The community's name derived from the combination of the first syllables of Carolina and Virginia since the coastal community lies just south of the North Carolina-Virginia state line. Thus, it is the northernmost of the Outer Banks communities of North Carolina.
Banker horses and other wildlife roam freely on the beaches of Carova. There is an enforced law on the beach that states that no one is to get within 50 feet (15 m) of the horses. Commercialism is absent from this section of the Outer Banks; there are no restaurants, shops, or other attractions that often accompany beach communities. There are many beach homes, however, and developers continue to build in the area.