Things to Do in Carova, NC

Things to Do in Carova, NC

Despite the limited development, Carova visitors who appreciate and adore the great outdoors will find plenty of ways to stay entertained. Be sure and enjoy the following activities on your next Carova vacation, and make the most out of your visit to the Outer Banks' most wild region.… (More)

Fun Facts About Carova

Fun Facts About Carova

Learn about history, geography, elevation, population, unique features, parks and area claims of fame with this list of fun facts and trivia. "Carova" refers to the cluster of communities that are located just north of Corolla. These communities include Seagull, Penny's Hill, Swan Beach, North Swan Beach and Carova Beach. Carova is bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and bordered to the west by the Currituck Sound. Though many folks consider Carova to be part of the chain… (More)

Activities For Kids

Activities For Kids

Let the kids run wild in Carova, a desolate beach destination that's famed for wild horses, isolated beaches, and miles of pristine shoreline. Combined with the neighboring town of Corolla, which features a world of shops and entertainment, kids will never be bored in this unique, Currituck Banks destination.… (More)

Carova Beach Information

Carova Beach Information

The Carova beaches are unique from any other region of the Outer Banks, and as such, the region has its own, and sometimes distinctive, set of rules and regulations. Review the following beach information to brush up on the do's and don'ts in the local Carova community, and along Currituck Banks shoreline.… (More)

Carova, NC Events

Carova, NC Events

There's always a reason to celebrate on the Currituck beaches, and Carova vacationers will be just miles away from some of the Outer Banks' biggest celebrations. Be sure and check out these fantastic annual events during your next vacation to the Northern Outer Banks. … (More)

Rainy Day Activities

Rainy Day Activities

Carova is an outdoor lover's oasis, but on a rainy day, Carova vacationers can make a quick trip down the beach to Corolla and Duck to explore all the fun indoor activities and sites that the Outer Banks has to offer.… (More)

Carova, NC Fishing Guide

Carova, NC Fishing Guide

Fishing is big in the Carova region, as the 11 miles of oceanfront and roughly 30-mile wide Currituck Sound provide endless options for anglers. Before casting a line, visiting anglers will want to read up on the local rules, regulations, and tips for accessing the best regional fishing grounds.… (More)

Carova, NC History

Carova, NC History

Carova's history is unique along the Outer Banks. The 4WD region was one of the first areas of North Carolina to be explored by European settlers, but remained one of the least developed regions during the centuries that followed.… (More)

Carova, NC Real Estate Guide

Carova, NC Real Estate Guide

The Carova Real Estate market has both some of the most expensive, and least expensive, properties for sale on the Currituck Banks. From sprawling vacation rental homes to quiet soundside cottages that border the National Wildlife Refuge, Carova real estate is varied, distinctive, and always miles away from the rest of the world.… (More)

Corolla's Wild Horses

Visitors to the 4WD accessible beaches just north of Carova may experience a truly remarkable encounter with the area's oldest and most beloved residents, the Corolla Wild Horses. Stranded on the Outer Banks for centuries, but still enjoying the laid-back beach lifestyle, these feral and wild creatures are surprisingly docile, and very tolerant of the visitors who flock to their beaches for the warm sun, cool waves, and miles of space… (More)

Beach Driving Guide

One of the reasons so many vacationers flock to the Outer Banks is the thrill of driving on the beach, a rare privilege that few East Coast beach vacation destinations can offer. Beach driving enthusiasts will find miles of shoreline to explore, from the uninhabited shoreline along Ocracoke Island to the solely 4WD accessible beaches of Carova, north of Corolla. In fact, driving on the beach isn't just for fisherman. It's practically an institution… (More)

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, located in the heart of Corolla, borders the historic Whalehead Club and still functions as a guide for passing mariners. At 162' feet tall, the lighthouse's First Order Fresnel light, (the largest size available for American lighthouses), can be seen for 18 nautical miles as the light rotates in 20 second increments. … (More)

Whalehead Club

The prestigious Whalehead Club has been a dominant attraction to Corolla visitors since it was renovated and opened to the public in 2002. As part of the Currituck Heritage Park, the Whalehead Club serves as a northern Outer Banks icon, and a living testament to Corolla and Duck's heyday as a secluded oceanfront retreat for the country's wealthy hunters and conservationists.… (More)

Corolla, NC

Corolla adds a touch of modern class to the classic Outer Banks vacation. Prized for both its seclusion and its abundance of upscale but funky shops and dining options, Corolla is the ideal vacation destination for families who are just as happy lounging on the beach in flip flops as they are indulging in an afternoon at the spa.… (More)

Currituck Sound

The Currituck Sound is a nature lover's playground, offering ample access to wide open spaces of shallow, easy to navigate open water, dense thickets of maritime forest, and small, marshy islands that are covered in wildlife. There's a reason why some of the Outer Banks' earliest visitors flocked first to the northern beaches of Duck and Corolla. With miles of soundfront providing a comfortable but temporary home to thousands of migrating waterfowl, the landscape proved ideal for adventurous hunters, … (More)

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education

Corolla, North Carolina is a must see nautical village scented with the spray of the salty sea. It's located on NC Highway 12 along a thin strip of land bordered on the east by the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the inland waterway of Currituck Sound. Corolla is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, whose beacon first beckoned to sailors at sea in 1875, … (More)

For a wildly isolated Outer Banks vacation, head to Carova. This northernmost region of the North Carolina coastline has no paved roads, no shopping centers, and no commercial developments of any kind. Instead, visitors will be naturally entertained by miles of beaches, packs of wild horses, and some of the most beautiful surroundings on the Outer Banks.

A Short Overview of Carova

Despite a steady stream of 4WD vehicles during the peak summer months, Carova is a refreshingly quiet Outer Banks destination.

The complete lack of paved roads and commercial businesses means that the small communities that comprise this region are the only developments or manmade structures in sight, and as a result, it's easy for visitors to find a stretch of beach all their own. Granted, this means that visitors will have to drive "up the beach" for groceries, gas, take-out food, shopping, and other amenities, but many long-time vacationers attest that this isolation is part of Carova's inherent charm.

The small residential communities are effectively bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Currituck Sound, and the thousands of acres that make up the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge and the Currituck Banks National Estuarine Preserve. The resulting landscape is a mix of quiet shorelines, Currituck Soundside marshlands, low-laying sound islands, and miles of maritime forest. The small communities that comprise Carova are scattered in between this terrain, with rental homes that range from 2 bedroom cottages to 25+ bedroom beach mansions or private resorts.

This quiet, natural environment provides prime stomping grounds for Carova's most popular residents, the Corolla Wild Horses. These docile but feral Spanish mustang descendants can be spotted along the dunes, in the woods, and even lounging in the backyards of local residential homes.

Essentially, Carova is the perfect destination for visitors who truly want to get away from it all, and relax in a completely secluded destination that's miles away from the paved road. Serene and secluded, visitors in Carova make their own fun through long days on the beach, at-home amenities and entertainment, and simple family time along the shore.

How did the area get its name?

Carova is actually a relatively new term for the region north of Corolla. While portions of the 4WD area had already garnered monikers by early locals of the 1800s, (including the small area of "Penny's Hill, which was originally home to a US Lifesaving Station), Carova's name was coined much later, in the 20th century.

The name Carova was simply a mix of its location in between Virginia and Corolla, and initially was used to refer to the northernmost residential community along the undeveloped Currituck Banks. Today, Carova is used as a general term to refer to the 11-mile-long unpaved shoreline north of Corolla, and is commonly used by vacation rental companies, visitors, and locals alike.