Carova Cottages FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a four wheel drive? 

​The answer is an emphatic yes.  Beach driving is a bit tricky at first, and even experienced drivers will encounter sand conditions that test their skills.  All-wheel-drive vehicles are okay for perfect conditions, but rarely will the beach be in perfect condition from one end to the other.  You will encounter sand that requires four-wheel-drive at some point or other in your travels.  Trying to time your travels for low tide and traveling down near the ocean on the hard packed sand will make for the easiest driving experience.  See our page about Driving on Sand for more information.


What if I don't have a four wheel drive vehicle?

​If you don't have a 4x4, you will have rent one OR  count on someone else in your party to get you to and from the house in their 4x4.  There are no Uber's here.  Park your non 4x4 vehicle in the lot owned by A-1 Towing off Ponton Lane.  There is a fee and you must call ahead to set it up.  252-453-9999

 4x4 rentals

Four wheel drive vehicles can be rented from a few local businesses: visit our Rental Shops page for more details.

Do I need to lower the air pressure in my tires to drive on the beach?

It is recommended to reduce the air pressure in your tires to between 18 and 20 psi.  Hard tires have a tough time gripping the sand, so they slip a little and push the sand out behind them.  This creates a washboard effect which makes driving very tedious.  Lowering the tire pressure puts more rubber in touch with the sand which helps the car roll along better.  Also, lower tire pressure makes the engine not have to work as hard, reducing the strain and possibly saving you some bigger headaches.  Your engine can overheat when driving for long stretches on the sand with hard tires. There are a few car fires a year on our beach because car engines overheat and catch fire!! 

You can refill your tires at any gas station or at the county-operated "air-up" stations when you exit the beach.  Just follow the air-up signs.  Don't worry about a little bit of road time with low tires -  we routinely travel to Kitty Hawk (one hour away) with low tire pressure, though it is a personal decision.  It is hard on your sidewalls for extended periods of time, and will lower your gas mileage.

When is high/low tide?

The tides change every day. The best way to determine the tides is by following a tide chart. Go to the link below and look for the day you will be traveling. The first two times listed next to the day are the two low tides for the day. These are approximations for a particular area of the Outer Banks. Carova is closest to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, so subtract about one half hour from the times listed on this chart. The beaches are still navigable at other times, but low-tide driving offers the advantage of driving on the hard packed sand next to the ocean, which is much easier driving than the dune line.


NC tide chart 

Can I bring my atv?

No, unless you are a property owner on the North Beach, you cannot bring your all terrain vehicle. Property owners must have a Currituck County sticker displayed on their atv, which is only attainable after proving residency and insurance. The fine for driving an unregistered atv in the area can be as much as $250.  If your ATV or other atypical vehicle is licensed and insured for road travel, it is legally allowed on the beach. 

What is included in my vacation home?   

Please see What's Included for a list of items included in every cottage. Individual cottages that boast more than this list will have those items listed as "Extra Inventory."

Where can I rent additional beach gear?

Most beach gear is available for rent at any of several vacation rental shops in the area. See a list on the Rental Shops page.

Is there a service to help me get my luggage and gear into the house on check in day?

Enjoy your vacation without the hassle of carrying heavy bags up multiple flights of stairs!  Let Outer Banks Beach Service unpack, so you can relax!  

Do I need a permit to go fishing? 

Yes, you must purchase a fishing license to fish anywhere on the Outer Banks. 
Licenses are available at:
Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Heritage Park
1160 Village Lane, Corolla

Will I see the horses near my house?

There are over 100 horses on this 11 mile stretch of beach.  Eventually you will see them.  There is no special place that they go, but if you are patient you will probably get a visit.  Remember to keep your distance.  There is a $50 ordinance violation for getting too close to the horses. 

DO NOT FEED THE HORSES!  They will acclimate to that activity and have to be removed from the herd as they learn to approach people for a hand out.  

Other questions? Feel free to email or call us any time!

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