No Crowds Here; Four Wheel Drive Required

© Shelley Chamberlin Photography
Carova, North Carolina

Carova is located in the four wheel drive territory north of Corolla. No roads, no stores, and very few people have found this area. What you will find is the natural beauty of the Outer Banks as it was before it became the hot vacation destination it is now. The town, so called due to its location in North Carolina (Caro) just south of Virginia (va), is eleven miles of pristine beaches leading up to the Virginia border. The communities are Seagull, Penny’s Hill, Swan Beach, North Swan Beach and Carova. It has been referred to as one of the best "undiscovered" beaches in the United States.

To find Carova, you need only take Route 12 north until you come to the end of the road, literally. A slight jug right and turn left and suddenly, you’ve left the road, and the crowds behind. Don’t be surprised if you see a few 2 wheel drive adventurers stuck as soon as you hit the soft sand, but rest assured, this is four wheel drive low gear territory.

Carova, North Carolina Carova, North Carolina

Because of this, Carova has no restaurants, gas stations, trash collection, grocery stores or other "modern life" conveniences you’ve grown accustomed to; but this does not mean the OBX vacation rentals up this end of the island are lacking. What you will find, interspersed with some modest homes of some year round residents, are large beautiful homes where the owners of these Outer Banks house rentals, recognizing the seclusion of the area, have built in may features to keep you comfortable and busy during your stay. Heated pools, extensive game rooms, gourmet kitchen, and large multiple bedroom houses, with quite a few having at least eight bedrooms, typically housing 18 or more people, have made this an ideal location for that family reunion or beach wedding where seclusion and privacy is a big plus.

Carova, North Carolina

You may also be fortunate to see the wild horses of Corolla, who have been relocated to this area after development forced them out of the Corolla area. Please do not attempt to approach, feed, ride or pet the horses, as it is against the law and could result in either you or the horse getting hurt. The horses now come under the care and protection of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, who looks after their health, numbers and upkeep. In addition, up at the Virginia border, you will find the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge and the False Cape State Park, where you will find a few other endangered species, including the loggerhead turtle, the piping plovers, and the seabeach amaranths, an annual plant found on the dunes of Atlantic Ocean beaches. As you are driving the beaches to wherever you may be going, watch out for the remains of a once mighty forest, where all is left poking out of the sand are some gnarled trunks.

Carova, North Carolina
© Shelley Chamberlin Photography
Carova, North Carolina

If you do not have a four wheel drive vehicle, there are several companies that run jeep tours up into this area (the ATV tours have been outlawed), who will bring you on nature tours and possibly show you the wild horses.

If you are seeking a vacation with plenty of uninterrupted family time, long walks on the beaches, beautiful and peaceful sunsets, and some time to decompress from the mayhem of every day life, Carova may be exactly what you are looking for.

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