The northern beaches of the Currituck Outer Banks are some of the most beautiful and remote in the world. The Currituck Outer Banks are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Currituck Sound to the west. Once you cross the Wright Memorial Bridge and head north on N.C. Highway 12, the paved road ends and the beach road begins as your enter the four-wheel drive area along the way to a destination like Swan Beach and Carova Beach.
NO STREET PARKING, towing is heavily enforced.
(follow road to the end of the parking lot)
Please use care when operating legal fireworks in permitted areas. Fireworks are prohibited on Currituck County property. Any fireworks that explode, propel or spin are prohibited in North Carolina.
Additionally, glass is not permitted on the beach.
Rip currents, commonly called rip tides and mistakenly undertows, are strong currents of water running out to sea. Rips are formed by water in the form of waves washing up onto the beach. Gravity pulls this water back out to sea forming a narrow channel or passageway with a river-like current moving away from shore. They can be 50 feet to 50 yards or more wide, and can flow to a point just past the breaking surf or hundreds of yards offshore. These powerful currents can pull even the most experienced swimmer. Most drowning deaths occur when people caught in the current try to swim against the current directly toward shore, becoming exhausted. Many times, the would-be rescuers are also caught and drown.
Look out for:
If you get caught in a rip current:
Also called undertow on a steeply sloping beach can pull you toward deeper water, but their power is swiftly checked by incoming waves. To escape these currents swim straight in if you’re a strong swimmer. If not, wait and float until the currents stop, then swim in. If the currents take you out through incoming waves, they are seaward currents.
Also called alongshore currents, are evidenced by waves breaking at an angle. These common currents move southward. To escape the current swim straight in or at a slight angle with the currents.
A red flag on the beach indicates that ocean conditions are not safe for swimming. All forms of water activity are prohibited. Any entry into the water when red flags are flying shall be a misdemeanor punishable by fine of not more than $500 or not more than 30 days imprisonment. Surfboards at least five feet in length and equipped with a leash are exempted. (Currituck County Ordinance chapter 9, Article 1, section 9-5) Due to theft, the red flags are taken down at the end of the lifeguards’ duty hours. This does NOT mean that conditions are safe to enter the water. Please know that the red flags are for your own safety and the safety of our rescue personnel.
You are welcome to enjoy our northern beaches via 4WD vehicle. The vehicle must be licensed and registered in order to be driven on the beach. There are a few things to keep in mind while driving on the northern beaches:
Click here for the most current beach parking permit information and a list of frequently asked questions.
Launching of personal watercraft (jet skis) is prohibited on the Atlantic Ocean side of Currituck County, but you may enjoy your personal watercraft in the Currituck Sound.
Public ramps are located at the Whalehead Club.
Currituck County has a county-wide leash law. Your pet must be on a leash at all times. And remember, please clean up after your pet!
Beach fires are illegal on the Currituck Outer Banks.
NO overnight camping of any type is allowed on any Currituck Beach.