The Northern Outer Banks

Have you ever visited the northern tip of the Outer Banks? One afternoon while visiting Nags Head, we decided to drive north to explore the area. We found a unique lighthouse and a beautiful beach. So far, so good, right? Not so. There is so much more to see and do. We soon discovered that one afternoon is not nearly enough time. Here’s a peek at what the Northern Outer Banks has to offer.  

Currituck Beach Lighthouse at the Outer Banks NC

Currituck Beach Lighthouse 

Unlike its counterparts at Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Cape Lookout, Currituck Beach Lighthouse stands apart because it is the only lighthouse in the Outer Banks not painted. The red brick facade has given the Currituck Lighthouse a distinct look since its completion in 1875. The lighthouse stands 162 feet high and its original first-order Fresnel lens shines every night. Visitors can climb the 220 steps to the top for panoramas of the ocean and sound. 

Historic Corolla Park

the foot bridge at Historic Corolla Park Outer Banks NC
the foot bridge at Historic Corolla Park

Adjacent to the lighthouse grounds is the Historic Corolla Park. The park is picturesque boasting views of the Currituck Sound and the lighthouse. We took a relaxing stroll through the park noting the Maritime Museum, Whalehead Mansion, and the Center for Wildlife Education. The buildings are open to the public during the day. Access to the grounds is until dusk. 

a view of Currituck Sound from Historic Corolla Park
a view of Currituck Sound from Historic Corolla Park

Currituck Beach 

Directly across the street from the park is Currituck Beach. If you look back from the boardwalk, you can see the lighthouse. The beach is less crowded than Nags Head and is dog-friendly.

Barley the dog at Currituck Beach Outer Banks NC
Barley at Currituck Beach

Just north of Currituck Beach is Corolla Beach. The beach is only accessible with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Corolla Beach is known for its wild roaming horses. Unlucky for us, we did not have enough time to explore the 24 miles of pristine shoreline. We put it on our bucket list for next time…

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