Monthly Archives: March 2016

Handicap Accessibility

The Currituck Outer Banks is striving to provide all of our visitors’ easy access to our beautiful beaches and historic areas.

Many vacation rental homes are available for vacationers who require adaptive equipment for access within the homes and to the beach.

Our vacation rental companies are able to provide interested visitors with a list of homes that will work for their needs.


Visitors may rent beach equipment (including beach wheelchairs) at these convenient locations:

Corolla has two beach accesses with ramps for beach wheelchairs.  The first access is across from the Currituck Visitor’s Center and the second is at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse on Corolla Village Road. The Corolla Village Road ramp is updated with an improved parking lot, paved walkway, and dune walkover to the beach.

You May Also Be Interested In: 


Beach Driving Tips

Beach Safety Rules & Tips

Swimming Safety & Rip Currents

  • If you see red flags flying, this indicates that a rip current has been spotted, or due to the conditions in the water, a rip current is likely. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, do not panic, swim out of the current, parallel to the shoreline.
  • Always swim near a lifeguard. If you need assistance, wave your arms for help. You should never swim alone.
  • Do not enter the water if you do not know how to swim.

What Should I Do If…

  • …I get caught in a rip current? Stay calm and try not to panic. Don’t try to swim directly to shore; swim out of the current in a direction parallel to the shoreline and slowly work your way back to the beach at an angle.  For a great explanation on how to escape a rip current, check out the video below:

  • …I lose my child? Locate a lifeguard who will use radios to communicate a description of your child. Stay with that lifeguard; he or she is your liaison with all other rescue personnel. Send a family member back to your house, if it is within walking distance, to determine if your child is there.
    To prevent or minimize such a situation from happening, parents should discuss with their children beach safety and the importance of maintaining visual contact with one another. Make sure everyone knows where they are staying, including the house name. Put a bracelet on smaller children with all pertinent contact information.
  • …I get stung by a jelly fish? A normal reaction to a jelly fish sting is red welts and sometimes itching or stinging. Unless you are experiencing difficulty breathing or are breaking out in hives, your reaction is typical and the best thing to do is apply heat and/or ammonia to break down the proteins in the venom. Do not scrub the sting with sand; this only agitates the stingers. If you do experience any difficulty breathing or any other adverse reaction, contact a lifeguard or call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • …I see a shark? Shark sightings at the Outer Banks are extremely rare. But if you think you see a shark, DO NOT yell “SHARK!” like they do in the movies. That’s like yelling “FIRE!” in a movie theater.  You would do nothing but incite panic. In all probability, it is not a shark. It could be a ray, a dolphin, a floating piece of debris, etc. If you think you see a shark, you should locate a lifeguard and calmly relay the location of your sighting and a detailed description of what you saw. That lifeguard will contact the appropriate authorities and they will determine what action should be taken.
  • …I see red flags flying? Red flags on the beach indicate that ocean conditions are considered unsafe and the risk is too high for the average swimmer. In addition, swimming when red flags are posted is against the law, and you will be fined. Churning water can easily knock you down, and reports of broken bones are not uncommon. Rough water also produces floating debris, such as ship timbers. Adults wading in knee-deep water can be knocked down by powerful waves and dragged by rip currents on red-flag days.
    (Note: A surfer may enter the water if he/she is attached by leash to a fiberglass surf board of at least 5 feet in length and has at least one fin. Please be aware that most rental surf boards are not made of fiberglass and, therefore, do NOT meet this exception.
  • …I get caught in a backwash current? To escape this current, swim straight toward shore if you are a strong swimmer. If you are not a strong swimmer, do not panic; wait and float until the current stops, then swim in.

Beach Safety Rules & Tips

lifeguard bouy

Each year, thousands of visitors enjoy the beautiful beaches of Currituck and Corolla on the Outer Banks. Currituck County wants to ensure this natural environment is maintained for years to come, and that our visitors enjoy a “sunsational” Corolla beach vacation!

