Posted on 11/19/2014

Tips and Tricks for Beach Driving in Corolla and Carova

Everyone loves to drive on the beach! It is exciting and beautiful, especially on the Corolla and Corova beaches of the Outer Banks. But there are a few rules to follow to make sure everyone is safe and YOU donâ??t look like an amateur when hitting the sand in your vehicle. First things first:

Beach etiquette and helpful hints:

  • It should go without saying, but make sure your vehicle is registered and properly licensed and insured. Also, if your vehicle is not 4WD, donâ??t try it. Just donâ??t.
  • Donâ??t forget to fill your gas tank before heading out to the sand. There are no gas stations located along the shore.
  • Adjust your tire pressure before approaching the beach ramp, where you enter the four-wheel-drive area. Tires should be set to 15-20 psi in all four tires to allow for more surface contact with the sand.
  • No stopping in the Corolla beach ramp area. Make sure to already be in 4WD and maintain a slow steady speed straight onto the beach, yielding to pedestrians at all times. When on the beach the surf can be loud, so be careful of playing children and people who canâ??t hear an approaching vehicle.
  • Also watch for wild horses which roam the beach freely. They may be hard to see, especially at night. If you observe an injured horse, please call the Corolla Wild Horse Fund at (252) 453-8002.
  • Very important: do not stop on the beach until you have passed all signs posted no parking/ stopping zones. You must reach the wider part of the beach, past mile post 14 (about 1 mile from the entrance) before stopping so as to ensure other vehicles will be able to pass. 

Speed Limit and Parking:

  • The speed limit on the beaches of Corolla and Corova is 35 mph, although on the shore or beach strand, the speed limit is 15mph when traveling within 300 feet of animals or people.
  • Vehicles parked on the beach must be parked in the area east of the dune line and west of the hard packed sand strip, adjacent to the waterâ??s edge. NO PARKING directly on the shoreline or in the dune traffic lane (the lane with the deeply rutted tracks next to the dunes) as those â??lanesâ?? are designated Fire, Emergency, and Vehicular traffic lanes.


  • Do not get closer than 50 feet of the wild horses. It is against the law!
  • No walking or driving a vehicle on the North Beach dunes.
  • No Reckless Driving. This includes doing â??donutsâ?? or driving in the surf.
  • No pets on the beach without a leash.
  • No overnight camping.
  • No ATVs for non-residents of Currituck County and no launching of watercraft in the Atlantic Ocean. Access is available on the sound side.
  • No bonfires or open-burning of any kind and as always, no glass on the beach.

Driving on the beach is one of the most exciting excursions people set out on during their Obx Vacations, so please follow these simple guidelines and respect the beaches, and we can all have a fun, safe summer!

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