Tucked into the northeast edge of coastal North Carolina, Elizabeth City is a boating town. Close to Albemarle Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, the small city has been called "The Harbor of Hospitality" due to the exploits of the Elizabeth City Rose Buddies. The group of residents greets visiting boats at the marina with a rosebud and champagne reception. The Mariners' Wharf, the city's waterfront, offers free boat docking for 48 hours. The hospitality has drawn many wealthy boaters to the area.
Elizabeth City is often on lists of the best small towns in the country and its six historic districts with blooming crape myrtle are often pictured. Self-guided tours of these National Register Historic Districts are available. Sights include brick antebellum commercial buildings, early 19th and 20th century storefronts, homes and university buildings.
Home to two colleges and an arm of the state university, cultural events are numerous in Elizabeth City ranging from drama to theatre to concerts. The town's state university features a planetarium while the new Museum of the Albemarle tells the story of the region. Elizabeth City is home to the U.S. Coast Guard; facilities tours are available.
Outdoors recreation includes golfing, stockcar racing, hunting and, of course, boating. Accommodations are many and range from B & Bs like the Elizabeth City Bed & Breakfast to chain hotel/motels. Dining options range from fresh seafood to Eastern North Carolina barbecue to upscale delis. Mulligan's Grille at the Marina offers reasonably priced seafood dishes.
Elizabeth City is located about one hour from Norfolk/Hampton Roads, Virginia and roughly one hour from North Carolina's Outer Banks. Elizabeth City is also about 165 miles northeast of Raleigh, NC off US 17.