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8 Reasons to Move to Elizabeth City, NC Right Now

If you're searching for a new place to live, here's why you should set your course for this charming North Carolina city.

By Livability on March 3, 2022

Enjoying the view in Elizabeth City
Eric Waters

So you’ve landed that new job, and it’s fully remote! That means you can live anywhere you want. Or maybe you’re ready to retire and are longing for an idyllic (and affordable!) place where people know your name. No matter your situation, here’s why you should put moving to Elizabeth City near the top of your list.

1. You can afford to live here.

The cost of living in Elizabeth City is lower than the national average, with the most significant factor being affordable housing. The average home price is $226,366 (Zillow, September 2022), and Money.com has ranked Elizabeth City among the Best Places to Live on the Coast. In addition, RetireNC.com has named Elizabeth City a Certified Retirement Community, a state status that recognizes the city as an active and inviting community for retirees.

Waterfront in Elizabeth City, NC
Eric Waters

2. You can soak up some waterfront living.

Elizabeth City is known as the Harbor of Hospitality for its 14 boat slips at Mariners’ Wharf, where people can dock free of charge for up to 48 hours. That means you can ditch your car and take your boat for a night out on the town. And in the region, there are plenty of opportunities to go kayaking, sailing and much more.

Thomas Cooper draws on the sidewalk with her mother Diana during an art walk event in downtown Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Nathan Lambrecht

3. You can enjoy the flourishing downtown scene.

The downtown district features historic buildings that house local shops and boutiques, coffeehouses and art galleries, along with restaurants offering everything from fine Southern cooking to sushi. Also adding to the delight of downtown Elizabeth City is the Museum of the Albemarle, along with several art projects that have transformed unused spaces into eye-pleasing gathering spots.

4. You can find a great job in the region.

A key word to describe the Elizabeth City economy is diverse, with several different sectors experiencing success – and all are looking for more employees to hire. One of those sectors is the military, with the city housing U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, the Coast Guard’s largest aviation facility. Also doing well is the manufacturing industry, and tourism is experiencing an upward trend, thanks largely to the city being known as the Harbor of Hospitality. The region has attracted renewable energy investment, including Duke Energy Renewables solar farm and Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East. A still-thriving agriculture sector is highlighted by Pasquotank County having 130+ farms that average 520 acres apiece.

5. You’ll have plenty of education options at your fingertips.

Three standout higher education institutions serve the region. Elizabeth City State University is a Historically Black College that enrolls more than 2,000 students annually and offers 28 undergraduate programs and four master’s degrees. College of the Albemarle has a main campus in Elizabeth City along with satellite sites in Barco, Edenton and Manteo, and its 2,100 total students include more than 70 international students from 20 different countries. Mid-Atlantic Christian University is a private college that has about 220 students, and its major offerings include biblical studies, business and biology, among others.

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City

6. You’ll have great neighbors in the Coast Guard.

This is a Coast Guard city that is home to U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, which includes five Coast Guard commands and about 850 officers and enlisted personnel. Everyone in town knows the importance of USCG Air Station Elizabeth City. The Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce has its own Military Affairs Committee, and the city hosts the Coast Guard Marathon for both military and non-military residents.

North Carolina Potato Festival in Elizabeth City, NC

7. You can enjoy plenty of fun year-round.

A number of fun area events take place on an annual basis in the Elizabeth City area, including the popular Camden Heritage Festival, which celebrates the history and growth of this Northeastern North Carolina region, and the Coast Guard Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, which convenes over three days every March. The North Carolina Potato Festival is held for three days every May to celebrate one of the region’s most important crops, while other popular events in town include Juneteenth, The Science of Beer Fundraiser and The Elizabeth City Historic Ghost Walk.

8. You’ll love the resources available for remote workers.

Professionals who have made the decision to ditch the office and work from another location have discovered that Elizabeth City has everything they need, says Sandi Ayres, owner of Fusion Office Business Centers, which provides flex office space and services that allow professionals to work remotely while having a sense of community. “I see such growth and change in Elizabeth City,” Ayres says. “It’s evolving into this really cool place to do business, hang out, enjoy a dinner outside with friends and family, and shop.” Elizabeth City is within driving distance of the ocean, the countryside, the mountains and bigger cities, and it has a true small-town feel. “It’s also a great family-friendly place to live.”

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