Corolla, North Carolina

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Location of Corolla, North Carolina
Corolla as viewed from the Currituck Lighthouse
Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC

Corolla /kəˈrɑːlə/ is an unincorporated community located in Poplar Branch township, Currituck County, North Carolina along the northern Outer Banks. It has a permanent population of approximately 500 people; during the summer vacation season, the population surges into the thousands. Corolla is home to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, one of the seven North Carolina coastal lighthouses. There are approximately 5,000 rental houses available on 20 miles stretch of Currituck Outer Banks.<[1]

Previously a quiet and little-known location, a development boom in the 1980s sparked growth in the area, and since then, Corolla has become a popular vacation destination. Resting between the Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, Corolla attracts mainly beach-goers, especially in the summer months. Corolla is home to numerous attractions such as the historic Whalehead Club, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Center for Wildlife Education, and is known for its numerous locations for shopping, dining, and participating in water sports. [2][3]

Corolla is home to about 119 feral Banker horses. They are located on a 12,000-acre (49 km²) animal sanctuary situated north of the populated areas of Corolla.[4] Over fifty thousand people come to see these wild horses every week in the summer months.[5][6][7]


Local residents usually stress the second syllable, which they pronounce like rah (kuh-RAH-luh, /kəˈrɑːlə/); however, many visitors incorrectly pronounce Corolla the same way they pronounce the name of the Toyota Corolla, with the second syllable sounding like row (kuh-ROW-luh, /kəˈroʊlə/).

Corolla Demographics[edit]

Corolla is ethnically a diverse town. The native residents of Corolla describe themselves to different ethnic groups. The greatest number among them are white followed by African American. Important ancestries of people in Corolla include English, German, Italian, and Polish. The language of Corolla is English but Spanish and Italian are other popular languages. Per capita income of Corolla is $48,670. Corolla has a higher rate of four year degree or equivalent qualified people than other parts of country. 52.80% of the adult population has a degree while in other parts of the United States the average is 21.84%.[8]

Parks and nature preserves[edit]

Corolla is home to the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, located in Currituck Heritage Park.[9] The park has a boardwalk through wetlands. It is listed as an eBird hotspot, with at least 80 species recorded in the park.[10] Less than a mile north of Corolla is the Currituck Banks North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve.[11]


Corolla, as viewed from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse

The community of Corolla began as a European development on American Indian hunting grounds. Tribes including the Chowanoke and Poteskeet hunted along the barrier island.[citation needed]

The European-American town of Corolla was first called Jones Hill, after an early settler. It was also known as Whalehead or Currituck Beach. Early settlers made a living from fishing and hunting, as well as from salvage from shipwrecks and serving as guides to hunters.[citation needed]

Construction of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse resulted in a stabilization of the economy with a new influx of jobs.

Currituck was derived from an American Indian term, Carotank, meaning land of the wild geese. On the Atlantic migratory flyway, the area at the time had a large wild geese population. Over hunting in the late 19th century caused numbers to severely drop.

The town officially took the name Corolla in 1895 when a post office opened in the community. The name was chosen to refer to the botanic term for the petals of a flower.

Banker horses of Corolla

Development of Currituck's Northern Outer Banks began in 1967 when investors from Sandbridge, Virginia, put together an investment group to purchase undeveloped land. The first subdivision plotted was Carova with 1,993 lots. The lots were originally priced in the early 1970s at $8,000; as of 2006, some of these lots are worth up to $500,000.[citation needed]

Currituck Heritage Park which houses the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education

The investors planned for a road to come through from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to allow access to the lots; however, these plans were abandoned in 1973 when the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge south of Sandbridge was closed to all vehicular traffic, except by permit. Development pushed south through the 1970s, creating well over 1,000 additional lots in several subdivisions. In 1984 the residents of Corolla succeeded in their attempts to gain a public access road from the south. The state began paving the extension of NC-12 toward the north.

In addition to the Currituck Beach Light, the Currituck Shooting Club and Whalehead Club are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[12]

Crime Rate in Corolla[edit]

As per the 2012 reports the crime rate of Corolla is a bit higher than other parts of country. 100 is the average of country the rate is as below.[13]

2012 Crime Rate Indexes Currituck County, NC North Carolina United States
Total Crime Risk Index 111 103 100
Murder Risk Index 97 103 100
Rape Risk Index 115 98 100
Robbery Risk Index 84 101 100
Assault Risk Index 108 97 100
Burglary Risk Index 110 118 100
Larceny Risk Index 63 91 100
Motor Vehicle Theft Risk Index 52 87 100

Beaches of Corolla[edit]

