Correctly pronounced 'cor-Aah-lah', this is the northernmost town on the Outer Banks. With beautiful beaches and upscale atmosphere, Corolla has a unique taste and flair for the contemporary. Twenty years ago there were only a few homes where today exist luxurious communities.
This area has a long, rich history and amazingly enough is older than the state of North Carolina. This of course puts the land in Native Indian hands and not surprisingly, the word Currituck is translated from Algonquian Indian 'The Land of the Wild Goose'.
In 1873 when Corolla was better known as Jones Hill, construction began on Currituck Beach Lighthouse. This lighthouse was made of red bricks and was completed on December 1, 1874. It is the only lighthouse in North Carolina still housed in its original structure.
That same year, the Jones Hill Life Saving Station was established. This was one of seven original life-saving stations on the Outer Banks. These later became a part of the U.S. Coast Guard. This was a hard rugged life handed down from father to son. A third generation grandson who like his father and grandfather before him, worked in the Life Saving Stations still works for the government but in a wholly different capacity. He is 79 years young and if you are fortunate enough to stop in at the Outer Banks Visitor Center and see him, he will tell you wonderful tales of growing up in the Outer Banks. He is very much the southern gentleman with gracious manners but he is shy, therefore if you are so inclined to seek him out to ask for yourself about the history of this beautiful area, attire yourself with a listening ear and humble attitude.
One of the most spectacular landmarks on the Currituck Outer Banks is what was originally known as Corolla Island. Finished in 1925, and better known now as the Whalehead Club, this magnificent estate was built by Edward Collings and Marie Louise Knight, who used it as their winter residence until 1934. This massive home stood isolated for years before the area was more widely developed. The estate provided a source of work for local folks by hiring people to take care of the grounds and home as well as to serve as hunting guides for guests of the owners.
Today you can come and visit the Whalehead Club and Currituck Heritage Park. the 21,000 sq. ft. private residence, footbridge and boathouse are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is open from sunrise to dusk and the Whalehead Club has tours daily from Easter to Thanksgiving on the half hour beginning at 10am and ending at 5pm. There are specialty tours available by reservation. For more information you can visit their website or call 252-453-9040.
The wild horses of Corolla are not a myth, but can be seen in person if you have a four wheel drive vehicle and some patience. These horses are decended from Spanish Mustangs which roamed the Outer Banks for over four hundred years. Originally, the horses played on the shores with the Spanish conquistadors in the 1500's. Today these horses are protected by the government. You can read more about the horses here.