Yup, OBX is much less of a drive for us, too, and that is a main reason we ended up there the first year, and not on MB. Would have been 5-6 more hours driving for us. Beaches are wonderful, area is not over-built and commercial, and very relaxing for us and our kids. Regular folks where we feel comfortable and welcome. This will be our 5th year back in August, and we're counting the days. Seems to be a well-kept secret, in part because it's a bit off the beaten path. Used to vacation in the northeast, but got tired of the cold water, and had enough of Wildwood boardwalk and water park (although the kids loved it). Never seem to tire of the surf at OBX.