Yep, the graph shows exactly why we've stopped coming. Hopefully, these kinds of crowds aren't permanent. Hope to be back...someday. Respectfully, we have been there throughout early pandemic, shoulder seasons, Christmas, early spring, and prime time July over the last several years I can not speak for Northern beaches, but the "crowds" narrative is kind of bogus. Are restaurants more crowded? I guess. We don't come to OBX for restuarants, but I get it. Most likely a labor shortage. Are the beaches over crowded? Summer time? No change. Shoulder seasons? Yes, but not a problem, certainly not over crowded. I just don't get this narrative that it is a crowded thing.
I don't agree that the crowds narrative is bogus. Many have reported on this board of significant increases in traffic during the week, 2+ hour waits for dining, double and triple the amount of cars parked at rentals, increased number of rowdy parties, more trash left on the beaches etc. And, you get to pay significantly increased rental rates for the privilege of putting up with all of this. We used to come to OBX to relax....for us, that's just not possible right now.