Historic Corolla and Currituck: Adventures in Time

April 7, 2022

Our beautiful shoreline stretches for miles. Our Wild Mustangs enchant locals and visitors alike. Our beach rentals are luxurious and spacious. Our seafood is to die for! These selling points alone have encouraged guests from all over to book a summer vacation in Corolla and Currituck County. Yet there is so much more to enjoy during your stay. You may come to our beaches to relax and clear your mind, but you just might leave learning a thing or two about our region and its people.

If you’re a history buff, be sure to reserve a day or two in your itinerary to take in all the fascinating museums and monuments in Corolla and on the Currituck mainland. Some landmarks are celebrating a century in existence, while others date back much further. In Corolla, many of our sites of interest are within walking distance of each other, too. They include:

Historic Corolla Village

A stroll through the historic district of Corolla is a step back in time. Here you will find several restored homes dating back to the late nineteenth century. Many are now repurposed for businesses and other attractions, like the Wild Horse Museum. This beautiful, pedestrian-friendly area is also home to the Historic Corolla Chapel, a U.S. Lifesaving Station, and the WEVS schoolhouse – a two-room historic building built in the late 1800s to serve the children of the lighthouse keepers and surfmen (which is still in operation today). 

Currituck Maritime Museum

Our most recent attraction, the Currituck Maritime Museum is home to a wealth of information on our region’s rich nautical history. Explore interactive exhibits, learn about the heroes who manned the area’s life-saving stations, and see artifacts of our lengthy fishing and crabbing history.

Whalehead in Historic Corolla


Once a vacation home for the illustrious Knight family, this beautifully restored mansion is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its groundbreaking. Visitors can tour the home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and experience how the wealthy and elite of the Roaring 20s spent their time in the late fall and winter months. Whalehead has the distinction of being the first home on the Outer Banks with a basement and electricity, the latter of which wouldn’t arrive in this area until the early 1950s.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

No doubt about it: the top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse has the best views of Corolla. It’s a long walk to the top, but along the way you’ll learn about the structure’s history and some of the caretakers who kept the light shining since it first turned on in 1875.

While you’re on the mainland, don’t forget to stop at these preserved points of interest:

Old Currituck Jail - Currituck, NC

Old Currituck Jail and Historic Courthouse

The old jail’s story dates back to the Revolutionary War era and is currently being reinforced and restored for future interpretation. The original Courthouse building was replaced in 1842 and is now used as government offices. Together they are two of the oldest landmarks in the county and recognized by the Civil War Trails organization.

Historic Jarvisburg Colored School

Historic Jarvisburg Colored School stands as one of the oldest landmarks of African American history in our state. Established in 1868 to allow area children to obtain an education, the renovated schoolhouse is now a museum honoring its teachers and alumni. HJCS is also part of the African American Experience of Northeast North Carolina, a six-county trail that inspires exploration of the region and celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans in this part of the state.

Looking for more ideas to fill out a memorable Corolla vacation? Browse this year’s bucket list, or sign up to receive our newly updated Visitors Guide, which features all the information you need for a fun-filled and relaxing stay on the Currituck Outer Banks.