Looking for a fabulous getaway for the weekend or on your way to the Outer Banks? Well, I have the perfect solution. Head to Elizabeth City, NC! From fabulous restaurants with waterside views to tons of history and culture, take a peek at all there is to do.
I visited Elizabeth City in partnership with the tourism board. Photography and opinions are my own.
FAQ About Elizabeth City NC
What is the Elizabeth City NC annual weather?
The winter sees little to no snow since it’s a coastal town, but the weather can still get chilly and into the mid-30s. However, in the summer, the weather can reach the upper 80s.
The weather and Elizabeth City NC climate are fairly temperate due to its proximity to the ocean.
Elizabeth City NC is in what county?
The town is in Pasquotank County, North Carolina.
Are there hotels in Elizabeth City NC?
There are a few hotels in Elizabeth City, NC, but I’d recommend staying in a bed and breakfast (more on that later!).
Can I see Elizabeth City NC on a map?
When you need an Elizabeth City NC map, head to Google!
How far is Elizabeth City NC from me?
Obviously, that depends on where you live, but here are a few popular distances.
- to Nags Head – 1 hour and 8 minutes
- to Duck – 1 hour 4 minutes
- to Suffolk – 55 minutes
- to Virginia Beach – 1 hour 2 minutes
- to Washington DC – 4 hours
- to Richmond – 2 hours 15 minutes
- to Charlotte – 5 hours 20 minutes
Stay – Elizabeth City NC Bed and Breakfast
If you’re looking for a place to stay, skip the hotels, and stay at a bed and breakfast. Not only will you have a wonderful experience, but it will have so many personal touches.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Foreman House Bed and Breakfast, which was within walking distance of the downtown area.
Denise was such a wonderful hostess, and she keeps her place so lovely. And she cooks an amazing breakfast, too! Take a peek at what the Foreman House has in store — complete with a game room!
Eat – Elizabeth City NC Restaurants
There is no shortage of amazing cuisine in Elizabeth City NC. Food is carefully curated by several different eateries around town.
Of course, I can’t highlight them all, but here are a few of the ones we experienced while we were in the area.
1. Paradiso Roma Ristorante
For a beautiful time eating by the water, head to Paradiso Roma Ristorante. Located just across the bridge, this waterside Italian restaurant offers delectable cuisine.
We both had the housemade pasta, which was so delicious and came with hearty salads and fresh garlic bread. It was all topped off with my favorite dessert – tiramisu!
I can’t say enough how perfect our evening was, although some of it had to do with how gorgeous the weather was on the deck.
2. The SweetEasy
If you enjoy baked goods and sweet treats, The SweetEasy is the place to be, especially if you’re looking for breakfast in Elizabeth City NC (they have croissants!).
I actually had stopped in about a year ago (my daughter plays college volleyball, and her team was playing Elizabeth City State University), and I spent a few hours working inside.
At that point, it was a coffee shop, but now they’ve remodeled and turned it into a lovely bakery. I’d highly suggest their chocolate chip cookies because they’re plump and tasty!
3. The Market on Water Street
When you want a quick grab-and-go item, The Market on Water Street has a wonderful selection of salads, sandwiches, and other delights.
They also have areas where you can sit inside if you want to stay and eat or grab a drink or snack. It’s close by to everything in the Elizabeth City NC downtown area.
Therefore, it’s the perfect stop when you’re en route.
4. Hoppin’ Johnz
Located in the heart of downtown and along Pailin’s Alley is Hoppin’ Johnz. It’s actually a great place to go with a group of people as the menu has a lot of variety.
Everyone should be able to find something to eat, from sandwiches and salads to burgers and steak. Plus, you can eat outside and see all of the hustle and bustle in the alley. Additionally, you can choose a table or bar seat inside if you prefer.
Drink – Elizabeth City Brewery and Wine Scene
5. 2 Souls Wine Bar
2 Souls Wine Bar is ideal if you enjoy sitting and chatting over a glass of quality wine. Started by two friends, this place is beautifully designed and lends itself to lingering for a while.
