Corolla NC Attractions

Every Corolla Attraction Is Detailed Here

The main Corolla NC attraction is the oceanfront — miles and miles of beaches that are lined with fabulous Corolla vacation rental homes. You’ll find plenty of other things to do here including lots of shops and restaurants, fishing adventures and other water sports.

The Whalehead Club and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse are the two major Corolla attractions for visitors in the area. Everyone loves climbing the lighthouse, and people return year after year to see the unique architecture at the historic club. The newest Corolla NC attraction at Currituck Heritage Park is the Center for Wildlife Education.

Just north of the lighthouse is old Corolla village. Here you’ll find old homes, quaint shops and friendly folk in an atmosphere that is very different from the rest of the beach.

Just when you think you’re getting somewhere, the paved road ends abruptly at the beach. You can keep going, however, driving on the beach into what the locals call the four-wheel drive area, up to Penny’s Hill, Swan Beach and Carova Beach, where there are more Corolla rental homes and a few full-time residents, including wild horses. About 10 miles up the beach, there’s a gate blocking you from entering the state of Virginia. This is the ending point of Currituck’s Outer Banks. You have to turn around and go back the way you came.

Corolla Attractions by Category

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours

1159-H Austin Street, Corolla
(252) 453-6141

Back Beach Wild Horse Tours' highly trained staff has a great reputation for being entertaining and informative. Their tours last 2 hours and incorporate quite a bit of local history to complement the sightseeing while showering you with interesting lore. In the four-wheel-drive area you’ll see the Corolla wild horses grazing in their natural habitat, the occasional deer and surfing dolphins. Back Beach tours are given in safari style, open-air vehicles — for a one of a kind Outer Banks activity! They can accommodate large groups up to 15 people. Call for details and reservations. All tours have a money back guarantee if you don’t see the horses (restrictions apply).

Back Country Wild Horse Safari

Corolla Light Town Center, Corolla
(252) 453-0877

Scott Trabue’s Wild Horse Safari is an off-road eco-adventure that will deliver you and your family directly to the wild Spanish Mustangs that have thrived on the northern Outer Banks for nearly 500 years. Your naturalist guide will carry you in custom open-air Safari Cruisers through 30 miles of beaches, dune and back country sand lanes to discover the Outer Banks’ unique wildlife. Shore life including pelicans, dolphins and osprey are almost always present. You will hear stories about the Ghost Fleet and Outer Banks maritime history and learn about the mysterious petrified forest. Back Country Outfitters has exclusive access to the Spanish Mustang Preserve, where sightings of these regal wild horses are guaranteed, while your tour guide explains their Spanish Colonial heritage and the local preservation efforts. Reservations are required.

Bob’s Wild Horse Tours

817 B Ocean Trail, Highway 12, Corolla
(252) 453-8602

Bob White is a legend in the horse tour business! He and his highly trained staff have been offering tours since 1996 with a great reputation for being both entertaining and informative. Bob’s tours last two hours and incorporate quite a bit of local history and interesting lore to complement the sightseeing. In the four-wheel-drive area you’ll see the horses grazing in their natural habitat, often along with the sight of surfing dolphins. All tours are given in safari style open-air vehicles — for a one of a kind experience! — and they can accommodate large groups up to 15 people. Call for details and reservations. All tours have a money back guarantee if you don’t see the horses (restrictions apply).

Corolla Wild Horse Museum

1129 Corolla Village Road, Corolla
(252) 453-8002

Housed within a historic home in Corolla Village, the free Corolla Wild Horse Fund museum shares the wonderful history and legacy of the Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought to our island nearly 500 years ago, they are a hardy and majestic breed that is teetering on the brink of extinction. At the museum the whole family can learn more from their knowledgeable staff, photography and historical information. Donations are accepted and encouraged.