Safety Information:

Pine Island Station 470 Ocean Trail (Route 12) Corolla, NC 27927
Whalehead Station  827 Whalehead Drive Corolla, NC 27927
Corolla Fire & Rescue Volunteer Fire Department sells T-shirts at the Pine Island Station.
Please contact us with any questions.
Corolla Ocean Rescue website

Learn More About:

Swimming Safety & Rip Currents
SEAL Program
Water Sense
Shark Safety Info from NOAA
Beach Driving Tips
Beach Access Locations
Handicap Accessibility

Here are a few tips, rules, and regulations that will keep our beaches safe, fun and clean for years to come:

  • Help keep our OBX beaches clean; remove all trash from the beach when you leave.
  • Unattended items (canopies, umbrellas, nets, poles, grills, etc.) should not be left on the beach strand overnight and should not obstruct traffic or pedestrian movement during the day.  Unattended items left on the beach will be tagged as a reminder to remove them each day by sunset.  Any tagged items left on the beach after sunset will then be removed in order to ensure the safety of our beach visitors.  Unattended items that have been removed will not be returned.
  • Walking or driving on the dunes is prohibited. The dunes are home to nesting turtles and vegetation specific to the area. In addition, they protect homes from flooding during a storm surge.
  • It is illegal to launch sky lanterns, commonly known as Chinese lanterns, anywhere in Currituck County. Sky lanterns are airborne paper lanterns and similar to a miniature hot air balloon. They are often powered by a fuel cell or candle that heats the air, fills the balloon and makes the lantern fly up into the sky.
  • Open burning – including bonfires – along the OBX beaches of Currituck County is not allowed. Self-contained portable fire pits with covers are allowed on the beach, but they have to stay contained in the fire bowl and have to be removed from the beach every evening.
  • Overnight camping on the beach is prohibited.
  • Stay at least 50 feet from wild horses (per County ordinance). Please remember they are wild and should not be fed.
  • Do not park or set up beach equipment next to the water’s edge or dune line; these are designated Fire, Emergency, and vehicular traffic lanes.
  • For your safety, when red flags are flying, SWIMMING IS NOT ALLOWED!  These red flags indicate rip current warnings. For current rip current information, click here to visit NOAA’s website.
  • Fireworks and bonfires are illegal in all areas of Corolla.
  • It is strongly recommended that all kayakers wear life jackets.
  • All surfers must be tethered to their boards.
  • Please refill any beach holes for which your party is responsible, as open holes are a safety concern for 4×4 vehicles and people.
  • Before choosing your spot on the beach, check to make sure you will not hinder the performance of lifeguards during an emergency situation. Maintain a clear path along the dune-line for patrol units and in front of the stationary lifeguard stands.
  • Please be sure to clean up after your dog(s). All dogs on the beach must be controlled by a leash or other like-device.
  • Wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) at all times. Avoid the hottest parts of the day, from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • If a wave crashes on you while surfing or swimming, do not try to struggle against it to the surface. Curl into a ball, or go limp and float. The wave will take you to the beach, or you can swim to the surface when it soon passes.
  • Do not touch dead animals. Notify a lifeguard.
  • Jet skis are not allowed to be launched on the ocean or from any ocean beach location in Currituck.  Riding and launching a jet ski is permitted in the Currituck Sound.

Whalehead Beach

Whalehead Beach in Corolla, NC is a serene beach community on the Outer Banks of North Carolina that features large, beautiful vacation rental homes. Known for its nearby unspoiled beaches and close proximity to Corolla attractions, shopping and restaurants, visitors to Whalehead Beach enjoy its large lots and laid-back Southern family atmosphere. Located on three miles of secluded shoreline, this private beach community consists of three streets which run alongside the Atlantic Ocean. With convenient beach accesses on every block, beachgoers find it easy to make their way to a relaxing day of sun and fun on the Outer Banks.

Whalehead Beach Amenities

  • Three miles of secluded beaches
  • Beach accesses on every block
  • 5 public beach parking lots (Shad, Sturgeon, Perch, Bonito, and Sailfish)
  • Life guards at Shad Street and Bonito Street beaches
  • Quiet streets for walking or biking
  • Municipal water (most areas)

Swan Beach

swan beach

Swan Beach has an interesting name, because when people come out to this secluded stretch of the North Outer Banks they are not looking for graceful winged creatures. Swan Beach is known by locals and tourists in the know as one of the best places in the Outer Banks to watch the wild horses in their natural habitat. When you book your vacation in Currituck, you may be interested in a trip up Swan Beach. The soft sand feels great on your feet, but bear in mind that it’s not an easy destination.

Swan Beach in the OBX is about three miles north of the beach access ramp in Currituck, which means if you park where the road ends you’ll have to do some hiking! No worries, though, if you have a 4×4 vehicle you can ride out on the sand, or you can book a horse-watching tour with the many companies in Corolla that guide visitors to where the horses are found.

