Corolla Things To Do
Looking for something to do beyond the beach? Corolla’s recreation scene tends to focus mostly on beautiful Mother Nature, as any respectable Outer Banks recreation should. One of the most popular activities is taking a tour to see the Corolla wild horses. Another top Corolla recreation is going on a kayak outing to see the natural wonders of this area from a backwaters perspective—it’s quiet and unhurried and settles the soul. As with all Outer Banks recreation, fishing is huge here, so much so that you’ll see an entire section devoted to that addictive activity.
But if you have your shoes all laced up and are ready for some real action, Corolla’s recreation offerings include first-rate tennis courts and a fitness center, screaming go-carts, an 18-hole links course, a climbing wall, Segway tours, putt putt golf courses and hikes in a nearby nature sanctuary or just along some of Corolla’s village lanes.
It can be debated whether the premier Outer Banks recreation is surfing or nightlife (though some would argue it’s actually shopping), but either persuasion is sufficiently supported here. Surf shops provide advise, lessons and gear. And, while Corolla’s nightlife scene isn’t as multi-faceted as that found a bit farther south, you can definitely relax with the perfect martini and live tunes.
Viewing 1 - 30 of 47 total listings on page 1 of recreation.
- 1159-H Austin Street
- (252) 453-6141
This is Wild squared! Join Bob in one of his three monster trucks or his open-air safari-style trucks for a wild ride to see Corolla’s wild horses. Up to 14 people can join the fun—including Grandmom and the baby, because while it’s wild, it’s also perfectly safe—for a view of Corolla’s horses, wildlife and landscape like no other. Your tour guide will regale you with stories of history and fun facts. These tours run five times a day, March through November (weather permitting), from 9 a.m. until sunset. Don’t miss out on this unfiltered fun!
- Corolla Light Town Center
- (252) 453-0877
Some of the best wildlife viewing and paddling on the Outer Banks is in the remote northern waterways of the Currituck Sound near the Virginia border. Back Country’s unique 4x4 & Kayak Safari carries small groups and families by custom open-air Safari Cruisers through 30 miles of off-road beach, dune and sand trail to paddle from the private Spanish Mustang Preserve where they have exclusive access. The waters here are protected from wind and current, and the tandem kayaks are super stable. Naturalist guides, who are also your kayak instructors, will explain Outer Banks ecology and point out local wildlife. In an effort to preserve this unspoiled habitat, Back Country limits space to just 10 people. More often than not you will even see the wild horses from the kayaks if not from the safari cruiser. Two distinct tours are available. Each tour is 3-plus hours and is the best of both worlds, an off-road 4x4 Safari excursion and a kayak tour. Tours are available for beginner or intermediate paddlers. Reservations are required.
- Corolla Light Town Center
- (252) 453-0877
The Segway looks like so much fun that when you see people gliding around Corolla on them, you’ll want to try one too! The Segway is a two-wheeled electric vehicle that’s a blast to ride! It’s so easy it seems the Segway was made just for you. At Back Country Segway Safaris, located at the Corolla Light Town Center in Corolla, you can choose a gliding tour of historic Corolla Village, or for maximum fun take an open-air Safari Beach Cruiser up 10 miles of beach and experience the world’s first off road Segway trail ride. Reservations are required.
- Corolla Light Town Center
- (252) 453-0877
Scott Trabue’s Wild Horse Safari is an off-road eco-adventure that will deliver you and your family directly to the wild Spanish Mustangs that have thrived on the northern Outer Banks for nearly 500 years. Your naturalist guide will carry you in custom open-air Safari Cruisers through 30 miles of beaches, dune and back country sand lanes to discover the Outer Banks’ unique wildlife. Shore life including pelicans, dolphins and osprey are almost always present. You will hear stories about the Ghost Fleet and Outer Banks maritime history and learn about the mysterious petrified forest. Back Country Outfitters has exclusive access to the Spanish Mustang Preserve, where sightings of these regal wild horses is guaranteed, while your tour guide explains their Spanish Colonial heritage and the local preservation efforts. Reservations are required.
