Each summer, visitors flock to North Carolina’s Outer Banks for vacation. But many won’t make the trip to the northern part of the barrier island. In comparison to Kill Devil Hills or Nags Head, the village of Corolla, North Carolina, is a more quiet destination. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and fun. There are plenty of activities and things to do in Corolla, from places to eat and shop. And there are special activities that you can not do just anywhere, like lighthouse climbing!
As a child, each year for our family vacation we loaded up in the minivan and traveled the nearly eight hours in order to spend a week in Corolla’s Whalehead area. It is a spot that is special and nostalgic for me. Even after all this time, the heart of the area remains.
When you compare Corolla to its other North Carolina’s Outer Banks counterparts, it is almost a world away. With somewhat less commercial development, Corolla maintains a feel that is closer to that of a Southern village. That isn’t to say it isn’t busy in the summer, but Corolla certainly embodies a more laid back feel.
If the thought of having the Outer Banks beaches all to yourself without waking up at dawn appeals to you, you may want to consider visiting in the off-season. Visiting the Outer Banks in the fall is about enjoying the last gaps of pleasant weather and less about peeping colorful leaves. While the North Carolina beach region continues to become more popular year-round, you can still find some serenity and fewer crowds at the Outer Banks in the fall. But there are some compromises you may need to make with seasonal closures and weather.
With miles of unspoiled beaches, historic sites, and parks, North Carolina’s Outer Banks is fun for the whole family — and that includes the ones with four legs! If your dog is anything like mine, he or she will love watching the sanderlings on the beach and getting a good sniff of those famously strong winds that lured the Wright Brothers a century ago. But there is more than just the beach as the Outer Banks is extremely dog-friendly! From the Outer Banks’ most dog-friendly restaurant to plenty of activities, here’s your guide for a vacation that is truly for the whole family!
While not technically a desert, the more than 400 acres of sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in North Carolina’s Outer Banks inspire awe. Nestled a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and just next to the Roanoke Sound in Nags Head, these are the tallest living sand dunes on the eastern coast. But there is more to Jockey’s Ridge than just sand that makes it an important Outer Banks attraction. With multiple ecosystems, it is a fascinating exploration of nature that many don’t frequently experience that’s an Outer Banks adventure.