Take the Trip of a Lifetime to see the wild horses, riding with the experts in charge of the actual management and care of the wild herd. All funds raised go right back into the care and protection of the wild horses. Prices are $20 for children and $45 for adults. Please call for reservations or book your trip at www.corollawildhorses.com

Here are some special events for the summer:

Paint your own wild Colonial Spanish Mustang! The Corolla Wild Horse Fund sponsors horse painting for kids every Tuesday and Thursday, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Paint, brushes and smocks are provided, and kids of all ages can join in the fun. Artists can choose from large wooden horses attached to posts that stay up all week for visitors to admire or smaller wooden horse cut-outs to paint that day or paint later. This event is also offered at their second location in Scarborough Faire Shopping Village in Duck every Wednesday from 1:30 to 5 from June 8 to August 31. All proceeds benefit the wild horses. This is such a fun Outer Banks thing to do!

On Fridays, from May 27 through September 30, weather permitting, a gentled Colonial Spanish Mustang is ready to meet and greet your family at the Wild Horse Museum in Corolla from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Corolla Wild Horse Fund staff and trained volunteers provide fascinating information about the history of wild horses and how YOU can help save this heritage breed. Petting is encouraged!

While a lot of the fun programming happens during the summer, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is open all year, so please stop by to visit.

Corolla Wild Horse Tours

1210 Ocean Trail, Corolla
(252) 207-0511

Corolla Wild Horse Tours has been guiding tours to Corolla’s horse country — the four-wheel-drive-only beaches north of Corolla — since 1996. With these experienced and knowledgeable guides, you can sit back and enjoy a comfortable, family-oriented tour. This company uses 15-passenger open-air safari-style trucks that are safe for any age, including kids in car seats. Along the trip, your guide will tell you about the history of Corolla and the horses as well as point out all the wonders of nature. The guides have been certified by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and have a reputation of being quite entertaining. The 2-hour tours, which cover about 25 miles of off-road area, run all day long until sunset.

 

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

1101 Corolla Village Road, Corolla
(252) 453-4939

The red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse towers above the landscape in the Historic Corolla village. Visitors to this Outer Banks attraction can climb the winding staircase, 220 steps in all, to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks. Inside the lighthouse, at the base and on the first two landings, there are museum-quality lighthouse exhibits. On the way up or down, stop to learn about the history of coastal lighthouses, the Fresnel lens, shipwrecks and the lighthouse keepers.

The 162-foot lighthouse was first lit on December 1, 1875. Onsite keepers, who lived in homes at the base of the lighthouse, operated the lighthouse until it was automated in 1937. With automation, the lighthouse no longer required a regular keeper. The lighthouse and its outbuildings fell into disrepair for decades until a nonprofit group called Outer Banks Conservationists (OBC) stepped in to save the lighthouse in the 1980s. OBC renovated the keepers’ buildings to re-create their past glories and restored the lighthouse to make it safe to climb. In July 2003, The U.S. Department of the Interior awarded OBC ownership of the lighthouse.

It costs only $10 to climb the lighthouse (cash or check) and children ages 7 and younger climb for free with an adult. The lighthouse is open daily from before Easter through Thanksgiving. Climbing hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the summer. During extreme weather, the lighthouse is closed to climbing.

The nearby Double Keepers’ House is used as a private residence, but it makes for great photographs. You can go inside the small Keeper’s House, moved to the site in 1920 from Long Point Light Station in the Currituck Sound, which is now a Museum Shop and stocks everything lighthouse-related you could ever imagine. T-shirts, hats, books, postcards, blankets, taffy, ornaments, jewelry, magnets, figurines and more fill this former keeper’s residence. See the Shopping section.

Currituck Outer Banks Visitors Center

500 Hunt Club Drive, Corolla
(252) 453-9612

The Currituck Outer Banks Visitors Center offers restrooms plus all the visitor information and assistance you'll need for a trip to Corolla and its surrounding areas. You'll find it on the west side of N.C. Highway 12 on the south end of the Currituck Club; if heading north, start looking for it on the left after you pass the Hampton Inn.

Currituck County also operates the Currituck County Welcome Center on the NC/VA state line next to the Border Station convenience store. It offers restrooms, free WiFi and coffee and tons of information and assistance for visitors. Passengers, go ahead and pick up the local publications here because you still have an hour's ride from here to Corolla.