Carova Listings by Map

Carova Beach, N. Swan Beach & Swan Beach


Carova Beach, the Northern-most area of North Carolina’s Outer Banks (OBX), is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicle. There are no paved roads that access the residential and vacation properties that dot the beaches in this area, and there is no commercial development. Without convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores or light pollution, residents and vacationers are truly able to enjoy the natural beauty of the sounds, smells and sights of the Outer Banks while vacationing here.

The name “Carova” stems from the two words Carolina and Virginia. The beaches in this area are some of the most remote, untouched surroundings along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In addition to its lush scenery, Carova and its communities are also home to North Carolina’s official state horse, the Banker Ponies, or, Wild Spanish Mustangs. The Wild Spanish Mustangs of Carova and Corolla have inhabited this small northern area for over 400 years. Living among the sand dunes and maritime forest, it is common while vacationing in the Outer Banks to see these animals playing in the surf, sun bathing, feeding on native grasses, and caring for their young. As these horses are wild, for your protection as well as their own, there remains an ordinance in place to keep at least 50-feet away from them at all times.


Separated by the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, there is plenty of wide open space separating the communities of Swan Beach and North Swan Beach. Specifically referred to as, “North Swan Beach”, this portion of the 4 x 4 Beaches is situated just south of Carova Beach and approximately 3-4 miles north of the beach access ramp.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle is required to access vacation homes in this area, as there are no roads and guests must drive up the beach. There are no stores, shops or convenience marts on the 4 x 4 beaches. Vacationers and locals alike must “head into town” (Corolla) for necessities.


Swan Beach is known by the locals as one of the best places in the Outer Banks to watch the wild horses in their natural habitat. When you book your vacation, you may be interested in a trip up Penny’s Hill. The soft sand feels great on your feet, but bear in mind that it’s not an easy destination.

Swan Beach in the OBX is about 3 miles north of the beach access ramp in Currituck. You’ll love the Swan Beach area for its serenity and beauty. This part of the OBX borders the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, so you may also see marsh birds and other animals native to North Carolina enjoying the sunshine. It’s like stepping back in time to when the early settlers first encountered our coast. Vacation homes in the area require a 4×4 vehicle to access, so if you really want to get away from it all you can bring the family and celebrate a reunion or holiday at beautiful Swan Beach.