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North Carolina’s coastline runs for over 300 miles, from the Outer Banks, where wild horses still roam, to 45 miles of south-facing beaches on the Brunswick Islands. In between, there are vintage boardwalks, pirate legends, 4x4 adventures, classic fishing piers, grand lighthouses, and dunes where the Wright Brothers first mastered powered flight.

It’s a captivating stretch of the Atlantic for family holidays, and incredibly easy to reach: direct UK flights year round to Raleigh take less than nine hours.

But where do you begin if it’s your first time? Visit North Carolina are local experts on every inch of the coast, so who better to guide you to the best of the best beaches?

1/7  Corolla Beach – where the wild horses roam

The northernmost beaches of the Outer Banks are white sand for mile after mile. One beach seems to sift into another, and they’re all enormous, so there are no crowds, ever. They’re also the stomping ground of wild Bankers horses, descended from the Spanish mustangs which crossed the Atlantic with 16th century explorers.

Corolla Beach, is particularly stunning, easily reached from Corolla village, and a good place for spotting wild horses.

What families love about Corolla Beach

  • Wild Bankers Horses, and Wild Horse Adventure Tours in Currituck Banks Reserve.
  • The Wild Horse Museum, and surfing lessons at Corolla Surf Shop.
  • Views from the top of Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
  • Parasailing, SUP, tubing or kayaking.
  • Cycling round historic Corolla village.

Where to stay: The Inn at Corolla Light. Family suite, sleeps four, from £114 per night.

How to get there: Corolla Beach is four hours drive east of the Raleigh Airport (RDU)

Find out more about Corolla Beach in North Carolina

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