Currituck County is effectively divided in two by the Currituck Sound, which creates two distinct and ecologically diverse regions: the Currituck Mainland, and the Currituck Barrier Island Beaches.

The Currituck Beaches are also referred to as the Northern Outer Banks, Currituck Island, or just "Corolla," which is the primary town in this region.

The barrier island region of the county attracts the bulk of Currituck's visitors, due to its miles of shoreline, famed historic attractions, and vast selection of shops, activities and vacation rentals. As such, every Currituck County visitor should make one visit to this famed region, which is distinctive, beautiful, and an ideal vacation destination for beach lovers.

Carova Beach

Currituck Beaches Quick Facts

  • Several centuries ago, the Currituck Beaches were their own distinctive "Island," thanks to the old Currituck Inlet which separated this region from the rest of the Outer Banks. The inlet has since closed, and the barrier island where the Currituck beaches are found is connected to the Dare County OBX communities of Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills.
  • The closest inlet is Oregon Inlet, which is located about 50 miles away from the county border, and separates Hatteras Island from the rest of the Outer Banks.
  • Currituck's beaches are considered the northernmost region of the Outer Banks, and span from the town borders of Duck in Dare County to the Virginia State Line.
  • The Currituck Beaches are bordered to the west by the Currituck Sound, and are bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • There are approximately 20 miles of oceanfront shoreline in Currituck County, however the island is about 1.75 miles wide at its widest point.
  • There are miles of beaches that are preserves or used as National Refuges. These regions include the Currituck Banks Reserve and the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Two of Currituck County's most visited attractions are found on the beaches - The Whalehead in Historic Corolla and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
  • There are about 500 year-round residents in the Currituck Beaches. In the summer, this number swells to 50,000 weekly visitors or more.

Currituck Beaches Communities

The Currituck Beaches are effectively split into two communities: The incorporated town of Corolla and the 4WD beaches, which are also generally referred to as "Carova." Both regions have their own unique qualities that are appealing to visitors.

Corolla NC at sunrise

Corolla History and Landscape

Corolla was originally a small European settlement of a handful of locals, but the town rose to prominence once wealthy northerners began to build esteemed estates and hunt clubs on the prime waterfowl hunting grounds. Initially known as Jones Hill, the town officially took the name of "Corolla" in 1895 with the establishment of a US Post Office.

Mass development began in Corolla in 1967, when a development company from Virginia purchased a large parcel of land that was divided into roughly 2,000 lots. The initial asking price for these properties was around $8,000, and now lot prices in Corolla are in the $250,000+ range.

When the two-lane NC Highway 12 was established, development boomed in the 1980s and 1990s, and today the town is home to several thousand vacation rentals, resorts, hotels, condo complexes, and an array of shops and restaurants.

Today, Corolla is a considered an upscale beach vacation destination that still remains popular with northeastern and East Coast visitors. Most visitors stay in vacation rental homes, which are found in abundance along the oceanfront and soundfront.

Activities to Enjoy in Corolla

Because Corolla is known as an elite vacation destination, visitors can enjoy a number of a typical beach or resort town activities.

The following activities and attractions are among the most popular things to do in Corolla.

Ghost crab homes on the beach in Corolla NC

Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The Waterfront Shops.

 

We offer a full line of Espresso Drinks from Hot Vanilla Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate to Iced Caramel Lattes & Frozen Mochas, all made to order. Big Buck’s fresh fruit smoothies are lactose-free and made to order. Also offering lactose-free sorbets made from the best fruits available. Old time favorites are sure to please! Choose from a delicious collection of milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits.

 

Savor the moment with our Homemade Chocolate! Chocolates are made daily in each location. We offer a large selection from Dark to Milk to White. Milk Chocolate Oreos & Almond Toffee, Dark Chocolate Berries and Cherries Clusters & Hand-dipped Peppermint Patties with a Drizzle of White Chocolate, Extra-Dark Sea Salt Caramels & our famous homemade caramel chocolate pretzels oh & don’t forget the ever-popular caramel pecan turtle, just to name a few treats!

 

Belinda Pleva grew up serving ice cream out of her parent’s shop. She loved being part of what she calls “a happy business.” “I love it when people come into the shop and you hand them something, and it makes them smile,” Pleva says. “That moment when you hand an ice cream cone over to a little kid and their eyes just light up. That’s what I love about the ice cream business.”

 

In 1994, Pleva opened up her own ice cream and chocolate shop, Big Buck’s Ice Cream, in the brand-new Timbuk II Shopping Center in Corolla. Business was good, but something was missing.

 

“I was never satisfied with the ingredients in the ice creams and chocolates you could purchase back then. I wanted to serve my customers delicious flavors with ingredients they could actually pronounce,” Pleva says.

 

Pleva took a trip to Italy to study the gelaterias. She fell in love with the incredible flavors, and when she returned home to the Outer Banks, she began working tirelessly to perfect the flavors in her own ice cream.

 

Big Buck’s homemade ice cream combined the flavors of the Italian gelaterias and the richness of American ice cream. It quickly became a tourist favorite. After having the same unsatisfactory experience with the readymade chocolates she was selling, she also took a trip to Brussels to learn more about making handmade chocolates. Pleva brought the chocolate-making experience right back with her, and the result was the finest quality of chocolates on the Outer Banks.

 

After her huge success in the Corolla shop, Pleva was able to open up three more shops—one in Kitty Hawk, one in Manteo and one in Duck.

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