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November 01, 2023

These legendary wild horses have been roaming the beaches of Corolla Outer Banks for over 400 years

No matter the season, make this dream trip come true on your next beach vacation getaway

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Limited - Corolla Outer Banks - Horses Courtesy/Corolla Outer Banks Travel and Tourism

Corolla Wild Horses walking the beaches of Corolla Outer Banks, NC.

Imagine a beach that is wide open where you can roam and explore freely. I’m not just talking about our wild horses that call this beach home — I’m talking about your experience when you visit them in the wild. On the remote, coastal beaches of the North Carolina Outer Banks, in an area known as Corolla and Carova, there's a place where the Corolla Wild Horse herds raise and protect their young. These colonial Spanish Mustangs have the honor of being called the state horse, and they have been able to roam freely here with the waves and the shore birds for over 400 years.

Limited -Corolla Outer Banks - Family BeachCourtesy/Corolla Outer Banks Travel and Tourism

Family enjoying time on Corolla Outer Banks beaches.

When you're ready to check this adventure off your bucket list, you can experience seeing the horses by either driving your own 4x4 vehicle or by booking a horse tour with one of the area's  knowledgeable tour guides. This trip is something your whole family will never forget, and if you're looking to see something amazing, heartwarming, and freeing, this is it. The drive on this beach is an adventure by itself, but picture driving on the sand, with the windows down, hearing the waves crash as you come up on a herd enjoying the same views as you.

Limited - Corolla Outer Banks - Kayaker LighthouseCourtesy/Corolla Outer Banks Travel and Tourism

Kayakers paddle past the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

Not only can you go see the herd solo or on a tour, but you can also rent a vacation home in the dunes where they roam. Imagine watching them in your backyard as you sit on the porch taking in a sunrise with your coffee or watching a sunset as the day slowly closes. See them walk up and down the shoreline while enjoying time with your family on a day at the beach or driving on the sand roads behind the dune line, the perfect place to see them in protected areas away from the shore. It is truly a relaxing and awe-inspiring experience you will never forget.

Tips: Bring a camera, because you will want to capture these horses and bring home memories for friends and family. If taking a tour, and coming in the cooler months, please bring a hoodie or warm jacket because the air of the ocean can get cool as you go on this safari like adventure. If driving yourself please have the proper 4x4 vehicle, air your tires properly as instructed, and pick up a parking permit for the beach if you plan to park for recreation (permits not required for driving on the beach). Do keep in mind these wild mustangs are, in fact, wild and protected, so please do not feed them, and stay 50’ away from them. Admire from afar and keep these herds living free for years to come.

Corolla is not only known for these legendary horses, but it's also considered one of the most beautiful beaches in North Carolina, with its soft sand, remoteness, and wide beaches. It has an array of accommodation options for the whole family including lodging from a small coastal cottage up to a 23-room ocean front beach house. If you like history, Corolla is a haven for maritime and coastal history, including a 220-step staircase at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Currituck Maritime Museum, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and the bright yellow 1920’s art nouveau house-turned-museum known as Whalehead. With rich coastal charm and plenty of water activities on the ocean and sound, this Outer Banks destination is sure to please families of all ages. Dream now, visit soon and make Corolla Outer Banks your next beach vacation.