Very good question, but you're comments and choices require a very detailed answer. I own a charter boat and have been posting on this site for quite a few years. I will send you a PM about my own boat, but I would like to give you and other readers some professional info. I'm sure you will get lots of recommendations, both on types of fishing and specific charter boats. The Outer Banks has probably 100 charter boats most of whom are very professional and operate boats ranging from 18 feet to mega sportfishermen over 60 feet. Your species and methods of fishing add another factor into the equation. Let's answer your thoughts and comments specifically. Okay first item; you will be in Nags Head so you will most likely charter a boat out of one of the three major marinas that use Oregon Inlet to access the Ocean, if you choose an Ocean Trip (as opposed to Sound fishing). There is really no reason to drive an hour or more to Hatteras. The Marinas are in alpha order OBX Marina, OIFC, and Pirates Cove. There is lesser marinas such as Thicket Lump and Wanchese along with quite a few small "Trailer Launched" Outboards. I'm not going to bring price into this discussion, because it can be a big Budget Decision when choosing between trip types. Let's talk Inshore/Nearshore. Inshore was always the word to distinguish a Non-Gulfstream Trip. The word Nearshore was started as an advertising campaign a few years back to try and be different and especially attract those wanting to be "Near" Shore, within sight of land.. They can really be interchanged, but some boats might argue differently. It comes down more to your choice of trip (Hours and Species). Generally it means fishing no more than a few miles out in the Ocean within sight of land and mostly a 4 or 6 hour trip. However some Inshore trips might even be done in the Sound. Nearshore is really the same and the term is more used to indicate that you are not going out very far and for OIFC means generally not Sound Fishing. However, if you were to do a Full Day Inshore or Nearshore I would say you might wind up out 20 miles, hardly considered Inshore or Nearshore. The Children's ages. My experience is any trip would be okay HOWEVER they have to CATCH FISH. A full day out in the Gulfstream leave 5 AM and come back at 5 PM can be very tiring and VERY BORING on a slow day. Do we have slow days, ABSOLUTELY! Children have to catch fish. You mention species, this is prime in deciding a trip. You mention some Gamefish = Cobia and Dolphin (Mahi). First comment is July is past Cobia Season. We have pretty good runs INSHORE in very late May and June. By July most Cobia move North to Summer in and off Chesapeake Bay. Fishing for them in July could be more of a hunt and cast expedition. Some boats may Chum for them but it can be slow. Definitely not recommended for the children. Dolphin are an Offshore fish. You can not catch them on a 4 hour Half Day trip. It's either Offshore (Gulfstream) or possibly a Full Day Inshore (8 hour) if you can get the Captain to agree (?). So what do you do Inshore in July? First I would recommend a 6 hour Half Day Trip. It will be TROLLING for Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, False Albacore, possibly King Mackerel and possibly some Ribbonfish. The 6 Hour trip gives you more time to hit better, further locations. Full Day Inshore (8 Hours) is even better. Although most boats don't specifically suggest certain other trips you might want to consider a Deepwater Wreck Trip or Shark Fishing. Okay I'm talking too much. I will PM you with some more info. Hope this helps.