Nestled in a narrow bend of the Pasquotank River. Elizabeth City North Carolina is known as the Harbor of Hospitality. That's no place to pass by without stopping. Here are a few of the best things to do during your stay.
Museum of the Albemarle
The peninsula of the Currituck Banks shields the sound from the Atlantic Ocean. The peninsula separates the river from the sea. Yet it allows their waters to mix. At the sound’s southeastern corner lies the mysterious Roanoke Island. Here, England's first American colony disappeared. To where still no one knows reportedly.
Travel west. To the wet soil of a meeting of land and sea. Of rivers. Of fresh and saltwater. Here, the first permanent English settlements in the Carolinas found an amphibious foothold. Like frogs on the western edge of the known world. The eastern edge of the New World.
Many rivers meet here. The Chowan and Roanoke among them. Here flow the brackish waters of the Albemarle Sound. These waters hold the memory of the earliest history of the United States.
This memory. This history. This unique story and way of life. This is what the Museum of the Albemarle seeks to share. Tourists call it excellent. No doubt they enjoy its location as well. Many other desirable destinations are also nearby.
This history museum hosts a variety of exhibits. Most are free and open to the public. They include:
Don't forget to ask about traveling exhibits when you visit.
Jackson House and Proctor Smokehouse
Tour the Jackson House and Proctor Smokehouse, the museum’s two historic buildings. Both are the work of Russel Steele, a local award-winning restoration carpenter. He used period-accurate tools and methods to reconstruct these sites.
Built in 1755 in Pasquotank County, the Jackson House is older than the United States. This large and finely furnished farmhouse was originally home to Daniel Jackson, Jr., his wife Elizabeth, and their children.
Nearby, the Proctor Smokehouse is an antebellum structure. It was built between 1826 and 1850. This house for salting and curing pork in winter was invaluable to the farming lifestyle of the Proctor family.
The Museum of the Albemarle’s website also has many online exhibits, including:
Under Both Flags: Civil War in the Albemarle. Tells the stories of the region’s citizens, ships, and plantations during this bloody period of US history.
Temperance and Bootlegging: a Nation Under Prohibition. A series of panels explaining the lasting effects of the Eighteenth Amendment and Volstead Act on northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.
The Day the Lights Came On. An interactive exhibit showing how the introduction of electricity around the 1950s revolutionized life in the region.
Mariners’ Wharf Park
Near the Museum of the Albemarle, on the downtown waterfront, is the Mariners’ Wharf Park. This is a favorite destination of boaters.
The park is located along the Pasquotank River and within walking distance of downtown shops and restaurants. It offers:
Even Wharf Park holds to the region's love of both land and sea. The park also offers plenty of events on land, including:
Places to Eat
You’ve toured the history of the Albemarle and taken your boat out on the Pasquotank River. You’re bound to be hungry. Here are just four of the best local restaurants in Elizabeth City NC:
This Southern seafood restaurant offers a full bar, many vegetarian options, and space for small dogs on the patio. Patrons recommend the gumbo, shrimp and grits, burgers, and blackberry crisp.
Paradiso Roma Ristorante serves delicious, authentic Italian cuisine. Everything is made fresh daily from all-local ingredients. Seating gives a beautiful view of the water. Patrons recommend the pizza, garlic bread, fish n chips, and tiramisu.
This inexpensive local taqueria offers dollar tacos on Taco Tuesday and boasts an excellent oyster bar. Patrons recommend the enchiladas rancheras, burritos, and fajita salad.
For more excellent seafood options in northeastern North Carolina, read all about the Tidewater Oyster Bar in Port City NC.
This rustic hole in the wall has a quaint and classy atmosphere. Its unique menu items include:
Patrons also swear by the Bloody Marys! Hint, hint…
On your trip along the northeastern coast of North Carolina, be sure to stop by for these historical, riverfront, and culinary adventures.