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What You Need to Know Before your
trip to Blue Horizon OBX

This is a long video, about 30 minutes, but it's full of helpful info and shows you what the actual drive to our home looks like.

Driving on the beach is a fun and exciting part of staying on the 4x4 area of the Outer Banks and the beach here changes everyday.  Below are a few helpful tips to consider before leaving the pavement:

  • It is required that you have a four-wheel drive vehicle and to air your tires down to drive on the beach.  This is a significant factor in reducing the likelihood of getting stuck.

  • Another reason four-wheel drive vehicles are required is due the ground clearance many of these vehicles have.  In areas where the sand is soft, deep grooves often get cut into the sand cause vehicles with lower ground clearance to catch the sand, potentially get damaged, and/or get stuck.  This is why a the most frequently seen vehicles on the beach are Jeeps and trucks.

  • Air down!  Reducing the air pressure in your tires allows your tires to balloon out creating more surface area.  This in turn allows your vehicle to sit on top of the sand rather than sinking in, decreasing the likelihood of being stuck.  It is also the law and violating this law can lead to steep fines.  NOTE: NEVER AIR DOWN AT THE ENTRANCE  TO THE BEACH!  This is not only not allowed but also blocks the entrance for people getting on and off the beach.  Air down prior to the beach and turn on your four wheel drive prior to hitting the sand.  The entrance to the beach is often to most crowded, softest sand, and deepest ruts.  This is where most people typically get stuck.  Keep momentum and keep your turns gradual.

  • Watch out for stumps!  The 4x4 area was previously home to a prehistoric forest and the remnants of that forest remain today.  The beach not only changes daily but also seasonally.  The depth of the sand on the beach can change by as much as 3 feet between winter and summer.  This migration of sand exposes the remaining stumps in the winter months as the sand drifts away, and can be hidden in the summer as the soft sand migrates back to the beach.  This can be especially challenging to navigate at night.

  • Monitor the tide schedule and the weather.  Traveling during times of high tide can be difficult and during extreme weather can be impassable.   We use an app called TIDES BY ME.  Look up the SANDBRIDGE tides since this is the closest to our beach.  It will give you daily and weekly tide schedules.  Living and staying on the beach is an incredible experience but awareness of the weather and tides must be a part of your everyday life.

  • Avoid driving in the ocean.  This can be tempting for many off-road enthusiast, or people that want to get an amazing picture for their social media.  Not only is the salt water highly corrosive to your vehicle, but is also dangerous.  Tides can come quick, vehicles can get stuck, and you cannot see the terrain under the water.  Imagine having that conversation with your insurance adjuster… Also when the ocean is rough, sea foam will form.  You never want to drive through that either.

  • Be prepared.  As a part-time resident of the 4x4 area, my vehicle always has a tow strap, a small folding shovel (E-Tool), portable jump starter, portable air compressor, tire deflators, and a tire pressure gauge.  All of these items are not required but prepare me for some of the common scenarios that may occur.  Tow bills can be expensive on the beach, so help yourself and others.  Also, if you get suck, do not accelerate aggressively to get out.  This will often lead to your vehicle getting stuck deeper and resting on its frame.  Sometimes letting a little bit more air out of your tires is all you need, or having a handy tow strap on hand and friendly passer-by. 

  • Pay attention to the speed limit.  The beaches are patrolled by the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office and speed limits are strongly enforced.  The speed limit is 15 mph around people and horses and 35 mph when no one is around you.

  • Parking on the beach.  Parking on the beach is permitted with a pass.  Currituck County just changed how they will give out passes.  As residents, we will have 2 passes in the house that you can use while you're here.  If you want additional passes, you must pre-register with the county.  The will only be giving 300 passes out per week and once they are sold out, they are sold out.   When permitted, drivers can park in the middle of the beach perpendicular to the ocean.  The remaining beach in front of and behind your vehicle are considered lanes of travel.

