Corolla Beach is home to the descendants of the North Carolina's first settlers. It just so happens that they're horses! Spaniards abandoned their livestock on the northern Outer Banks in the early 1500s when they left to return to Florida. The offspring of these horses still thrive today among the dunes and grasses as they did nearly five centuries ago.
In order to see wild horses in Corolla, you need a four-wheel drive vehicle, otherwise you must go with a tour company. Tours go out to find horses multiple times every day during the summer. Because these are wild animals, there isn't a set location where you might see them, but there are roughly 100 wild horses that wander the beaches and dunes north of Corolla. No permit is needed to drive on the beach in Corolla, and there are many sand roads leading back from the beach into the woods and rental areas. If you take the time to explore them, there's a high probability that you'll find the horses.
When you see wild horses, be sure to maintain a distance of at least 50 feet. It is illegal to approach, harass or feed them, whether they are on the beach or in the backyard of your rental house. That being said, these horses are very used to humans and will tolerate your presence from a distance. You can observe and photograph them for as long as you want.
If you encounter a sick or injured horse, please call the Corolla Wild Horse Fund at 252.453.8002, but do not approach the animals.