There are 2 main roads in the Outer Banks. The "Bypass" or Rte 158 and the "Beach Road" or Rte. 12. These roads are the heart of the Outer Banks. This 2 lane road (Rte. 12) goes up to Corolla (in Currituck County) and all the way down to Cape Hatteras along the ocean or beach. Rte. 12 was the focal point after Hurricane Irene in August of 2011 due to the fact that the road was closed preventing all traffic from traveling in and out of the Hatteras area. The other part of Rte. 12 goes from Southern Shores, through Duck and up to Corolla where the road "ends" and the 4x4 area begins. There is a great bike path / walking path that goes from Southern Shores up to Corolla. This is a great way to travel in the summer months when traffic is at a stand still on the weekend.
The "Bypass" goes from Currituck County (Barco) and goes all the way down to the Nags Head area. Most stores and restaurants are located on this main road that goes through Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. This is a 4 lane highway that becomes the main artery in the summer months.
Knowing these roads and the restaurants and stores that are located on them will make your stay easier and help you determine where you want to stay.