Founded as the town of Redding in 1793 on land acquired from Adam and Elizabeth Tooley. In 1794 the town was renamed Elizabeth, and in 1801 Elizabeth City. The name change has been variously attributed to honor either Queen Elizabeth I of England, who 200 years earlier spearheaded the colonization of the Carolina and Virginia coasts, or Elizabeth "Betsy" Tooley. Elizabeth City is in North Carolina's Inner Banks region, and is nicknamed the "Harbor of Hospitality®".
Elizabeth City is at the junction of NC-158 and NC-17; driving is the only realistic option for arriving there (aside from flying a small plane or navigating a boat up the river).
Directions: From I-64 (VA): take 17 South to Elizabeth City (25MI), exit 264 to Elizabeth City // From I-95 North: take 64 East (Rocky Mount) follow 64 East to Williamston take 17 North to exit 255 to Elizabeth City // I-95 South: take NC 158 East to 17 South, to Elizabeth City
Elizabeth City has three taxi companies, Winslow's, Moore's, and M&M. Public transit is also available. Call the Inter-County Public Transportation Authority (ICPTA) at 252-338-4480. $3 Same-day Roundtrip.
Bicycling is somewhat popular, but the narrow streets and lack of sidewalks in parts of town can make it unsafe. As Elizabeth city is located along the Intracoastal waterway, boaters often take advantage of free docking in the harbor located downtown.
There is something for everyone in Elizabeth City...today the city is a distinctive Main Street community with six historic districts, including the waterfront where the famous Moth Boat was created in 1929. The town boasts a state university—once home to Roots author Alex Haley—and two Colleges; the largest Coast Guard air base in the country; and a new Museum of the Albemarle. So come and stay a while at Elizabeth City—where there really is something for everyone—and discover the good life daily!
Experience a 1950's-style dinner theatre at the Carolina Grill and Theatre.
The City Wine Sellar hosts live music every Friday night.
The annual Potato Festival is held in May.
Summer Speed Boat Races and Moth Boat Regatta on the Pasquotank River.
Carriage rides through the city's historic district.
Step shows and concerts at Elizabeth City State University.
Live theatre performances at the College of the Albemarle, as well as Encore Theatre.
Football games at Northeastern High School and Pasquotank High School are a town-wide affair.
Produce and local crafts at the Waterfront Market held on Water Street. Saturdays from May to October.
Whether you're looking for fine dining or a fun feast, Elizabeth City's restaurants create the atmosphere for you. Take your meal in an old train station, cozy up to your table in a movie theater, hang with the locals in their meeting place, or grab a bite at a bar and restaurant with nightly entertainment.
Three Mexican restaurants are available. Mamasita's has the most authentic Mexican atmosphere; El Parian mixes the best cocktails, while at 3 Amigos service is fastest and most proficient in English.
Logan Raye's is a new addition to downtown, and features a Caribbean and Seafood menu. Quality Seafood Co. sells fresh fish and shellfish to customers directly, and serves the same in its restaurant area. Groupers is another popular restaurant downtown combining seafood and entertainment.
Has two Japanese restaurants; Toyama is a downtown storefront with amazingly authentic sushi and kitchen entrees. Drinks imported from Japan. Volcano is in the Southgate Mall.
Dragon Buffet is next to Volcano in the mall. Hong Kong Restaurant, owned and operated by the Wong family, has a wonderful buffet and friendly service. New Star is also family-owned and has generous portions of tasty food!
Cypress Creek Grill offers a classy atmosphere and delicious food. Owned and operated by Elizabeth City's own Bobby Plough. Located on Water St.
The City Wine Sellar offers deli sandwiches as well as bakery and spirits. The Sandwich Market, a shop run out of a renovated barn on Selden Street, also offers great sandwiches and wraps--careful though, they close early! Pineapple Cafe on Halstead Boulevard offers a wide variety of breakfast choices, as well as a lunch menu.
Montero's is a high-end restaurant run by Elizabeth City's Andy Montero. Lovely gourmet food! Classic southern atmosphere.
Tony's is the city's premiere Italian restaurant, serving delicious authentic food.
Van's and The Circle offer both Greek and Italian Cuisine. Van's Place II serves breakfast all day, as well as authentic Greek cuisine. The Vicky Villa also serves breakfast all day.
Buffets include Prime Sirloin and Golden Corral if that's your style.
Good chains include Applebee's, IHOP, and Ruby Tuesday's. Hogan's in the Holiday Inn is great if you're looking for a sports bar/pub.
All the usual fast food chains are available. Most are located on Ehringhaus Street.
Finally, if you're looking for something sweet, The Chocolate Shoppe on Water St. has an amazing selection of delectable desserts such as truffles, fudge, and chocolate-covered fruit. Many treats are handmade in-shop by proprietress Kathy Dowdy.
For a complete list of restaurants, contact the Elizabeth City Convention & Visitors Bureau at 252-335-5330.
Muddy Waters Coffee House on Main Street, locally known as Muddy's, offers the region's best espresso bar with all the trimmings. Barista's from Muddy's have placed in national competitions.
Coffee Break on Griffin Street has a great friendly atmosphere. River City Coffee House on Halstead Blvd. is the place to go if you're looking to unwind with a good book.
Level's is the town's favorite bar. Karaoke is a frequent (if somewhat painful) occurrence. "Level's Idol" singing competition is held each summer for six weeks.
Coasters Downtown Draught House is a bar with a wide variety of draught beers that changes frequently. If you like beer, this is a great place to drink.
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Inns and Bed & Breakfasts:
Norfolk, VA, about 45 minutes north of Elizabeth City, offers many malls and artistic centers such as concert venues and museums.
The Outer Banks, 45 minutes east, are home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Makes a great day trip.
See Historic Edenton, 45 minutes west. Beautiful southern architecture and atmosphere. Movies have been filmed there!