- 817-B Ocean Trail
- (252) 453-2240
Bob White and his trained staff have been offering Corolla wild horse tours since 1996 and have a great reputation for being entertaining and informative. Bob’s tours last two hours and incorporate quite a bit of local history to complement the sightseeing. At the beginning, your guide will take you past Whalehead and the lighthouse and through Corolla Village, showering you with some interesting lore.Then it’s up to the four-wheel-drive area, where you’ll see the Outer Banks wild horses grazing in their natural habitat. Bob’s Corolla wild horse tours are a one-of-a-kind experience, and they can accommodate large groups.Call for details and reservations. All tours have a money back guarantee if you don’t see the horses.
- 1118 Corolla Village Lane, Historic Corolla Village
- (252) 453-9872
Coastal Explorations is a small, adventure-oriented touring company in Corolla. Their guides are friendly and outgoing and have the skill and knowledge to keep you entertained and informed. Whether it’s kayak rentals, kayak tours, boat tours or crabbing trips, they’ll get you out on the water and having fun!
- 815 Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza
- (252) 453-2999
Corolla Movie & Bistro is the perfect place for a meal and a movie. The only theater on the Currituck Outer Banks, Corolla Movie & Bistro is open year round and located near the Food Lion in Monteray Plaza. There are three movie theaters here, and one always features a kid-friendly show. Mom and Dad can get the kids situated in their show then enjoy their own movie and a meal at the Bistro! It’s date night without having to get a sitter! Of course, if kids are not involved, you can catch a dinner and movie then head over to Flip-Flops for live entertainment and dancing. Corolla Movie & Bistro shows all first-run movies on its three state-of-the-art movie screens, each featuring digital projection and Dolby 7.1 digital sound, and movies start at 11 a.m. and run all day.
The Bistro, open from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. features a variety of options for lunch and dinner that will be sure to satisfy parties of all shapes and sizes. With a focus on small plates, the Bistro offers an assortment of sliders, including crab cake and sirloin, tuna bites, hummus and cheese boards, Caprese salad, loaded nachos and specialty pan pizzas and more. Steaks and fresh seafood are sure to curb hungrier appetites. The Diner’s full ABC license means all your favorite cocktails are only a few splashes, stirs or shakes away! The beer selection includes most of the popular domestics, a nice selection of imports as well as beers from North Carolina-based microbreweries. Wines by the glass and bottle are also available. Don’t forget the gourmet popcorn!
- 1150 Ocean Trail
- (252) 453-4484
Established in 1962, Corolla Outback Adventures was the first to offer guide service and off-road beach tours on the Currituck Outer Banks. Benderʼs Beach Service began guiding beach tours to Corolla and beyond 50 years ago, well before a paved road existed north of Duck. That same tradition continues today, featuring their unique tour into Corollaʼs “outback,” where wild herds still roam freely. The 20-mile round trip along the beach strand includes exclusive access into the wild horse habitat on land the Bender family donated to protect future herds. Seasoned guides share their experience and knowledge along with history and colorful folklore. Corolla Outback also offers off-road transportation for special events, wedding parties, family reunions, school groups or business meetings.
- 1129 Corolla Village Road
- (252) 453-8002
Housed within a historic home in Corolla Village, the free Corolla Wild Horse Fund museum shares the wonderful history and legacy of the Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Descendants of Spanish Mustangs brought to our island nearly 500 years ago, they are a hardy and majestic breed that is teetering on the brink of extinction. At the museum the whole family can learn more from our knowledgeable staff, photography and historical information. Donations are accepted and encouraged.
Here are some special events for the summer:
Paint your own wild Colonial Spanish Mustang! The Corolla Wild Horse Fund sponsors horse painting for kids every Tuesday and Thursday, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Paint, brushes and smocks are provided, and kids of all ages can join in the fun. Artists can choose from large wooden horses attached to posts that stay up all week for visitors to admire or smaller wooden horse cut-outs to go and paint later. All proceeds benefit the wild horses.