You’ll love the Swan Beach area for its serenity and beauty. This part of the OBX borders the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, so you may also see marsh birds and other animals native to North Carolina enjoying the sunshine. It’s like stepping back in time to when the early settlers first encountered our coast. There are a few vacation homes for rent in the area, which require a 4×4 vehicle to access, so if you really want to get away from it all you can bring the family and celebrate a reunion or holiday at beautiful Swan Beach. Enjoy a perfect sunrise, then hop over the dunes into the water! Keep an eye out around your rental, too, because you may have a few four-legged visitors. Be aware that local laws forbid you to make physical contact with the wild horses, but definitely bring a camera.

Learn more about beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina:

Ocean Lakes

The neighborhood of Ocean Lakes can be found at the northern end of Corolla’s Ocean Sands beach community in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This 600 acre vacation rental beach community features beautiful ocean views and miles of pristine beaches to enjoy with your family and friends. Ocean Lakes is the newest section of Ocean Sands, and guests to this area enjoy amenities such as a fully stocked ten-acre fishing lake, community pool with sun decks, and tennis courts. Most of the beach rental homes in this area are 4-8 bedrooms. Corolla attractionsshopping and restaurants are all just minutes away as well.

Ocean Lakes Amenities

  • Private beach access
  • Stocked ten-acre fishing lake
  • Olympic-sized community pool
  • Kiddie pool
  • Tennis courts
  • Private roads and security
  • Tall, stable duneline

Ocean Hill

Ocean Hill is Corolla’s last paved community before the 4×4 beach area. Vacation rental homes range from 5 to 9 bedrooms and weave their way through the natural surroundings on both the oceanside and the soundside. At the Villages at Ocean Hill community, amenities include two community pools (oceanfront and lakefront), tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, fitness center (fee based) and a 10 acre lake for fishing. The Estates at Ocean Hill offers guests vacation homes located on the Oceanside in Corolla. Most homes are within walking distance to the Historic Corolla Village and have views of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

Located near Corolla restaurants, shopping, and attractions, visitors enjoy Ocean Hill because of its pristine family-friendly beaches relaxing small-town southern atmosphere. Breathtaking soundside sunsets are enjoyed almost every evening in this serene vacationer’s paradise.

Ocean Hill Amenities

  • Oceanfront pool
  • Soundside pool
  • Tennis Courts
  • Playground
  • Basketball courts
  • Nature trails
  • 10 acre fishing lake
  • Fitness center (cardio and free weights)

North Swan Beach

Have you longed for a vacation off the beaten path, literally? When we think of such a vacation, a trip to the mountains may come to mind, but did you know you can enjoy a week or two in semi-seclusion in any of the off-road communities in the Currituck Outer Banks? North Swan Beach, for one, is only accessible via 4-wheel drive vehicles, and here you’ll find many luxury vacation homes for rent. This is a great destination for small beach weddings, family reunions, and retreats for small groups looking for an alternative to busy vacations with packed itineraries. Here, you take each day at your leisure and enjoy and surf and sand.

When you book a vacation rental on North Swan Beach in Corolla, Outer Banks, you set the stage for memories that will last forever. Our off-road communities provide the best of both worlds – you can unwind all day on one of the beautiful Corolla beaches away from crowded sections of the shore, and you’re not far from fun activities like the Currituck Lighthouse, wild horse sightseeing tours, and great places to shop. Many of Currituck beach houses are equipped with luxury amenities like gourmet kitchens, Jacuzzis, and huge decks. You can have food catered by a top OBX chef or head into Corolla for groceries. Create a home away from home for your family.

Did we mention the wild horses? North Swan Beach is close to the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge and is home to sloping dunes where the Currituck wild Mustangs love to play. If you’re lucky you can sit out on the deck and watch them trot along the shore. Local laws prohibit contact with the wild horses of Corolla, but bring a video camera and take lots of pictures. You definitely don’t see wild horses exploring your back yard every day – it’s a great experience to share with the kids!

For a vacation just far enough from the crowds but close to great dining and shopping, North Swan Beach is a must. Get the extended family together for a week of fun and sun!

Learn more about beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina:

Corolla Bay

Corolla Bay in Corolla, NC is a Outer Banks beach vacation rental community that consists of The Views at Corolla Bay and The Villas at Corolla Bay. This charming village is Corolla’s newest vacation community, running on the northern-most area of Corolla on the Currituck Sound right before the Corolla 4×4 beaches begin. Only a short distance to the Atlantic Ocean, visitors to Corolla Bay enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in America right outside their front doors, as well as breathtaking views of sand dunes and maritime forests which define this area of the Outer Banks.

