Corolla is a hugely popular vacation destination. First and foremost a summer resort area, Corolla accommodates seaside vacations with upscale rental homes and condominiums, watersports outfitters, a variety of restaurants and shops and several of the most popular attractions on the Outer Banks. Nevertheless, the beach is the main focus of Corolla. The clean, wide beaches are spacious and uncrowded, especially in the off-season. Since it’s a relatively new developed area (most of the houses and shopping centers were built in the 1990s), Corolla is known for its upscale offerings and polished appearance. At the other end of the spectrum, north of Corolla’s paved roads is the Swan Beach and Carova area, a wild and rugged place accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Rental homes in the four-wheel-drive area range from small and rustic to astonishingly palatial, but it’s the remoteness of the area that is the biggest draw.
Corolla is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse (climb to the top for an awesome view), Whalehead historic house museum and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, which offers free outdoors-oriented programs year round. Historic Corolla Village near the lighthouse offers shops and restaurants in a quaint, old-school setting. The most famous attractions in this area are the Corolla wild horses, which roam freely in the four-wheel-drive area; several outfitters offer tours to the area to see the wild horses.