Well the area around Waves is focused on the beach (oceanside) or watersports (soundside). Sure there is dining, I have a soft spot for the Top Dog, as well as beachy, specialty and convenience stores. Generally a quieter house location, means less people and with less people you have less commercial development. I think if shopping and dining are the tops on your list you would be happier in south Nags Head. Fairly quiet but still close enough to large scale development for those needs.
Oh yeah. When back when we started going to the Outer Banks we always stayed in Waves. It is about 45 minutes to Hatteras but there are other things to see along the way like the lighthouse in Buxton. It is also 30 or so minutes closer to the Ocracoke ferry the SNH. Ocracoke has a bunch of funky little shops and is built for walking around rather than driving. It is 30 or so minutes north to Nags Head and all that area has to offer.
This was our go to area for a long time because you could go out to a very uncrowded beach whenever you wanted to but still was in easy enough driving distance to entertain kids and guests.