Corolla vs Duck - Which Outer Banks Town is Better?

Corolla NC Ocean Sun

Considered to be part of the "northern beaches" of the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, Duck and Corolla are quite popular vacation destinations during the scorching summer months. 

One common question that travelers who are planning their very first trip to the coast of North Carolina is which town should they choose to stay in? To help you decide between Corolla and Duck, we put together his informational post... enjoy! 

First, let's start with some quick things you should know about each of the towns.

Duck, NC Quick Facts

Year incorporated: May 1, 2002
Yearly residents: About 600

Notable Attractions and Landmarks in Duck

  • Sanderling Resort
  • Duck Town Boardwalk
  • The Pointe Golf Club

Popular Restaurants in Duck

  • The Blue Point
  • AQUA Restaurant
  • The Paper Canoe
  • Coastal Cravings
  • Red Sky Cafe
  • Duck Deli
  • Roadside Bar & Grill

Corolla, NC Quick Facts

Year incorporated: N/A
Yearly residents: About 500

Notable Attractions and Landmarks in Corolla

  • Currituck Beach Lighthouse
  • The Whalehead Club
  • Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
  • Corolla Adventure Park
  • Currituck Banks Reserve

Popular Restaurants in Corolla

  • Urban Kitchen
  • Corolla Pizza & Deli
  • Uncle Ike's Sandbar & Grill
  • Mama Easley's
  • Lighthouse Bagels

Okay, now here is a pro and cons list comparing Corolla and Duck.

Which has more restaurants and shops?

Which has a super cool soundfront boardwalk?

Where do the wild horses hang out?

Which is less of a drive from mainland North Carolina?

Hardest name to pronounce correctly?
Corolla! Many people pronounce the town name the same as the popular model of car made by Toyota. Say it with me, it's kuh-ROW-luh.

Which has the worst traffic during the busy summer months?
Tied! In September through May the traffic on the Outer Banks is essentially non-existent but during the summer it can sometimes be a headache. 

Are there any lighthouses?
Corolla has a magnificent lighthouse! There are no lighthouses in Duck.

Most public beach accesses?
Corolla. Although, there aren't many in comparison to the central beaches of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. In Corolla there are 15 beaches with public access, of which six have lifeguards and public parking and just two include showers to wash off the sand from a day under an umbrella.

Most rental homes to choose from?

Where was Duck Donuts founded?
Duh, the Town of Duck.

Biggest vacation rental home?
The Black Stallion in Corolla boasts 20,000 square feet of living space and 24-bedrooms. Probably big enough for all of your crew.

So, which is better?


It depends! After reading through the comparisons above you should have an idea of which area you'd prefer to vacation at. Really both are truly excellent choices for a week away at the beach with a group of close family and friends.

We hope this articles has helped you in your quest for planning an Outer Banks getaway! Be sure to check out some of these related posts below for more OBX travel tips and tricks.


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