As you leave Nags Head going south you will cross over the Oregon Inlet Bridge that connects Hatteras Island and the northern beaches. Pea Island Wildlife Refuge greets you as you come off the bridge and the ride through this tract of natural shoreline is worth the drive. As you drive through the rolling dunes and tidal marshes you get an occasional peak at the ocean. After about 20 minutes, depending on the seasonal traffic, you will come to the villages of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo. Don't blink, you might miss one of these 3 quaint villages backed up to each other with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore as their neighbor to the north and south.
Like all of Hatteras Island you will not find a lot of commercialism and night life. If you are looking for quiet times and the feeling of times gone by then welcome. When you leave Salvo, the last village in the group, you will once again be driving through the dunes of the National Seashore with the Atlantic ocean on one side and the Pamlico Sound on the other side.
Another 15 minutes of scenic driving and you will see roof tops on the horizon which means you are getting close to the village of Avon, formerly known as Kinnakeet. The name was changed by the US Postal Service. They thought the name was too hard or too long or whatever so they decided to call the village Avon. So much for heritage. Avon is one of the larger villages with the original village on the sound front and the resort homes on the ocean side. There is even a chain grocery store and movie theater.
Continuing south you will travel through another 15 minutes of Cape Hatteras National Seashore land until you come to the Village of Buxton, home of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Frisco is just around the corner and then finally Hatteras Village at the bottom of Dare County. This is where you can find the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and the free ferries to Ocracoke Island.