If you know where to look, the Outer Banks can be a beachcomber's paradise. With miles of shoreline to explore, hidden beaches that are relatively untouched, and literally piles of shells washing up on the beaches after a storm, shelling on the OBX beaches is simply a matter of timing and area expertise.
While there are no hotels or motels of any kind in the 11-mile-long 4WD region, Carova vacationers will find a range of accommodations located within minutes of the beach access ramp at the edge of NC Highway 12.
These hotels, motels and B&Bs are located in neighboring Corolla and Duck, which are distinctively more populated than the Carova beaches, but do feature a wealth of restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities for hotel and motel guests.
About Corolla and Duck Hotels
Corolla has a very small handful of resort-style accommodations and quaint B&Bs These accommodations are often close to the water, and may be adjacent to the Currituck Sound, or offer their own private beach access.
Duck is also home to a selection of B&Bs and resort lodgings, with the same waterfront proximity and easy beach access.
Either of these towns are located within 10-15 miles of the 4WD access ramp to Carova, however Corolla is certainly closer by a good 5 miles or more.
Amenities on site, particularly at the larger resorts and hotels, are impressive as well. Larger, grand hotels and resorts often feature private pools, tennis courts, private beach accesses, fitness centers, and / or concierge centers. Smaller B&Bs and hotels do not have this wealth of amenities, but do offer quieter accommodations with a friendly, accommodating staff (who are often the proprietors or owners of the property.)
Booking a Corolla or Duck Hotel or Motel
Most all B&Bs, hotels and motels in the Currituck Banks have online websites where guests can peruse the accommodations, book online, or submit a reservation request via email.
Because Duck and Corolla are two of the most popular Outer Banks destinations, summer visitors will want to book a stay well in advance. This rule of thumb applies to both weekend and weekday stays.
It's not unusual in Corolla and Duck to book a hotel room months in advance, and many local establishments allow reservations to be made up to a year before arrival.
Discounts may be available for frequent visitors, shoulder season or off-season visitors, or military personnel. Contact your hotel or B&B in advance for information on any available savings.
In addition, some of the more luxurious resorts and more accommodating B&Bs can help arrange special packages, like a romance package with roses, champagne, chocolates, and spa treatments on-site, or at a partner business. Review the website or contact the establishment directly for information of planning a special occasion stay.
Considerations for Staying at a Corolla or Duck Hotel or Motel
- Remember that a 4WD vehicle will be required to access the Carova beaches. There are several companies in Corolla that rent Jeeps and other 4WD vehicles, hourly or daily, as well as an Enterprise Rent a Car in Elizabeth City, NC. You can also consult the hotel staff for 4WD rental recommendations.
- In addition to 4WD vehicle rentals, Corolla is also home to a wide range of Carova beach tours from varying businesses, like Corolla Jeep Adventures, Wild Horse Adventure Tours, and Bob's Wild Horse Tours. These 4WD tours are the best way for newcomers to get a feel for the area, and also have the best chance of spotting Carova's Famed Wild Horses.
- Visitors who are arriving on the Outer Banks with their own skiff or other vessel can also look into renting a hotel or motel on the Currituck Mainland. Often located close to the western borders of the Currituck Sound, these accommodations are traditionally cheaper than on the Outer Banks, and are an easy cruise across the sound waters to the Carova beaches. (A public boat ramp is also located in Carova at Milepost 21.)
- Even though there are no hotels in Carova, there are still plenty of accommodations for visitors. Vacationers who want to stay in the 4WD area can book one of the several hundred vacation rentals available through local property management companies. Ranging from 2 bedroom cottages to 25+ bedroom homes, these rentals are often booked in weekly increments.