Vacationers can stay in Corolla for a night or more at a hotel or generally for a week or more at a vacation rental home or condo.
To get to Corolla, visitors will want to head to the Outer Banks via the Wright Memorial Bridge in Currituck County, and head north on NC Highway 12, past the towns of Duck and Southern Shores.
Corolla is roughly 20 miles away from the Wright Memorial Bridge.
Carova / 4WD Beaches History and Landscape
The 4WD or Carova region of the Currituck Beaches begin where the paved road ends, at the northern borders of the incorporated town of Corolla.
The region was originally sought after by developers who wanted to continue the paved NC Highway 12, and make the landscape similar to that of neighboring Corolla. However, the establishment of the Currituck Banks Reserve on the northern Corolla borders, which covers the width of the island, put a halt to these plans. As a result, only vehicles with 4WD access can reach these beaches.
Even so, development did continue in the Carova area in the 1980s and 1990s, slowly at first, and then with a small but noticeable boom in the 2000s. Because there are limited zoning restrictions for residences in the 4WD area, Carova is actually home to some of the largest houses in the Outer Banks, which includes rental homes with 18, 20 or even 25 bedrooms.
Other than homes, however, there is no commercial development allowed, and ergo no businesses, restaurants, shops or services of any kind.
Carova is home to nearly 120 wild horses, which are believed to be the descendants of 16th Century Spanish Shipwrecks. The horses roam freely in the 4WD area along the beaches, in the two large parcels of protected land (the Currituck Banks Preserve and the National Currituck Wildlife Refuge) and even in the small residential communities.
Activities to Enjoy in Carova / 4WD Beaches
Because of the lack of commercial development in the 4WD / Carova area, all popular activities in this region revolve around the great outdoors.
Visitors to Carova enjoy the following activities, in addition to plenty of time dedicated to just lounging on the beach.
- Wild Horse Tours, including Corolla Wild Horse Tours, Wild Horse Adventure Tours, Back Country Safari Tours, and Bob's Corolla Wild Horse Tours
- Hiking along the rugged paths and elevated boardwalk at the Currituck Banks Reserve
- Hunting, fishing, and hiking in the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge
- Bird watching in the reserve and refuge
- Surf fishing
- Currituck Sound watersports and boating
- Clamming and crabbing along the soundside islands
- At-home amenities, including private pools, game rooms, hot tubs, and theater rooms
Visiting Carova / 4WD Beaches
Visitors MUST have a 4WD vehicle to access the Carova / 4WD Beaches. Visitors will want to head north on NC Highway 12, through the town of Corolla, until the road ends at a 4WD sand ramp that leads to the beach.
There are roughly 11 miles of beaches to explore before the island is closed off at the Virginia State Line and the border of Virginia's False Cape State Park.
Visitors can stay at vacation rental homes in the region which are rented on a weekly basis. There are no condos, hotels, or motels in the 4WD area, and camping is not allowed.