Navigating Outer Banks Terminology Part 1
Every area has its own phrasing to describe how to get around their community. First time travelers to New York City likely won’t know references to the “Village” mean Greenwich Village. The same logic applies to San Francisco’s Nob Hill or Kensington in London. Those new to the Outer Banks will find local lingo is quite similar.
In the spirit of easing visitors through Outer Banks exploration from Carova to Kitty Hawk, here is some terminology you may come across during your stay:
Everything located north of the town of Duck and between the Dare and Currituck County line is considered Corolla . . . until you reach the four-wheel drive area.
However, Corolla Village is a small grouping of homes and businesses located around the base of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. The structures lining the street are actually buildings from the original village, some of them dating back 125-150 years.
NC 12 ends about two miles north of Corolla Village. Although the paved road no longer exists, drivers with 4WD vehicles can proceed up the beach. The area north of the paved road is usually referred to by locals as Carova. However, properly speaking, Carova is the small village just south of the Carolina and Virginia border.
The Town of Duck has quite a number of subdivisions which are rarely referenced when providing directions. Yet visitors may hear locals refer to Duck Village, which is not a subdivision. When you hear this term, they are referencing the business district of Duck, an area that is roughly the same length as the Duck Boardwalk.
Kitty Hawk Village
Kitty Hawk is one of the oldest settled areas in Dare County. When the Wright Brothers came to the Outer Banks, they stayed with William Tate in what was then a village. The home is now gone, although there is a marker on Moor Shore Road indicating where the house once stood.
As a settled area, Kitty Hawk was never much more than a village, and that original area is typically referred to as Kitty Hawk Village or the Village. As a geographic reference, it is the area surrounding Kitty Hawk Bay from Moor Shore Road to Austin Cemetery.
Just past Austin Cemetery is a residential area called Kitty Hawk Landing. As a residential area, it’s something residents use in talking to one another, but just in case it comes up in conversation there is a reference for its location.
Kitty Hawk is where directions start to be given in mile markers, for example “The Kitty Hawk Post Office is located at milepost 4 on the Bypass.” It’s also where people start referring to locations as between the highways or beachfront. The only two highways on the Outer Banks are US 158 (Carotoke Highway or the Bypass) and NC 12 (Virginia Dare Trail or the Beach Road). The towns of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head generally have two to three blocks of homes between the two roads. When you hear a local refer to a location between the highways, they mean roadways located between the Beach Road and the Bypass.
Coming Soon: Part II – Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head.