The Villas at Corolla Bay are quaint 4-bedroom seaside retreats that were built in an architectural style that reminds visitors of coastal communities of the past. A gated community, The Villas at Corolla Bay has a very intimate feel which visitors love, and features amenities including:

  • Private and community pools
  • Private hot tubs
  • Barbecue stations
  • Bath house
  • Shuffleboard
  • Basketball court
  • Picnic area
  • Horseshoes

Looking for a vacation rental home in Corolla Bay?  Visit our Corolla, NC vacation rentals page.  Or, browse current vacation rental deals.

Corolla 4×4 Beaches

Corolla is one of the most popular beach vacation destinations in North Carolina. The serene beaches and refreshing waters of Corolla invite thousands of visitors to spend their beach vacations in one of many beautiful vacation rental homes. Families and friends join together for an unforgettable beach vacation in the Outer Banks (OBX).

There is, however, something special about Corolla, something that separates it from the rest of the Outer Banks, the 4×4 beaches. The 4WD area of Corolla in the Outer Banks allows you to take your 4WD vehicle to the beach. The beach access is open year round (with some limitations), and there is no fee to enjoy the beach driving!

Corolla beach rental homes in 4WD area

You can see a lot of beautiful beach rental properties in Corolla, and there are available properties in the 4WD area, as well. If you love four-wheel driving, you can make you vacation truly unforgettable by renting one of the vacation homes in the 4×4 area of Corolla.

See the wild horses

The 4WD area of Corolla, OBX is not only the favorite place of the 4×4 drivers, but also a natural inhabitance of the wild horses. Wild mustangs roam free in Corolla and often come to the beach. Do not forget to take your camera to capture the magnificent animals.

Plan your 4WD Outer Banks beach vacation today! Browse the beach rentals to find the perfect vacation home for you and your family, pick the best local restaurants, and find fun things to do in Corolla, OBX.

Carova Beach

Allen Hale and Barbara Fiske

Carova Beach is a community in the northern Outer Banks accessible only by 4×4 since it’s well off the “paved roads,” and here is where you will find some of the most beautiful rental vacation homes and breathtaking ocean views. This area of Currituck’s Outer Banks has been named as one of the most secluded beaches in America several times and is where the legendary Corolla wild horses have roamed free for centuries.  If you have longed for a relaxing vacation that requires no set itineraries or driving all over the place to enjoy yourself, Carova Beach is waiting for you.

Get the extended family together for a week-long stay at any of the luxury beach homes – there’s room for everybody and you’ll love amenities like hot tubs, swimming pools, and huge decks for barbecuing and outdoor dining. If you’re lucky, you can sit on the deck and see Currituck’s famous wild Mustangs trotting along the shoreline. The wild horses are a big draw in the OBX, so don’t forget your camera. Where else on the East Coast can you soak up the sun, reconnect with family, and see majestic horses playing in the surf?

A vacation in Carova Beach is your chance to unwind and recharge. There aren’t many places on the Eastern seaboard where you can embrace a sense of isolation yet still have access to great restaurants and ice cream shops and fun activities. In nearby Corolla you can rent a kayak and explore the Currituck Sound, take kiteboarding and hang gliding lessons, and hop on a fishing charter. After a day on the beach, watch the sunset from your vacation home and share the memories with your family.

Explore our site for more information on creating your dream beach vacation.

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Learn more about beaches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina:

Outer Banks Weather

Corolla, North Carolina’s moderate climate and mild temperatures make the Currituck Outer Banks a great destination to visit year-round. With weather that remains nice, even into the winter months, many outdoor activities can be enjoyed all year.

Outer Banks Weather – Average Air and Water Temperatures

High Low Avg Precip Water
50º 32º 41º 4.3″ 4.3″
53º 33º 43º 3.4″ 46º
59º 39º 49º 4.0″ 42º
68º 47º 57º 2.8″ 59º
75º 56º 65º 4.0″ 68º
83º 65º 74º 3.5″ 74º
87º 70º 79º 4.5″ 78º
86º 69º 77º 5.4″ 80º
81º 65º 73º 4.5″ 77º
72º 54º 63º 3.6″ 70º
63º 44º 54º 3.0″ 58º
55º 37º 46º 3.1″ 55º

36-Hour Forecast