Corolla, North Carolina is just one of the beautiful "towns"on this beautiful sandbar we call the Outer Banks. There's so much to say abouteach part of the popular vacation destination that I couldn't possibly fit everythingabout every area in one list. Not to mention, each town has its own uniquefeatures and history. Maybe you've been on the OBX more times than you can bebothered to count or maybe you haven't gotten the chance just yet; either way,here are a few things about the Currituck Outer Banks area that you shouldknow.
1. Beach Driving
If you go to the northernmost part of Corolla, past TheVillages at Ocean Hill community, you'll reach what's known as the 4x4 area ofthe Currituck beaches. If you're vacationing in the Northern Outer Banks areand have access to a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, you'll want to take advantage ofthis one of a kind opportunity. Gather up the family, pile in the Jeep and takea cruise to your own little spot on the coast for the day. If you do get thechance, make sure you brush up on all the need-to-know information so that you'refully prepared. For a quick rundown of the laws/guidelines and generalinformation about the 4x4 area, check out our blog, AGuide to 4x4 Carova, Outer Banks, NC (AKA Corolla 4x4).
2. There's a Lot of History
From the Historic Corolla Park and WhaleheadClub to the ambiguous, and widely debated, history of the wild horses, thisstretch of the Outer Banks has a rich history all it's own. People tend toforget that the Outer Banks is one of the earliest areas to be settled so thehistory goes back to the 1500s and beyond. Even the name "Currituck," meaning"land of the wild goose" is derived from the Native Americans who first livedthere. From the time the Outer Banks was settled to now, a lot has changed inthis area, now known as Corolla.
3. Wild Horses
Speaking of the wildhorses, if there's one thing you've heard about Corolla, it probably has todo with these beautiful creatures that grace the dunes. These protected, feralhorses, after 450 years of isolation, are a distinctive breed to the OuterBanks. They're fairly short and stocky, thrive on the wild grasses, and are abeautiful sight to see. Genetics have established that these horses aredescendants of the Spanish Mustangs of the Conquistadores, but the big mysteryis...how did they get here? Some theories are that they escaped sinking shipsduring transport, they were left behind as Spanish colonies evacuated, or arewere they brought over with the Lost Colony? We may never know the exact storybut one thing is for sure, we're sure happy they're here! If you ever get thechance, make sure to go on a wild horse tour to see them in all their glory.
Depending on what time of year you visit, there may belimited dining options directly in Corolla. Many restaurants are open on aseasonal basis, generally May through September, but they're all delicious. Acouple of my favorites are Agave Roja, Philly Steak Subs, Cosmos Pizza, and Offthe Wall Taphouse. Even if none of these options sound like exactly what you'relooking for, there are more dining options in nearby Duck!
5. Respect the Dunes
All along the Outer Banks, you'll see signs saying somethingalong the lines of "please stay off the dunes". These protective mounds aren'ta natural occurrence. The manmade dunes and their seagrass have been put inplace to protect the beaches from eroding away. Each harsh storm our beautifulcoast bares would be much harsher if it weren't for these dunes!
6. Off-season Vacations are Tranquil
Contrary to what may come to mind when you think of a beach"town" or what you've seen with mid-summer traffic, Corolla does not boast alarge population. There are less than 800 permanent residents in Corolla, NC,which is quite the opposite of what you would expect when you look at the greatinflux of visitors throughout the season. That's why if you're looking for aslow-paced atmosphere, serene seascapes and little to no crowds, and evensaving some money on lodging while you're at it, a fall or winter vacation toCorolla might be your new favorite getaway.
7. It's "Cor-rah-la" not "Cuh-roll-uh"
In the grand scheme of things, this is probably the mostminor on the list. But it's worth noting that the pronunciation is a bitdifferent that what it may look like at face value. It may be spelt the same asthe popular Toyota sedan, but locals and frequent visitors know it's a bitdifferent.
8. It's Truly Captivating
No matter what time of year, how many people there are, orwhere you decide to get dinner, there's one thing that everyone who visits thearea can agree on: it has an allure like no other place on earth. Between thelazy beach days that restore the soul and making lifelong memories with thefamily, it's no surprise that Corolla is cherished by locals and visitorsalike. I mean, what's not to love?