Day 11 – Corolla, North Carolina

Another lovely sunny hot day here in Corolla!

After breakfast we headed for the beach. At 11 miles long there’s plenty of beach to go around, or so you’d think! Why is it that no matter where you decide to sit there’s always someone who decides the best place to settle themselves is in front of where you’re sitting? Yes, it happened to us. We arrived quite early with just a couple of towels and some sunscreen and then I found a very comfortable chair just sitting on the sand waiting for us and we settled in for a couple of hours. After a while along comes two families consisting of four adults and three children and they decide the best place out of the whole 11 miles to park themselves is right in front of us! Hey ho!

The remains of Hurricane Jose is a few hundred miles off the North Carolina coast and it showed in the waves this morning. A few brave souls decided it was just ideal for surfing, we decided it was just right for a paddle and a couple of selfies!!

There were loads of crab holes in the sand but no matter how quick we were the little devils always beat us by scrambling down their holes before we could even focus the camera. We were lucky though, as we left the beach we saw this beauty walking up the steps.

Crab at Corolla Beach

This afternoon we went for a wild ride to see Corolla’s Wild Horses.

The origins of the Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs date back nearly 500 years, making them the earliest settlers of the Outer Banks, and some of the earliest residents, second only to the local Native American tribes. While historical journals, documents and ship’s logs hint to the wild horses’ origin, it’s hard to determine one specific set of events that led to their presence on the Outer Banks.

It’s possible that the horses were left behind by one of the first explorers to the North Carolina Coastline, a Spanish explorer named Lucas Vasquez de Allyon. In 1521, Vasquez de Allyon commissioned his commanders to explore and colonize the entire American eastern seaboard, and at least a handful of these commanders landed somewhere along the North Carolina shoreline. While many modern historians believe the majority of these initial explorations happened somewhere around Cape Fear, (due to multiple references to the large saltwater river), it’s possible that these expeditions led them all the way to the Northern Outer Banks.

Access to this part of the beach is only possible in a 4WD vehicle.

When Hurricane Jose passed by Corolla last week it didn’t dump much rain but the winds were so bad that 8 feet of sand was lost out to sea.

Every winter, pounding waves ravage the sand along the beach, exposing hundreds of ancient cedar and live oak stumps. It is an annual occurrence here and on other beaches but this year it’s happened early.

Resembling black teeth in the sand, the stumps dot the path of passing traffic along the beach. One of the larger stumps has been outfitted with bright red reflectors to steer travelers from damaging their vehicles – or worse.

It is estimated that a maritime forest existed here some 2,000 years ago but was decimated as the barrier island drifted west toward the mainland, covering the roots in salt water.


We were driven along the beach and through sand dunes in search of the wild horses and were lucky to see at least 20. They are amazing to see, they do not react to humans or noises of any kind. They are just minding their own business. They are magnificent looking horses.

Egrets love to sit on the backs of the horses and feed on the ticks and mites! Lovely!

On the way back Si was saying how disappointing it was that we hadn’t actually seen any on the beach when boom, as if by magic two appeared! They just stood there, not moving at all as all the tour vehicles pulled up and people starting photographing them.

Horses 2

Horese 3

After a full day we were ready for dinner and we decided it was time for some ‘fine dining’ and we did just that at Kimball’s Kitchen. I had a potato and caviar dish to start and Si a prawn cocktail (not quite as we know it Jim!!) then he had a 22oz ribeye steak!! while I had a modest 8oz fillet mignon. Everything excellent!

Some of you may recall from previous posts that I’m quite partial to a French 75! A gin cocktail that is made with Plymouth Gin. Well tonight I had a French 85, the difference being that it’s made with Bombay Gin instead and there is no mint in it. We learn something everyday.

This was the view from our table. Quite lovely I think!

Sunset 1

Talking of beautiful views, this is one from our room at the Inn last night!


Well, today was our last day at Corolla. It’s been a short but very enjoyable stay and we will definitely be coming back in the future. This is a beautiful place to visit especially at this time of the year when it’s much quieter than in the height of the summer. Everything’s been wonderful.

Tomorrow we move on to Cary in North Carolina and are very excited to be meeting up with more dear friends, Denise and Desiree. Those who follow our blog will remember we met up with them last year in Charleston. This year we are meeting them on their home turf.

Hope you’ll join us there tomorrow!