We preferred Virginia Beach for the boogie boarding, although last time we were there (Aug '13) the shoreline was noticeably affected by hurricane Sandy. The slope into the water wasn't as gentle and the waves were rougher than they had been previously. If you choose VB the boardwalk is a lot of fun but for a less populated area go a bit further South to Croatan Beach. It's got clean restrooms, outdoor showers, a few stalls to change in, and public parking ($5 or $10 for the day). That was our favorite place!