Explore the beautiful waterways, abundant outdoor recreation, vibrant art scene and modern shopping areas.
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City is the largest U.S. Coast Guard installation in America, with a population of more than 850 military personnel. Commissioned in 1940, CGAS Elizabeth City continues to operate along the Pasquotank River near the opening of Albemarle Sound. Besides a fleet of high-tech boats, the installation has five jet aircraft and four helicopters. CGAS missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, operating lighthouses and marine environmental protection such as attending to oil spills.
Let’s Go Shopping
A renovation project for Southgate Mall is now complete, converting it from an old indoor mall to a new shopping center. Even the name has changed to Southgate Park. The old mall first opened in the late 1960s, and Southgate Park today has become a modern outdoor shopping experience. In addition, RCE Theaters adjacent to Southgate Park is under new ownership and has just been remodeled, and also in that part of Elizabeth City are Soho Organic Market, Uncle Chuck’s Soul Food Cafe, Sears Hometown Store and Fitness Mindz.
In late 2018, Arts of the Albemarle and the Albemarle Area Association of Realtors partnered to embark upon a Destination Alley project.
A $5,000 grant from the national Realtors group will refurbish a narrow concrete passageway linking McMorrine and Poindexter streets behind Arts of the Albemarle, turning the alley into a beautiful space with public art. Destination Alley also will feature new lighting and seating as well as easy access to the back doors of businesses along the way.
Places to Play
Adding to the quality of life in Elizabeth City are many recreational opportunities, thanks in large part to the Elizabeth City/Pasquotank County Parks and Recreation Department maintaining 46 parks and public use areas. The department also oversees nearly 20 organized youth activities such as Little League baseball, Little League softball and camps for cheerleading, tennis, basketball, volleyball and wrestling. In addition, more than 15 adult activities are organized, including group fitness classes, fall coed softball, winter basketball, adult soccer leagues and a tennis league.
An interesting wilderness experience awaits visitors to Dismal Swamp State Park, which has 20 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails along with a 2,000-foot boardwalk that allows adventurers to view wildlife and more than 200 species of birds. Paddling a canoe or kayak along Dismal Swamp Canal is a favorite activity, and also on-site is a visitor’s center and exhibit hall. After visiting Dismal Swamp in the early 1800s, Edgar Allan Poe penned his famed poem “The Raven,â€ and today the swamp still inspires.