do not have an indoor waiting area but you can shop in he local stores or watch the go carts while you wait. They only accommodate parties of 8 or less and everyone must be there prior to seating.
- Avalon Pier (mile post 6) 252-441-7494
- Nags Head Fishing Pier (mile post 12) 252-441-5141
- Jeanette’s Pier (mile post 16.5) 252 441-6116
- Outer Banks Fishing Pier (mile post 18.5) 252-441-5740
Off-shore Fishing Information
Call ahead of time to make sure the boats went out, then be there at 3:30 to see what they caught.
- Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301
- Pirates Cove Marina 252-473-3906
- The Carolina Club-Grandy 252-453-3588
- The Currituck Club-Corolla (recommend, expensive) 252-453-9400
- The Point Golf Club-Powell’s Point (recommend, low cost) 252-491-8388
- Goose Creek Golf Country Club-Grandy 252-453-4008
- Seascape Golf Course, Kitty Hawk 252-261-2157
- Nags Head Golf Links, Village at Nags Head 252-441-8073
- Ocean Sands Section D Private – one block North
- Sanderling Spa (252) 261-7744, in the Sanderling Resort ~5 miles South
- Eden Day Spa and Salon (252) 453-0712, near Foodlion ~3 miles North
- Aqua Spa (252) 261-9709, located in Duck ~8 miles South
- OBX Message Therapy In home messages
Outer Banks Attractions
OBX Center for Wildlife Education: [Recommend] 252-453-0221 Free
A Wildlife Education Center in Corolla approx 3 miles North on the sound between the Whalehead Club and Currituck Beach Lighthouse offers great educational programs all year long that focus on the theme of exploring coastal North Carolina’s natural history and heritage. The daily free programs teach participants about such topics as birding, sound ecology, ocean ecology, animal tracking, orienteering, sea turtles, fishing and much more. Advanced registration is required for all programs. Exhibits focus on conservation, waterfowl and hunting heritage, natural history, local heritage, ecology and fishing. The Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but closed on Sundays.
Currituck Maritime Museum: [Recommend] Free M-F 10 AM – 4 PM
Opened on July 16, 2021 near the Currituck Lighthouse, Whalehead Mansion and the OBX Center for Wildlife Education this is an excellent place to learn more about the local history
Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center: [Recommend] 252-441-7430
A full-scale reproduction of the original plan, information, exhibits and more are on display. Open year round. Small admission fee.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park: [Recommend] 252-441-7132 Free
Located in Nags Head off Hwy. 158. Highest standing sand dunes on the east coast.
OBX Welcome Center: 800-BY-THE-SEA or 252-473-2138
Milepost 1.5 at Kitty Hawk. Intersection has a wealth of information on area attractions including lighthouse national seashore and more
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site: 252-473-5772
In 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh’s explorers and colonists established their settlement here. Virginia Dare was the first child of English parents born in America before the colony’s mysterious disappearance. Open year round.
The Lost Colony: 252-473-3414
Paul Green’s symphonic outdoor drama tells the story of America’s first settlement-an unsolved historical mystery. Presently nightly, except Saturday at Waterside Theater at for Raleigh mid-June through August. Admission Fee.
Elizabethan Gardens: 252-473-3234
Located at Fort Raleigh commemorates Queen Elizabeth and The Lost Colony. Incredible herb garden, wildflowers, trees, plants and priceless pieces of antique statuary. Open mid-March through November, Admission fee.
Elizabeth II State Historic Site: 252-473-1144
This sailing vessel is representative of a 16th century vessel that brought England’s first New Work colonists to Roanoke Island. Admission fee.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Museum: [Recommend] 252-453-4939
Located in Corolla. Fee to climb the lighthouse
Roanoke Island Festival Park: 252-475-1506
Home of Elizabeth II, is a history, education, and cultural arts complex that celebrates the story of the biggest little island in American history. Through living history interpretation, a maze of interactive exhibits, a motion picture, and a variety of visual and performing arts programs, visitors explore the evolution of Roanoke Island and Outer Banks from the late 16th century to the early 20th century. Opposite the Manteo Waterfront.
Chicamicomico Life Saving Station: 252-987-1552
This well-known Outer Banks landmark was built in 1874 and is now being restored. See display at the visitor center recounting the station crews’ daring rescues. Visitor center is open may through October on Tuesday-Saturday from 11am to 5pm. A beach apparatus drill is held during the summer months on Thursdays at 2pm. NC Route 12, Rodanthe. No admission fee, but donations are needed for restoration work.
North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island: [Recommend] 252-473-3494
Recommend but it’s an hour+ drive South. The newly renovated, 68,000-square foot aquarium features a deep ocean tank complete with fish, sharks and turtle as well as a natural habitat area with river otters, alligators, snakes and more. Summer hours 9am-7pm; winter hours 9am-5pm. Located at 374 Airport Road on Roanoke Island.
Whalehead Mansion: [Recommend] 252-453-9040
Currituck County now owns this grand 70-year-old hunt club in the village of Corolla. It will house the Currituck Wildlife Museum when restoration work is complete. In the meantime, tours of the partially restored and furnished rooms are available during summer months. Admissions fee is used for restoration work.
Bodie Island Lighthouse: 252-473-2111
This lighthouse in the Cape Hatteras national Seashore was complete in 1848. The tower is not open to the public, but during summer, the restored keeper’s quarters serve as a visitor center. Located off NC Route 12, south of Nags Head. No admission fee.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: 252-995-4474
100 miles south of Ocean Sands. There are 268 steps to the top of the nation’s tallest brick lighthouse. The lighthouse has been relocated.
Corolla Wild Horses: [Recommend]
6 miles North, tours (which include Corolla/OBX history) or your own 4 wheel drive vehicle. These horses are descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought here by early explorers. In 2010 the North Carolina General Assembly designated the Colonial Spanish Mustang as the official state horse. This is well worth the price of a tour or driving on your own, just keep in mind these are wild horses.