The charcuterie is hearty, and the wine was really tasty. It’s all in a historic building with a fabulous, modern vibe. Whether you want to head there before dinner or grab a drink after getting something to eat, be sure to check it out.
6. Ghost Harbor Brewing Company
Ghost Harbor Brewing Company is truly a delight as one of the staple businesses in the downtown area. The beers are so well done, and you don’t want to miss stopping by.
You just might catch live music, a trivia night, or even a video game challenge. At the very least, you can hang out for a while, enjoy a great brew, and play one of their board games as you idle the night away.
7. The Kraken Coffee House
With an under-the-sea theme coupled with a slight foreboding, The Kraken Coffee House is truly a fun stop. Their drinks have names like “cannonball” and “walk the plank,” which add to the creativity.
Stop in and grab a cup of coffee or tea to go. Another option is to sit and stay for a while, as the interior is quaint and inviting. Either way, it’s a terrific place to fuel your morning.
8. AVDET Brewing Company
The Elizabeth City NC Coast Guard is close by, and ADVET Brewing Company is veteran-owned. Their place is inviting, too. You can play cornhole outside, sit on the patio, or enjoy a brew inside.
While you’re there, be sure to notice the memorabilia peppered around, such as the patches above the brewery section. Feel free to bring your own food or grab a bite from next door. Either way, you’ll have a great time!
9. Muddy Waters Coffeehouse
We had a fun time at this stop! On Friday night, we went to hear live music at Ghost Harbor Brewing Company, and the man who was singing was our barista at Muddy Waters Coffeehouse. So fun!
They have great coffee and smoothies. Additionally, it’s definitely a place with lots of seating, so you can sit and chat for a while.
Elizabeth City Attractions
There are plenty of things to do in Elizabeth City NC, and I’m just focusing on the things we experienced. The city is filled with history and a lovely waterfront, which will help fill your weekend with plenty of activities.
10. Museum of the Albemarle
Take a trip through the downtown area and towards the waterfront, and it’s hard to miss the stately building of the Museum of the Albemarle.
Going through the museum gives you a glimpse into the history of the region. Plus, there are several rotating exhibits that are of interest. My husband and I enjoyed seeing the 1970s toy exhibit as there were lots of things from our childhood.
Additionally, there were lots of other intriguing things to see and learn about in the museum.
11. Arts of the Albemarle
I love heading to art galleries, and Arts of the Albemarle definitely didn’t disappoint! The interior was well-lit, and the artwork was gorgeous.
It’s a great place to walk around and appreciate the different forms of art. They have pottery, paintings, fiber arts, metal art, jewelry, and so much more.
Do stop by if you get the chance, and the majority of their collection is for sale.
12. Downtown Waterfront Market
If you happen to visit in the warm weather on a Saturday, stop by the Downtown Waterfront Market. It’s a farmers market that also has a lot of artisan goods.
You can also walk on the waterfront as the market is right by the water. It’s a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning, especially if you grab a coffee beforehand!
13. Downtown Boutique Shopping
The downtown area also has many shops to occupy your time. Be sure to roam around if you’re looking for gifts, clothes, or other goodies.
There are shops on the main roads and side streets, so be on the lookout for places to go. Additionally, you can get something to eat or drink while you’re there.
14. Pailin’s Alley
One of the highlights of the city — day or night — is going down Pailin’s Alley. The alley used to be a somewhat unsightly passageway where businesses put out their trash and such. However, the locals got together and made it a wonderful place to hang out!
The alley is in between Hoppin’ Johnz and Ghost Harbor Brewing Company. The town created such a nice area with tables and inviting places to stay for a while.
Depending on the day (or night!) of the week, you may encounter games or live music. It’s well-lit and safe at night, too, and take a peek at the vibrant mural.
15. The Waterfront
The Elizabeth City NC history centers a lot around the waterfront. Take a walk, and you will see many historical markers telling you about the people and events that made the area what it is today.
After you walk around the waterfront, you can also take a historic walking tour. It’s a great way to get acquainted with all that the town has to offer in the way of paying homage to the past.
Of course, you can also just sit and soak in the beautiful views. There’s just something relaxing about being by the ocean, and Elizabeth City offers that feeling.