Setting: Corolla (cor-AH-la) is the northernmost city on the Outer Banks. Separated from the state of Virginia by a fence, Corolla is 15 miles from the town of Duck and more than two hours from Norfolk International Airport.
Attractions: Flanked by Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, Corolla provides plentiful beaches and water activities. The community welcomes unique businesses and dining establishments. A secluded location means little crime and plenty of privacy. Beaches and businesses are pet-friendly. Abundant wildlife thrives here, thanks to the North Carolina Reserve Estuary and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund Inc.
Drawbacks: One paved road leads to and from Corolla, which can make traffic, and leaving the island, a challenge. Tourism is the main source of income, and most establishments close for the winter. Medical facilities and schools are more than 30 miles away.
Housing: Most homes in Corolla are large―4,000-plus square feet. Oceanfront properties start at $1 million. Homes along Currituck Sound range from $750,000 to more than $2 million. Property in the community of Carova, where the horses live, ranges from $220,000 to $23 million.
Your next-door neighbors: Seasonal renters, inn owners, artists, writers, retirees, local chefs, a hammock weaver, fishing and boating enthusiasts, and maybe even a Spanish mustang.
How you'd spend your free time: Strolling through Corolla Village for books or antiques, volunteering at Currituck Beach Light, heading to sea from the public boat launch in Heritage Park, treating yourself to spicy steamed shrimp from Steamers Shellfish To Go.
(published January/February 2008)