On Fridays, weather permitting, a gentled Colonial Spanish Mustang is ready to meet and greet your family at the Wild Horse Museum from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Corolla Wild Horse Fund staff and trained volunteers provide fascinating information about the history of wild horses and how YOU can help save this heritage breed. Petting is encouraged!
Take the Trip of a Lifetime to see the wild horses, riding with the experts in charge of the actual management and care of the wild herd. All funds raised go right back into the care and protection of the wild horses. Prices are $20 for children and $45 for adults. Please call for reservations or book your trip at www.corollawildhorses.com
On Wednesdays, at their second location at Scarborough Faire Shopping Village in Duck, ride a gentled Colonial Spanish Mustang around the ring while raising awareness and funds to help this critically endangered breed. Rides are offered from 2 to 5 p.m. in conjunction with other Faire Days festivities including live music and kids crafts.
While a lot of the fun programming happens during the summer, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is open all year, so please stop by to visit and become a member.
- 1210 Ocean Trail
- (252) 207-0511
Corolla Wild Horse Tours has been guiding tours to Corolla’s horse country — the four-wheel-drive-only beaches north of Corolla — since 1996. With these experienced and knowledgeable guides, you can sit back and enjoy a comfortable, family-oriented tour. This company uses 15-passenger open-air safari-style trucks that are safe for any age, including kids in car seats. Along the trip, your guide will tell you about the history of Corolla and the horses as well as point out all the wonders of nature. The guides have been certified by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and have a reputation of being quite entertaining. The two-hour tours, which cover about 25 miles of off-road area, run all day long until sunset.
- 610 Clubhouse Drive, Shoppes at Currituck Club
- (252) 489-4878
See the wild horses of the Outer Banks and whip through beach, dune and forest trails with Humvee Adventure Tours. The 13-passenger, open-air Humvee has been upgraded and customized to offer the safest and most comfortable ride possible. With the recent purchase of land in 2014, Humvee Adventure Tours can now venture into three distinct ecosystems that are teeming with an abundance of wildlife, providing an exciting ride through a maritime forest and high sand and dune trails with views of the protected marshlands. Inaccessible by most off-road vehicles, the Humvee can take you where no other vehicle can. You’ll see wild horses (money back guarantee!), and you will also explore some of the most beautiful, wild beach environments on the East Coast.
- 1159 Austin Street, Corolla Light Town Center
- (252) 453-9484
The Island Revolution Skatepark offers more than 5,000 feet of extreme fun for the skateboarder in the family, and everyone else will enjoy observing. The skatepark is concrete and is built with diverse features like two bowls, a quarter pipe, a street course, grind bars and vertical drop-ins. Helmets must be worn at all times, and kids younger than 18 must have full pads at all times and have their parents sign a waiver their first time out. A CPR-certified attendant oversees the park. Bikes and scooters are not allowed. Boards and pads can be rented at the Surf Shop. Skate for free on summer Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m., and consider a skate clinic — $30 for an hour on Monday through Friday mornings at 10:30 a.m. (in season). Passes can be purchased at the shop; call for information.
- 501 Old Stoney Road
- (252) 453-9388, (252) 453-6106, (866) OBX-RENT
Want to plan your own kayak tour? Just for the Beach Rentals has kayaks available for rent, the sit-on-top style, for single, double or triple paddlers. Or, if you want to leave your car behind as you tool around Corolla, you can make like a local and pedal on one of their comfortable beach cruisers. If getting in the water is more your thing, they also rent surfboards known as soft-tops, which are ideal for beginning surfers. Surfboard rentals are $20 a day or $60 a week. They also have body and skim boards for rent for $10 a day or $20 a week. Want to try paddleboarding? Just For the Beach offers three different sizes of SUPs. Just for the Beach Rentals will happily deliver everything directly to your vacation home.