The total number of beaches where public can access is fifteen. Among these fifteen beaches six beaches have life guards while two have showers. The beach which have life guards is, Corolla Village Road (shower, bathhouse, parking), Shad Street (parking), Sturgeon Walkway (parking), Bonito Street (parking), Sailfish Walkway (parking), Yaupon Lane (shower, bathhouse, parking).[14]

Free Activities in Corolla[edit]

There are always free activities available on the Corolla beach for its visitors, no matter when you reach the beach. Most of these activities are in Currituck Heritage Park.[15] Whale head Wednesday wine festival is best among them. The festival held every Wednesday from 3PM to 7 PM. Where one can enjoy the wine and food for the nominal charges but free entry for non drinkers and children. The other activities include Grand fire work which held every year on 14th July. This activity start on 9 PM usually but if once want to enjoy free music then come earlier.[16]

Drive time from Corolla to other outer banks[edit]

The time in summer usually increase because of heavy traffic and observed up-to ten more minutes it takes.[17] The list of time required to outer banks are as below

  • Corolla to Duck – 25 minutes
  • Corolla to Southern Shores – 35 minutes
  • Corolla to Kitty Hawk – 40 minutes
  • Corolla to Kill Devil Hills – 45 minutes
  • Corolla to Nags Head – 50 minutes
  • Corolla to Manteo – 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Corolla to Oregon Inlet – 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Corolla to Avon – 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Corolla to Hatteras Village – 2 hours 15 minutes


According to the Trewartha climate classification system, Corolla, North Carolina has a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers, cool winters and year-around precipitation (Cfak). Cfak climates are characterized by all months having an average mean temperature > 32.0 °F (> 0.0 °C), at least eight months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (≥ 10.0 °C), at least one month with an average mean temperature ≥ 71.6 °F (≥ 22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. During the summer months in Corolla, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values ≥ 100 °F (≥ 38 °C). Corolla is prone to hurricane strikes, particularly during the Atlantic hurricane season which extends from June 1 through November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September. During the winter months, episodes of cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 10 °F (< -12 °C). The plant hardiness zone in Corolla is 8a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 14.4 °F (-9.8 °C).[18] The average seasonal (Dec-Mar) snowfall total is < 2 inches (< 5 cm), and the average annual peak in nor'easter activity is in February.

Climate data for Corolla, NC (1981-2010 Averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 49.3
Daily mean °F (°C) 42.4
Average low °F (°C) 35.6
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.73
Average relative humidity (%) 70.0 69.9 67.3 67.5 70.7 74.6 76.3 75.9 74.5 72.2 72.9 72.0 72.0
Average dew point °F (°C) 33.3
Source: PRISM[19]

Climate data for Duck, NC Ocean Water Temperature (14 S Corolla)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °F (°C) 45
Source: NOAA[20]


According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Corolla, North Carolina would have a dominant vegetation type of Northern Cordgrass (73) with a dominant vegetation form of Coastal Prairie (20).[21]


  1. ^ "Corolla NC Information | Corolla Outer Banks". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  2. ^ Corolla Guide& Carova.“Corolla NC outer Banks Vacations, Corolla Guide, Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  3. ^“Corolla, NC”, & Visitors Guide, Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  4. ^ Beil, Laura (May 8, 2012). "Herd's Fate Lies in Preservation Clash". The New York Times. New York City, NY. p. D1.
  5. ^ "Beach Patrols to Protect Corolla Wild Horses". North Carolina Public Radio.
  6. ^ "Official proposes rules on Outer Banks horse-watching tours". Winston-Salem Journal.
  7. ^ "The 10 Best Corolla Tours". TripAdvisor.
  8. ^ "Corolla, NC - 27927 - Real Estate Market Data - NeighborhoodScout". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  9. ^ "About the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education". N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  10. ^ "eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance". Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2012.]
  11. ^ "North Carolina Coastal Reserve: Currituck Banks NC Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve". North Carolina Coastal Reserve. 2007. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  12. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  13. ^ "Demographic Summary - CLRSearch". CLRSearch. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  14. ^ "Corolla NC |". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  15. ^ "Free Things to Do in Corolla, NC | Village Realty". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  16. ^ "Free Things to Do in Corolla, NC | Village Realty". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  17. ^ "Corolla NC |". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  18. ^ "USDA Interactive Plant Hardiness Map". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  19. ^ "PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  20. ^ "Water Temperature Table of All Coastal Regions". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  21. ^ "U.S. Potential Natural Vegetation, Original Kuchler Types, v2.0 (Spatially Adjusted to Correct Geometric Distortions)". Retrieved August 6, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°22′53″N 75°49′59″W / 36.38139°N 75.83306°W / 36.38139; -75.83306

Preceded by
Currituck Beach
Beaches of The Outer Banks Succeeded by