Kitty Hawk beach filled with be visitors July 4.

Now that the 4th of July is past us, things are really hopping on the Outer Banks and it’s going to stay that way for the next eight weeks or so. Even after that, it will stay pretty full through mid September, but right now it’s the height of the season for us.

In short, there are a lot of people here.

Which is great. Almost everything we do on the Outer Banks is centered around making the visitor’s experience the best that it can be.

Traffic, of course, can be a problem with so many people here, so here are a couple of things to be aware of when driving around.

First of all, unless your planning on going to Manteo or Colington, almost everything on the Outer Banks is North and South; east is the ocean, west are the sounds.

In the three biggest towns of the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head, there are two roads—NC 12, aka the Beach Road or officially Virginia Dare Trail and US 158, aka the Bypass or Croatan Highway. When traffic is flowing, the Bypass, which actually did bypass the main business districts once upon a time, is the quickest way to get around town. When it’s backed up, take almost any side road and go to the Beach Road and take the slower and more relaxing trip along the Atlantic Ocean.

From the north end of Duck Village to Whalebone Junction in Nags Head, there is a center turn lane. It’s a bit of a scary proposition. People regularly use it as an acceleration lane; its purpose is to allow cars to turn left without blocking traffic, but there is nothing to prevent cars from opposite directions wanting to turn at the same place. In short, pay attention.

Probably the most important piece of advice is: take your time and be patient. You and your family are here to relax. Include that in your driving style.