- 819 Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza
- (252) 453-3685, (877) FLY THIS
This Kitty Hawk Kites location offers guided kayak eco-tours beginning at Corolla Light. You can book tours by calling the toll free number. Be sure to make advance reservations because they are usually booked solid in season. You can also rent kayaks here. There’s also a climbing wall that is a great challenge for young and old! This location also sells a wide variety of kites, toys and souvenirs and sportswear including Columbia, TEVA, Crocs, Vibram and custom Outer Banks T-shirts and accessories. Additional recreation including Segway tours, Jet ski rentals, parasailing, hang gliding and kiteboarding can be found at the numerous Kitty Hawk Kites locations found throughout the Outer Banks.
- 785L Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
- (252) 453-8845
Kitty Hawk Kites in TimBuck II offers guided kayak eco-tours beginning at Corolla Light. You can book tours by calling the toll-free number; be sure to make reservations because they’re usually booked solid in season. You can also rent kayaks from Kitty Hawk Kites at the Monteray Plaza store. Additional recreation including Segway tours, Jet ski rentals, parasailing, hang gliding and kiteboarding can be found at the numerous Kitty Hawk Kites locations found throughout the Outer Banks.
- 785L Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
- (252) 453-4999
This store is your one-stop shop for surf, skim, kayak and SUP gear. They carry the latest sportswear and surf brands like Billabong, Quiksilver, Roxy and Volcom for both men and women. They also have a huge selection of popular T-shirts and sweatshirts including OBX, Peace Frogs and Old Guys Rule. Plus, there’s also a nice selection of Zap skimboards, Hobie and WIlderness Systems kayaks, Naish, Surftech, Jimmy Lewis and Yolo SUPs if you want to do more than look the part!
- 103 A Corolla Light Town Center
- (252) 453-2440
If you want to rent kayaks to do some exploring on your own, Ocean Atlantic Rentals will bring them to you. You can rent kayaks for exploring the sound or riding the ocean waves. They also offer surf lessons and kite boarding lessons for groups or individuals, with CPR-certified instructors. Fun!
And, when visiting Corolla, you’ll need your car from time to time to get to the grocery store or between shopping centers. Otherwise, ditch the car and pedal everywhere you go. They rent single-speed beach cruisers, kids’ and BMX bikes, Kiddie Kart trailers and trikes for the little ones, plus you can get helmets and gear for the entire family. Pick up your bikes here or have them delivered to your door.
And if that’s not enough, Ocean Atlantic Rentals also has all the equipment you need for surfing, bodyboarding or skimboarding. They even have swim fins, which are great for bodyboarding. If the water is chilly when you’re here, they rent wetsuits to keep you warm while you tackle the waves. Ocean Atlantic Rentals delivers this type of gear too!
- 1070 Ocean Trail
- (252) 453-9500, (252) 453-9690
Corolla Bait and Tackle offers two-hour sunset cruises where you take a relaxing cruise around the sound and see Monkey Island, birds and other wildlife. They also offer a pontoon boat trip to the winery at Knott’s Island. You enjoy a short boat trip across the sound, participate in a wine tasting at the beautiful vineyards then motor back to Corolla. Be sure to bring binoculars, snacks and drinks. Want a little more action? Ask about the full range of fishing trips offered here; for more information see Fishing.
- 3000 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 5.5, Kill Devil Hills
- (252) 441-1146, (855) 459-6555
Much of the Outer Banks can be reached without ever leaving the pavement. But if you want to see the descendants of shipwrecked Spanish mustangs or visit the sparsely developed and substantially less populated northern beaches of Corolla and beyond, you’ll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get there. Outer Banks Jeep, conveniently located at Outer Banks Chrysler Dodge Jeep at milepost 5.5 on The Bypass in Kill Devil Hills, offers everything necessary to be your off-road headquarters during your Outer Banks stay. Open 7 days a week during the in-season, they feature a variety of family-friendly 4-wheel drive Jeep Wranglers for exploring the unpaved areas of the Outer Banks. Leave the beaten path behind and try something new. Embark on your own Outer Banks nature adventure and see these beautiful barrier islands in an entirely new way. Whether your goal is to see the wild horses of Corolla, visit a home in Carova or simply enjoy a picnic lunch on a pristine beach, Outer Banks Jeeps has the vehicle to get you safely there and back again.
