Did you book a Carova Beach vacation rental or just want to cruise up the 4×4 beach for the day? Driving on the 4×4 beaches is much different than driving on paved roads. Our 4×4 beach driving expert, Edward, has tips and tricks to help make your 4×4 beach driving experience enjoyable.
First and foremost, check with your vehicle’s manufacturer to be sure that your particular make and model is sufficient for driving on the beach. 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles with higher clearance tend to perform well on the beach.
Lowering your tire pressure is essential for driving on sand. Tires with lower air pressure have more traction, which helps the tires roll on the sand instead of dig in. We will provide a Twiddy tire gauge upon arrival. Tire pressure can be lowered in our Corolla office parking lot, which is less than a mile from the 4×4 beach access ramp. The recommended tire pressure is 18-20 psi.
Be on the Lookout
Once you are on the 4×4 beaches, be on the lookout for people and horses. The speed limit on the beach is 35 mph when no people or horses are around and 15 mph when within 300 feet of people or horses.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Rules and regulations of paved roads apply to the beaches as well. If you see horses that you’d like to take pictures of, pull over and park. Stopping in the middle of the flow of traffic can cause a traffic jam on the beach. Traffic normally flows as it would on paved roads, where you drive on the right. Occasionally, you will drive to the left of oncoming traffic if the oncoming vehicle has their turn signal on to indicate that they are staying close to the water.
Try to Travel at Low Tide
Traveling when the tide is low is best, but the beach is normally driveable during high tide as well. When the tide is lower, there is more hard-packed sand to drive on, which means a smoother ride.
Parking on the 4×4 Beach
When parking on the 4×4 beach, your vehicle should be perpendicular to the ocean, east of the dune line and west of the high tide line. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, a 4×4 parking pass is required to park on the beach. Parking passes must be purchased from Currituck County. See Currituck County’s website for the most recent information on 4×4 beach parking passes.
Cell phone service and map functions work better than they ever have on the 4×4 beaches. However, we recommend downloading or printing directions to your vacation rental prior to heading up the 4×4 beach. A map and directions to your vacation home will be provided in your arrival packet.
Things to Do on the 4×4 Beaches
The 4×4 beaches may be undeveloped, but there’s plenty to do. Watch the Corolla Wild Horses in their natural environment. Take a long walk on the beach and collect seashells. Go fishing in hopes of catching your dinner. Grab your surfboard and catch a few waves. Help the kids build an epic sandcastle.