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 A perennially popular vacation destination for many families, we enjoyed a week with extended family in Corolla, North Carolina, located in the northernmost region of the Outer Banks. We discovered a wide variety of activities and attractions that appealed to everyone from toddlers to grandparents.

corolla light

Like most popular beach destinations, choice accommodations must be reserved several months in advance. Corolla’s many neighborhoods of private rental homes extend from Pine Island to the Villages at Ocean Hill, facing either the ocean or sound. Homes are well appointed, large enough for multiple families and many include private swimming pools, sand volleyball, basketball courts and other indoor entertainment such as Wi-Fi and ping pong. Two hotels, the Inn at Corolla Light and Hampton Inn and Suites in Pine Island, provide traditional resort accommodations. Shopping and restaurants are just a short walk or drive away.

duck donutsWe started our day with the famous Duck Donuts that are made to order while you wait. Don’t let lines deter you—they have an efficient system that will have you out the door with a box of hot, delectable perfection in about 15 minutes. It’s convenient to grab lunch at home or bring a picnic to the beach, but if you’re out shopping and want to grab a bite, there are plenty of delis and pizza shops nearby. Reservations are recommended for dinner, especially if you have a large group. Many restaurants offer takeout and local seafood markets will steam crabs and shrimp to order for you to take home.

whalehead clubThe vast array of activities available could fill an entire summer. Easy to access by foot, beaches are bordered by large dunes and many families spend most of the day enjoying the sun and surf. There are other non-beach attractions for daytime or evening entertainment. We played mini golf where there are also bumper cars suitable for children as young as 6. Historic Corolla Village is home to the historic Whalehead Club and Currituck Beach Lighthouse where there are guided tours and a gift shop. The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education exhibits the signshabitats of local wildlife that live on land or in the surrounding waters. For those who prefer a water sport experience, waverunners, kayaks, fishing boats, pontoon boats and paddleboards are available for rent. Just north of the village is 4x4 vehicle access to remote beaches where Corolla’s wild Spanish mustangs live. Although private vehicles are allowed, inexperienced beachcombers may not be prepared for the challenging combination of deep sand and crazy drivers. Professional tours are available from open-topped all-terrain vehicles. Deep sea fishing excursions are fun and there is plenty of good fishing in the surf as well. Blue marlin, bluefish, spotted sea trout and grouper are just a few varieties of fish in abundance during the summer months.

If your idea of a perfect summer vacation is relaxing all day on the beach, cooking for a crowd, fine dining in a casual atmosphere or the excitement of reeling in a marlin or jumping the waves on a jet ski, Corolla has it all. This is a place for families to enjoy experiences that grow into tomorrow’s fond memories.


Bad Bean Taqueria:

Cosmo’s Pizza and Italian Market:

The Fin & Claw Sea Grill:


Mike & Diane’s Grill Room:

Oceanfront Grille at Corolla Light:


Property Rental Companies

Corolla Designs Realty:

Sun Realty NC:

Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO):

Corolla Classic Vacations:


Fun & Entertainment

Corolla Water Sports:

Corolla Bait & Tackle Charter Fishing:

Corolla Adventure Golf: (252) 453-7777

Corolla Wild Horse Tours via Corolla Wild Horse Fund:

Wild Horse Adventure Tours:



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