- 2004 S. Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills
- (252) 255-6273
Outer Banks Sporting Events is a local nonprofit that produces four annual events: The TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon, The Flying Pirate Half Marathon & First Flight 5K, Storm the Beach (the only obstacle course on the beach) and the SAGA Outer Banks Triathlon. TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon Weekend is held each Veteran’s Day weekend, with this years dates November 8 and 9, 2014. This weekend has something for everyone. On Saturday there is a 10K, 5K and Family Fun Run. Sunday completes the weekend with a full 26.2 mile Marathon from Kitty Hawk to Manteo and a 13.1 Half Marathon from Nags Head to Manteo, including a 10K fun run named the Southern 6. The TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon is the North Carolina USA Track & Field State Championship race and a Boston Marathon Qualifier.
The Flying Pirate Half Marathon & First Flight 5K will be held May 3 and 4, 2014 (April 18 and 19, 2015). This 13.1-mile course runs from Kitty Hawk to Nags Head finishing with a Pirate Jamboree! OBSE’s newest event is Storm the Beach, which includes three distances run on the beach together with challenging obstacles. The SAGA Outer Banks Triathlon is held on Roanoke Island near the NC Aquarium. It is scheduled September 13 and 14, 2014, and includes Sprint, Olympic and Half distances. One hundred percent of net proceeds from these events support the Outer Banks Relief Foundation and the Dare Education Foundation. Participating in these events is to truly “Run for a Reason.”
For more information about Outer Banks Sporting Events and their four great events visit www.obxse.org.
- 1100 Club Road
- (252) 453-9040
Whalehead in Historic Corolla is located on 39 acres of pristine soundfront property and has a public boat ramp, areas for picnics, fishing and crabbing and is the starting destination for a bike path through Corolla. Take a stroll at sunset, or spread a blanket and enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty of the grounds. Leashed pets are welcome outside. In addition to Whalehead, you will find the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. Next door is the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Please see the separate entries in Attractions for more information on each of those places.
Family-friendly fun events are a big part of the experience at Whalehead in Historic Corolla. Art shows, holiday fireworks and other seasonal events, and musical performances will bring you back time and again. Go to Whalehead’s website or to www.outerbanksthisweek.com for a complete list of these events.
- 610 Currituck Clubhouse Road
- (252) 489-2020, (800) 460-4136
There was a time when you could look out your rental cottage window and see wild horses traveling in herds and maybe eating your grass. But, for the good of the horses, that is no longer so. The wild horses were relocated to the four-wheel-drive area north of Corolla, so you must have an off-road vehicle if you want to see them. Wild Horse Adventure Tours can be your guide! They have two ways to get you into horse country. First is an enclosed 4x4 mini coach with A/C driven by one of their seasoned guides, the second is in a custom open-top vehicle also driven by one of their guides.The guides at Wild Horse Adventure Tours know exactly where to look for the horses, they know how to drive in the sand and they know a lot about the history of the area, making for a much more enlightening trip on your part. They’ll also point out snakes, shore birds, plants and interesting natural aspects of this ocean-side environment. They run many scheduled trips per day and operate year round, so call to get all the details and make a reservation. Horse sightings are guaranteed or they will refund your money.
Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary
- Pine Island
Pine Island is one of only a few remaining examples of natural plant and animal assemblages that were once found in abundance on the northern Outer Banks. Protected by Audubon and stretching from ocean to sound, this 5,000-acre wildlife sanctuary is a habitat for birds, deer, rabbits and more than 350 species of plants. The 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail runs along the Currituck sound with two observation platforms that offer excellent views of the sound and its marshes. At the moment there is not a parking area for the trail, but you can park at the Pine Island Racquet Club if you ask the club manager for permission. The trailhead is behind the racquet club.
B&R Car Rentals
- 404 U.S. Highway 64, Manteo
- (252) 473-2142
Vacationers staying all over the Outer Banks rent cars from this local dealership, but be sure to call well in advance to make reservations. Daily and weekly rental are available as well as pick up and delivery at local marinas.