·        Air Down Your Tires:  Airing down your tires before entering the beach is not only a recommendation but it is the law.  All vehicles entering the beach must air down to 20 psi or less.  Keeping your tires inflated to normal pavement conditions not only cuts deeps grooves into the beach but increases the likelihood of your vehicle becoming stuck, likely resulting in costly towing expenses.  Lowering your tire pressure allows your tires to flatten out creating more surface area, increasing your vehicles ability to sit on top of the sand and get better

  • PRO TIP: Tire deflators are a quick easy way to air down your tires and can easily be found on Amazon.  We use the STAUN brand tire deflators.  They typically come in a pack of four and in most cases are preset to 18 psi.  By connecting tire deflators to your tire valve stems, you save time by deflating all four of your tires simultaneously.

·        Air Up Your Tires:  When going further than Corolla, it is recommended that you air up your tires to avoid damage at greater speeds.  Below are a few recommended spots for airing up your vehicle quickly at no cost.

  • Top Pick: Historic Corolla Park.  You can visit several iconic sites in the park while airing up, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Whalehead, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and the Currituck Maritime Museum.  This park comes equipped with several commercial air pumps free to the public just past the entrance.  The park is conveniently located at 1160 Village Lane, Corolla, NC 27927.

  • Twiddy & Company Vacation Rentals:  Twiddy, located near Historic Corolla Park, also offers free air compressors to beach goers in the area.  Twiddy is located at 1142 Ocean Trail, Corolla, NC 27927.

  • Gas Stations:  Most gas stations offer airing up stations, but often times are at a cost.

  • Vehicle Compressor:  Many avid off roaders or safety conscious guests choose to bring their own air compressors.  This is an excellent option as well, but often times is significantly slower than the commercial compressors offered at some of the above locations.

  • PRO TIP:  Bring a tire pressure gauge with you when visiting the beach.  You can pick them cheaply at a variety of automotive stores, gas stations, or even online.  They are inexpensive and a quick way to check your tire pressure when airing up your tires.  Many people attempt to use their tire pressure gauge on their dashboard.  This can often take a significant amount of time for the air pressure to register and in some vehicles may require your vehicle to reach a certain speed.   

·        Horses:  The wild Spanish mustangs of the OBX are largely considered the stars of the show and are a symbol of life here on the 4 x 4.  They can be found wondering in and around Blue Horizon OBX at any time-of-day, grazing on the grass right here in our yard.  Before you think about approaching them though you need to know a few things.  First and foremost, you cannot get within 50 feet of the wild horses.  They are protected and you will receive a fine.  This includes while driving.  Secondly, you cannot feed the horses.  They are wild and have very sensitive digestive systems.  Vacationers have attempted to feed the horses in the past and it has resulted in the horses being euthanized.  It is imperative that you never feed the horses anything and allow them to graze the grasses naturally.  If you see anyone attempting to do so kindly let them know.  It’s tempting to want to get close to the horses for that perfect Insta pic, but remember they are wild and will charge and/or bite you.  By all means enjoy the horses and take as many pictures as you like, but remember the laws.  One fun fact, if a horse is born on your property you get to name it, so keep an eye out.  Finally, help us protect the horses for generations to come and if you want to give back you can donate to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

**Sheets, bath towels, washclothes if you do not rent them.**

WATER for drinking

food/drinks

Alcohol (will have to be purchased from the ABC store.         You can get beer and wine from the grocery store.)

k-cups for Keurig-or coffee for Mr. Coffee pot

paper plates/plasticware

Dish washer detergent

laundry detergent

trash bags

toilet paper

toiletries

beach towels/sunscreen

beach umbrella

beach wagon/cart

charcoal 

gaming system for rainy days

BRING:

dish towels and dish rags

very limited toilet paper-1 roll per bathroom

hand soap

Starlink wifi

dish network

box fans (3)

all new kitchen appliances and the oven has       an air fryer built in.  

Crockpot

toaster

blenders

icemaker

pots, pans, baking pans, stock pots

common spices

dishes

silverware

glassware (and plastic for the pool area)

high chair

pack and play

baby gate

a few beach chairs

a few sand toys 

cornhole boards/bags

gas grill

charcoal grill

grill tools

books

games

puzzles

WE SUPPLY:

High Tide and Storm Route

Available for rent: 

Luxury Sheets, 

bath towels, hand towels, and washclothes

Driving on the Beach

Airing up and down

Horses

What to Bring/not Bring

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