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Visit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund Museum and Store. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is the non-profit 501 (c) (3) charity that is responsible for the care and protection of the wild Banker horses roaming the northernmost beaches of the Outer Banks. Our museum contains exhibits of the horses' historic and cultural significance, and our gift shop is filled with mission-related items that are sure to please horse lovers of all ages.

Check our online events calendar for fun and educational activities all summer long and periodically throughout the year. Our Museum and Gift Shop are open year-round. All proceeds benefit the Fund and its work to protect, conserve, and responsibly manage the Corolla wild horses.

What does the Corolla Wild Horse Fund do? Management includes monitoring herd and individual horse health; 24/7, 365 days a year emergency response and rescue; breed conservation; maintenance of an off-island rescue facility; gentling and training of horses removed from the wild as a result of life-threatening illness or injury; and scientific and veterinary research studies in partnership with organizations including NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, and UC Davis. Our support programs include public education, advocacy, habitat preservation, and children's activities.

What motivated the group to form? Prior to 1985, the stretch of road between Duck and Corolla remained unpaved and infrequently traveled. The paved road was finished that year, and from that time until 1996, twenty horses were struck by vehicles. Paving the road allowed for major development and led to more and more contact between wild horses and humans, and their vehicles. A group of citizen-volunteers came together to try to change this tragic, destructive pattern and better protect the Bankers.

"The Sanctuary" and the Sound-to-Sea Fence The early founders of CWHF researched and attempted several strategies to stop horse fatalities caused by traffic on Highway 12 between Duck and Corolla. In the end, the most effective solution, although controversial, was to move the remaining twenty horses north of the paved road to the 4x4 area. No one was certain just how many wild horses were already in the unpaved area north of Corolla. By 1997, CWHF completed the southern sound-to-sea fence at the end of the hard road and the wild horses were relocated to the new "sanctuary."

The northernmost fence is eleven miles north of the road terminus on the Virginia state line. Unfortunately for the horses, development continues to push north. Although referenced as a wild horse "sanctuary", the 7,544 acres of land accessible to the horses is actually a mix of 1/3 public land and 2/3 private land. There are 3,000+ platted lots with about 30% of the northern beaches currently developed. The beach itself is considered a road open to the public. It is the only access for residents and visitors to Swan Beach, North Swan Beach, and Carova, the growing communities north of the hard road.

A documentary detailing the formation of the Fund and its effort to relocate the horses can be viewed in our Museum and Gift Shop in the Historic Corolla Village.

Locations and Activities

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund Museum and Gift Shop is located at:
1130-E Corolla Village Road, Corolla, NC 27927

Our Museum and Gift Shop are open Monday- Friday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

We exhibit 22 educational panels about the horses as well as two documentaries. Visitors are welcome year-round.

Order online and shipping is available to all 50 states. Porch Pick-up is available Monday-Friday.

Please check our calendar of events to see what's happening each week during the season, such as Mustang Mornings at the Farm, open houses, and various collaborative celebrations with local vendors. All events listed to be at the Farm (this includes Mustang Mornings and all Open Houses) take place on the mainland in Grandy. www.corollawildhorses.org

We welcome the opportunity to speak to your group about the wild horses of Corolla who are designated as the State Horse and defined as a cultural treasure by the state of North Carolina. If you would like a representative to speak to your classroom or civic association, please email for more information (info@corollawildhorses.com).

Help Us Keep the Horses Safe!

View the Bankers from at least 50 feet away (Currituck County Wild Horse Ordinance) and PLEASE DO NOT FEED! It is against the law and carries a substantial fine. Moreover, feeding can be fatal. The wild horses have a very specialized diet and are only used to digesting the natural beach grasses that the land affords. Feeding puts them at risk for painful and sometimes fatal colic. Appropriately disposing and securing outdoor trash to prevent the horses from harm is critical. It is essential for your safety as well as the horses’ safety to follow all regulations.

Please report any infractions such as feeding and harassment of the horses to Currituck County Dispatch at 252-453-3633. Thank you for your cooperation and for your support!



*Off-season hours may vary*
Call 252-453-8002 for current hours.
  • Monday10:00AM-04:00PM
  • Tuesday10:00AM-04:00PM
  • Wednesday10:00AM-04:00PM
  • Thursday10:00AM-04:00PM
  • Friday10:00AM-04:00PM
The Cotton Gin

For those traveling to the Outer Banks, The Cotton Gin is a beloved landmark with its large windmill and picturesque gardens. The Cotton Gin has stood in the same location since 1929, starting as a working cotton gin and growing to a gift store with 4 locations. Visitors are treated to a unique shopping experience in our main store in Jarvisburg, as well as our beach stores in Corolla, Duck, and Nags Head. Explore room after room filled with décor for your home and coastal fashions for both men and women. Discover the brands you really want, like, Vera Bradley, Vineyard Vines, La Mer Luex, Simply Southern, Lindsay Phillips, Scout, Pandora, Kameleon, Brighton, Spartina, Tommy Bahama, Southern Tide and Salt Life and Old Guys Rule - all under one roof!


Don’t forget the gourmet market, or shop our beautiful linens for your bedroom and bath. We also feature coastal books and fine art, or just a whimsical fun gift to bring home to family and friends. Stop by soon and don’t forget to try our estate grown wines in our stores or visit our vineyard and winery, Sanctuary Vineyards, located adjacent to the original Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg.


Most know The Cotton Gin as a must-stop shop for fine gifts, beachwear, souvenirs and so much more, but this retailer has a long-standing history within the Outer Banks. A local landmark that holds almost a century of memories, The Cotton Gin started from humble beginnings and continues to adapt to the times and tourists. Tommy Wright’s family has been in the Outer Banks for nearly 200 years. His great-great grandfather, Jacob Francis Wright, shipwrecked in Duck back in the early 1800s. Calling these barrier islands his new home, Wright and his family acclimated to their new environment.


Adaptation is a common theme for the Wright family. Tommy and his wife Candace, who continue to steer The Cotton Gin, have seen not only their business change with the times, but the Outer Banks as a vacation destination as well. A farm market in Jarvisburg eventually transformed and flourished into several retail locations dotting the Outer Banks.


“As the area changed and tourism took off in the 1960s, the family saw people coming for vacations, so they began to grow vegetables and things developed from there,” says Tommy Wright. The Wright family expanded upon the farm market and began to remodel a working cotton gin, later transforming the gin into The Cotton Gin general store in the late 1960s. While the additions to the farm store drew visitors, it was their encounters with the Wright family that kept people coming back year after year, which is something that remains true today.

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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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