- 91 Sunset Boulevard, Timbuck II Shopping Village
- (252) 453-0310
Get the ultimate vacation souvenir with a colorful hairwrap, some cornrows or a temporary tattoo. Beach Braids is the only Outer Banks shop offering natural henna tattoos in addition to black henna tattoos. The natural henna is a reddish-brown color instead of black. and all three Beach Braids locations have a Mendhi artist on staff during peak season. This store also sells custom, handmade hemp jewelry. All locations have a professional and organized studio with skilled staff and a comfortable air conditioned waiting area. Appointments or walk-ins are accepted, and large groups can be accommodated easily. This business is open in the spring and summer season only at all three locations: Nags Head, Duck and Corolla.
- 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo
- (252) 475-HELI (4354)
Looking for a spectacular way to see the Outer Banks? Lift off in a helicopter for the best possible view of the Outer Banks. They’ll take you on a tour around Roanoke Island, along some of the beautiful beaches (where you’ll see shipwrecks), the Bodie Island Lighthouse, Jockey’s Ridge, the Wright Brothers Memorial, sea life and more, or you can customize your own tour. Longer tours also available to see the wild Banker ponies of Corolla, Hatteras and Ocracoke lighthouses and Portsmouth Island. The helicopter accommodates up to three passengers at a time, and the cockpit is air-conditioned for a comfortable ride. Coastal Helicopters offers charter service around the region, including Corolla, where they have a landing spot. Tours are available for less than $42 per person, and gift certificates are available.
Corolla Adventure Golf & Bumper Cars
- 810 OceanTrail
- (252) 453-7777
This bright new spot offers many choices for family fun. Choose one of their Corolla-themed mini-golf courses (complete with a miniature Whalehead Club and Currituck Lighthouse), or play all three. The more adventurous can try out the Spin Zone bumper cars. Not in the mood to play? Enjoy a sweet snack from the ice cream bar instead!
Corolla Bait and Tackle
- 1070 Ocean Trail and 603 Currituck Drive, The Shoppes at the Currituck Club
- (252) 453-9500, (252) 453-9690
Keith Cummings, owner of Corolla Bait and Tackle, goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to sharing his fishing knowledge. Everyone who comes through the door gets fishing instruction. This full-service tackle shop sells every major brand of tackle for fresh and salt water plus gear, fresh bait, crabbing supplies, ice and more. The advice is free. Corolla Bait and Tackle rents rods, reels and crab pots. Surf fishing classes are offered as well. See Outer Banks Charter Fishing Adventures for guided fishing opportunities.
Corolla Jeep Adventures and Wild Horse Tours
- 1070 Ocean Trail, Whalehead Bay Shoppes
- (252) 453-6899
Corolla Jeep Adventures offers guided tours of the off-road area, including their own private 400-acre Hunt Club. Guided tours are 2 hours long and conducted in comfy 15-passenger vans or Suburbans. You can also rent a soft-top Jeep and drive yourself following your guide. These tours last 2.5 hours, and the guide will take you on a course where wild horses are usually spotted. You’ll see beautiful, remote beaches and wildlife. Corolla Jeeps Adventures is open year round, and they say they can pretty much find horses for you every day! New this year they are offering 4x4 kayak combination tours, and their tours access acres of private trails where you’ll see historic sites and learn of local ecology including the second-largest living sand dune. What great views!
The company also offers a variety of fishing charters, in either the sound or the ocean, for a half-, three-quarter or full day. Depending upon which trip you choose, you can catch mackerel, marlin, tuna and dolphin. The boats carry up to six passengers, and if you don’t have a group of six ready to go, they can accommodate you with a make-up charter. All fishing tackle is included, so all you need to bring is lunch.
Corolla Mini Golf
- 785 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
- (252) 453-6900
Enjoy famous views of the Currituck Sound as you tee it up on this 18-hole, carpeted miniature golf course. Ten of the holes are played on a separate island! Look for the course at the back of the shopping complex next to Kitty Hawk Watersports.