If you’ve been to Corolla before, you’ve undoubtedly visited the historic triangle made up of the Currituck Lighthouse, the Whalehead Club and its historic grounds and the Corolla Historic Shopping Village. But did you notice the large gray building to the right overlooking the water? Itâ??s non-descript architecture hides the gem of a museum inside.
Most people don’t even stop to look at it because it’s so official looking. However, inside is the Corolla Wildlife Education Center. A fun place for adults and kids alike, this museum offers a great overview of the wildlife in the area.
The history lesson starts with a movie about the Sound, it’s resources, and duck hunting. There are many exhibits that focus on the areaâ??s rich history in hunting, trapping, fishing, and living life along the Outer Banks coast. Taxidermied animals throughout the exhibit help bring the region to life. One of the most popular exhibits for adults is the display of homemade duck hunting decoys. You’ll see everything from the basic canvas back to the elaborate carved. And, don’t forget to take your picture with the life sized stuffed bear.
Most wildlife education centers do not feature live animal indoor exhibits. However, this one is the exception to the rule. They have an exhibit depicting both the life above and below water in the Sound. While the exhibits above the water (including a fisherman in a boat) are stuffed in classic museum style, the bottom part is made up of live fish. Small children love looking at the fish as they are right at their eye level. Outside, there is a nature trail where you can see all sort of wild animals, like birds, nutria, and more in their natural habitat.
The Wildlife Education Center offers a variety of programs for kids and adults of all ages. They have kayak tours, fishing and crabbing classes, plein air painting, archery and much more. These programs range from low cost to free. However, they do fill up early so it’s best to make a reservation in advance.
So, the next time you visit Corolla, you’ll want to check out the Wildlife Education Center. It’s a great activity for a rainy day or when it’s too hot to go to the beach. There are plenty of photo ops, clean bathrooms, and even a smashed penny machine so you can take home a small souvenir of your Corolla wildlife adventure.