Around Hampton Roads, there are fantastic vacations you and your family can do in just one day. Consider visiting the northern Outer Banks, and the once quiet and little-known community of Corolla in Currituck County, NC.

Just about a two-hour drive from Norfolk, only a few hundred people call Corolla home year-round. During the summer, though, that population surges into the thousands.

Just about three decades ago, the community was virtually untouched. But even after a boom of development in the 80's, you can still see much of its original beauty.

Dillon Baker with Wild Horse Adventure Tours says "one of the cooler spots" in Corolla is a high elevation point not too far from the beach. It's one of the many locations that has been preserved through years of development in the area.

"All these different ways of seeing, learning... it gets people excited," says Kasey Powell with Wild Horse Adventure Tours. Powell talks about the community's rich history during her guided tours. Corolla is home to nearly half of the only Colonial Spanish mustangs in the world.

"They're not micro chipped. They're not tagged. They want to keep them as wild as possible... untouched," says Powell.

In historic Corolla Village, you can put your endurance to the test and climb the newest lighthouse on the Outer Banks, which is 141 years old.

Deborah Murawski challenged herself to reach the top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, and says it was well worth the 10-minute journey. "You learn some things on the way up and you learn some things about yourself when you get to the top and you realize you can do it," Murawski says.

The 162-foot-tall lighthouse is composed of one million bricks, and you can see for about 20 miles from the top.

Once you catch your breath, tour the village's 20 other landmarks, from the Whalehead Club to the Wildlife Education Center. "It's just like, everything for everyone to do. So it's great," says Austin Boyer, who enjoys visiting Corolla with his boyfriend, Michael Swan.

"I really love it down here," Swan says. "It's fantastic. I definitely look forward to coming back next year."

So many reasons to visit Corolla from near or far, to do everything; or nothing at all.

For more on what you can do during your day trip to Corolla, contact the Currituck County Department of Travel and Tourism at 877-287-7488 or www.visitcurrituck.com.

You can also contact the Visitor's Center in Corolla at 252-453-9612.