Tourism for Elizabeth City, NC
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Elizabeth City from the Locals' Point of View

North Carolina’s Coastal Bucket List

Fall a super time for outdoor play and activities. But what exactly should you do? We’ve created a bucket list of adventures you can have on your next trip to Elizabeth City to help get you started.

1. Visit Museum of the Albemarle.

The Our Story exhibit in Museum of the Albemarle featuring Native-American and Maritime artifacts.

What is the Albemarle? The Albemarle region is named in honor of the first Duke of Albemarle and was founded in 1668. This area, comprised of half land and half water, has a big story to tell which is why we let the 750+ artifacts at this regional museum do most of the talking. Help the museum celebrate its golden anniversary this year by visiting the Fifty Years of Museum History exhibit.

 

2. Visit a lighthouse.

The Roanoke River Lighthouse in Edenton. Beautiful shot by Instagrammer @wallycepix.

Water + Lighthouses = Awesomeness! Did you know there are four lighthouses within 90 minutes of Elizabeth City? Head out on a scenic rural road trip to visit the Roanoke River Lighthouses in Plymouth (212 W. Water Street) and Edenton (7 Dock Street) the Currituck Beach Light Station in historic Corolla Village (1101 Corolla Village Road) and the Bodie Island Lighthouse south of Nags Head (8210 Bodie Island Lighthouse Road).

 

3. Get on that bike.

Instagrammer @madfaith00 has great shots of his rides along the river!

There are multiple cycling options in the Elizabeth City and surrounding areas--whether you’re looking to explore neighborhoods or take longer treks into the beautiful countryside. The Elizabeth City Visitors Center, located within Museum of the Albemarle, has maps of regional bike routes and complimentary bikes for those who want to meander around town.

 

4. Architecturally Speaking

The Charles O. Robinson House, ca. 1914 at 201 E Main St.

Elizabeth City's self-guided walking tours provide a great way to get some exercise while seeing historic homes, tree-lined streets and stately government structures. These free publications cover practically every corner, from Main Street to Riverside Avenue. Stop by the Elizabeth City Visitors Center in Museum of the Albemarle and pick up your copy.

 

5. Add a little vintage to your home.

Ecletic pieces at Tina Clancy’s Art and Antique Connection on 116 N. Poindexter St.

What better way to remember your trip than adding a vintage splurge to your home décor? In the Elizabeth City area, we have many stores, such as Tina Clancy's Art and Antique Connection and The Nesting Cottage, where you can find those items. Allow yourself a special purchase at a local antique or vintage store that you will love in your home. It will remind you of your trip to northeastern North Carolina and get you excited about adding more pieces in the future.

 

6. Go on a historic road trip.

Historic plantation, Somerset Place is located in Creswell, NC

It’s time to turn the radio up and roll down the windows as you embark on a road trip. Follow the Historic Albemarle Tour which takes visitors from the historic Corolla Lighthouse on the Outer Banks to Aurora Fossil Museum, approximately 166 miles to the south. This tour has over twenty different stops, including Museum of the Albemarle, Newbold-White House and Somerset Place.

 

7. Soak up the sun on the Pasquotank River.

Sunrise on the Pasquotank River at the Pelican Marina

The Pasquotank River is a beautiful setting to indulge in this pastime. Now you have more options to get out and play on the water and under the sun as the Pelican Marina now rents kayaks and sunfish sailboats. Make weekend plans that no one will want to cancel.

 

8. Learn about the Underground Railroad.

The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom designation sign on the Pasquotank River

Northeastern North Carolina offers visitors multiple opportunities to learn about freedom seekers. Many freedom seekers made their way to the north through our waterways. The Pasquotank River has the special designation of being the first river in the country to receive the Underground Railroad Network designation. Take a freedom journey by picking up a National Park Service Freedom Site Passport at the Elizabeth City Visitors CenterGreat Dismal Swamp, Colonial Park in Edenton, or Somerset Place in Creswell.

 

9. Get in touch with your creative side.

The Center Players performing "High School Musical" at Arts of the Albemarle's Maguire Theatre.

Take a break from binge watching your new favorite show and take in a live performance. Indulge in Elizabeth City’s artistic side by watching one of the plays or musical performances at Arts of the Albemarle, College of The Albemarle or Elizabeth City State University.

 

10. Visit the beach.

Wiggle your toes in the sand at the Outer Banks.

Sun. Sand. Surf. Do we need to say more? Visit the beaches at Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks located within 60 miles of Elizabeth City. Pros Tip: Locals consider September to be the most beautiful month at the beach. Visiting in the off-season allows you to enjoy the uncrowded beaches and avoid traffic.

 

11. Gone fishing.

Largemouth Bass, catch of the day while on Albemarle Fishing Charters

A bad day of fishing still beats a day at the office or tending to daily chores. Fishing is made easy with the Albemarle Fishing Charters and Captain Jeff Onley knows all the local waterways as someone who grew up on them. Be sure to stop by the Pelican Marina if you need a fishing license or supplies.

 

12. Paddle the Dismal Swamp Canal with your best friend.

Best buddies paddling the Dismal Swamp Canal together. Photo used with Camden County TDA's permission and thanks!

The Dismal Swamp Canal offers some bonding time for you and your travel companions. Both kayaks and canoes are available for rent at the Dismal Swamp State Park. Be sure to check out the annual Paddle for the Border event in May when hundreds of paddlers take to the cool, calm water and paddle the 7.5-mile excursion to the Virginia/North Carolina border.

 

13. Visit a vineyard.

The grapevines at Sanctuary Vineyards, photo by Brooke Mayo Photographers

Celebrate spring by partaking in libations at Sanctuary Vineyards. When you purchase a bottle of wine from this location, you are buying a story in a bottle. Each harvest has a different tale to tell--from fierce hurricanes to soft starry nights. Enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour on your next visit.

 

14. Take a hike.

Merchant Millpond's Lassiter Trail Foot Bridge

Elizabeth City has four state parks located within 60 miles, so there are plenty of opportunities to visit the great outdoors. Trek mossy paths, view dark waters and see majestic bald cypress trees at Pettigrew State Park, Dismal Swamp State Park and Merchants Millpond State Park. At Jockey’s Ridge State Park, you’ll be transported to a desert-like environment as you climb its giant sand dunes, offering a view of the ocean.

 

15. Sail the Albemarle Loop.

Serene sunrise on the Pasquotank River, photo taken by Justin Falls

Short on time but looking for a quick cruise? Visit the friendly communities on the Albemarle Loop. Most marinas in the Albemarle Loop group offer at least 48 hours of FREE slip rental fees and fresh water. While visiting Elizabeth City, you might be able to participate in one of our famous Rose Buddies parties.

Don't miss out on the North Carolina coastal fun, book your trip today!  While you are here, share your experiences with us using #DiscoverECity.

 

Christina Rehklau, Director of the CVB, left the corporate world about five years ago to persuade others to take more vacation time by working in tourism. Christina is a recent northern transplant from Ohio, so she’s still working on her Carolinian accent. To her, every day in the Albemarle region presents a new adventure and something to be explored. Follow her explorations of the area on Twitter at @CLRehklau or Instagram at @crehklau.