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Discover Elizabeth City

Charming neighborhoods and vibrant communities offer an assortment of fun things to do in the Elizabeth City area.

By Lindsey Hyde on February 26, 2021

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Brandyn Hill/DVIDSHUB

Elizabeth City is known as the ‘Harbor of Hospitality,’ primarily for its 14 boat slips at Mariners’ Wharf, where people can dock free of charge for up to 48 hours. 

Grab Your Plate

The cuisine scene in Elizabeth City is growing, as a number of new restaurants are opening, such as Big Boss Burritos in the downtown district and Colonial Café, which serves American classics for breakfast and lunch.

Currituck BBQ has a new location on South Hughes Boulevard, where customers can choose from a slew of hickory-smoked items.

Food truck followers can step right up to the window at Owl Feed Ya and the Old Colony Smokehouse.

Nathan Lambrecht

Beauty Abounds

In addition to providing residents with opportunities to participate in water-related activities, such as boating and kayaking, the Pasquotank River brings gorgeous views, which locals can appreciate when on the water or by taking a stroll near the harbor.

Military Families Can Make Roots in Elizabeth City

Flying High

Business success stories are common in Elizabeth City, as the area offers a great location and numerous resources for companies to grow.

TCOM’s triumph, however, is a bit unique. Located in the community since 1973, it is the only company in the world to operate a facility devoted to aerostat and airship manufacturing, assembly, flight testing and training operations.

What does this mean in layman’s terms? The company has a history of manufacturing blimps used for airborne surveillance missions, like natural disasters. Today, TCOM primarily produces helium-filled balloon aerostats that are winched up or down a combined tether/power line. These can be deployed from trucks, land platforms or ships.

Nathan Lambrecht

Bringing Out the Beauty

Since 2018, the Albemarle Area Association of Realtors (AAAR) has backed art projects to transform unused spaces in Elizabeth City into eye-pleasing spots.

One of its many accomplishments includes turning an underutilized alleyway into a thriving meeting place for art enthusiasts.

Another project currently in the works is in Ives Alley. Once finished in March 2021, this alley will be adorned with paintings, murals and sculptures created by local students. It will be transformed into an arts-infused public gathering place.

How Local Shops are Brewing Up Business in Downtown Elizabeth City

Growing Up 

Two of Pasquotank County’s largest employers have undertaken major expansions.

Operating at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport since 2010, Telephonics invested $5.5 million in 2020 to expand into a new 25,000-square-foot facility. Telephonics designs and manufactures sophisticated radar and communications systems for the military and aviation industry.

Hockmeyer Equipment Corp., known for designing high-tech production machines for a variety of industries, invested $6 million in 2020 to add 35,000 square feet to its existing Elizabeth City facility. It has operated in Elizabeth City since 1984.

Coastal Purl

Attention, Shoppers!

You can get into “shop till you drop” mode because Elizabeth City boasts a plethora of unique local retailers located in and outside of downtown.

If jewelry and flowers are what you fancy, options include Eclectic Jewelry, Vaughan’s Jewelry & Gifts, Albemarle Floral and Mildred’s Florist and Gifts.

You can find just about anything that might be on your list, such as yarn and knitting needles at Coastal Purl, home décor items at Sanctuary Design Co., a page-turner at The Recycled Reader, or simply a great deal at Jennings & Jones Bargain Outlet.

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Brandyn Hill/DVIDSHUB

The 4-1-1 on Elizabeth City

  • Build a Career: Elizabeth City is home to a diverse, thriving economy, with various industry sectors that include agriculture, defense, energy, manufacturing, military and tourism. As far as wages, the average annual salary for workers is a reasonable $35,666.

  • History is Here: It’s been more than 350 years since Pasquotank County, one of the first four North Carolina counties, was formed. Its name – Pasquotank – means “land where the stream forked.” 

  • Dismal Charm: After visiting Dismal Swamp in the early 1800s, Edgar Allen Poe penned his famed poem “The Raven,” and today, the swamp still inspires visitors with its many outdoor recreation opportunities.

Community Care Comes First in Elizabeth City

  • Flight Fact: Prior to their historic flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright vacationed in Elizabeth City in the early 1900s.

  • It’s a Breeze: Elizabeth City has lots of energy. Located just west of the U.S. 17 Bypass on land in both Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East is home to 104 wind turbines.

  • Stay Connected: U.S. Highway 17 has been designated as the future Interstate 87, making Elizabeth City even more attractive to distributors and manufacturers.

Ready for Takeoff? Careers Take Flight in Elizabeth City

  • Top of the Charts: Elizabeth City was named one of Money magazine’s Best Places to Live on the Coast and was recognized by RetireNC.com as a certified retirement community.  

  • Soar Here: The region is home to Air Station Elizabeth City, which includes five U.S. Coast Guard Commands and about 850 officers and enlisted personnel. 

  • Affordable Living: The cost of living in Elizabeth City is lower than both the state and national averages, with the most significant factor being affordable housing. According to Zillow, the median home value is $157,000, about 72% of the North Carolina median value.

If you’d like to learn more about the Elizabeth City area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Elizabeth City, NC.

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