Elizabeth City is a nice place but can be rather touristy especially when the weather gets warmer. I know that elsewhere like in Corolla there is some REALLY neat scenery (and some really good deep sea fishing) Although getting through is tourist haven.
I have some friends that live in Duck (same area-ish) and is in the not so far vicinity of Ocacoke - but beware. Its an island
I have seen some storms do ugly things to the area, but fortunately it only happens once every so many years.
Good luck in your ventures!