Tourism for Elizabeth City, NC
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Elizabeth City from the Locals' Point of View

An Elizabeth City Travel Collective

Our blog is written by a team of local writers who are “in the know,” this travel collective zooms in on where to grab a bite, see a show, get creative, dock your boat, shop for a treasure, take a tour and hidden gems. And, expect to hear often about EC events, ‘cause there’s always something shaking here. From travel news to point of views, we’ve got you covered!

Signed, Sealed and Delicious! Elizabeth City’s Local Restaurants’ Signature Dishes »

Signed, Sealed and Delicious! Elizabeth City’s Local Restaurants’ Signature Dishes
Signed, Sealed and Delicious! Elizabeth City’s Local Restaurants’ Signature Dishes   Montero’s Restaurant, Bar & Catering, 252-331-1067. 414 McArthur Drive, Elizabeth City. The signature dish at Montero’s Restaurant is the Chicken Ashley.  It’s a breaded and pan-fried chicken breast stuffed with herbed cream cheese and then topped with a creamy Chardonnay sauce.  A mainstay on the menu, it’s one of only a handful of items offered since the restaurant opened. As many times as I’ve eaten at Montero’s I don’t know how I’ve never tried this dish. I’m so glad I finally did. The chicken was crazy moist and the rich cream cheese balanced by the light wine sauce made me fall in love with it. Appropriate, since Andy cooked this dish for Karin many times while he was courting her. It’s a dish borne of love and it truly IS lovely. (It’s worth a special trip to Montero’s just to ask both Andy and Karin the story of how he courted her with chicken.)   The Flour Girls Café and Bakery, 252-331-2230. 102 N. Water Street, Elizabeth City. The Flour Girls in downtown Elizabeth City has only recently opened, but they are making a name for themselves with their Monte Cristo sandwich. How can someone’s signature dish be a simple ham and cheese sandwich, you may wonder.  They’ve done it by combining a third of a pound of Boar’s Head ham, brie cheese, and a choice of blackberry, grape or strawberry jam and serving it grilled Panini-style on two made from scratch Belgium waffles. The grilling of the waffles crisps them up while the flavors of the jam and brie meld together for a sweet but savory combination. I recommend the blackberry jam for a touch of zing. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy their all-the-rage grandma’s recipe homemade pickles.   Happy Taco, 252-339-5532. Elizabeth City; Location varies, currently between 1910 Weeksville Road (near the US Coast Guard Base) Monday through Friday from 6:30am-2:00pm and 1310 W. Ehringhaus Street (beside McDonalds) Monday through Friday 4:00 pm-9:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am-9:00 pm. *Call for updated locations. One would think that the signature dish at a taco truck would be a taco, right? Not so at the Happy Taco Truck, although the tacos are pretty darn tasty.  First, I must point out that all of their tortillas are homemade, which is the perfect start to an authentic Mexican signature dish. It is no wonder that the California Burrito is one of their most ordered and loved items. A burrito stuffed to the gills with carne asada (grilled beef), french fries, pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole, it’s a dish guaranteed to make you scream, “delicioso!”   What’s your favorite eatery’s signature dish? We’d love to hear about it! Don’t forget to take a picture of your favorite dish and use #DiscoverECity.   Deborah Malenfant is a former entrepreneur and business owner. She lives in and loves Elizabeth City; and also loves the mountains. She is a freelance writer and personal blogger. Her personal motto is, “Everything is an... READ MORE »

Elizabeth City Moth Boat History »

Elizabeth City Moth Boat History
Photo credit: Hope Comito Malott Elizabeth City will be honoring its mariners’ history by hosting the Classic Moth Boat Nationals Regatta on September 17th and 18th. The races begin at 11:00 am on Saturday and 10:00 am on Sunday. View the races from Waterfront Park along the Pasquotank River. The moth boat class was first created in 1929 when Captain Joel Van Sant, en route from Atlantic City to Florida, cruised into Elizabeth City to have work done on his yacht. With time to spare, he and shipyard owner Ernie Saunders drew up plans for a sporty little vessel that could easily sail along the area’s inland rivers and lakes. Photo credit: Hope Comito Malott The designation “moth boat” has several stories. After Van Sant painted a butterfly on the sail, a reporter from Norfolk’s Virginian Pilot remarked, “That looks like a moth. Are you calling it the moth boat?” It is said that Van Sant liked the sound of it, and the name stuck. Another story claims Van Sant named the extremely small boat the moth because of its ability to flit across the waves. Others say, because he and Saunders worked on the plans beneath a work lamp at night, the name came from the moths that fluttered close by. Which story do you believe to be true? The creation of the moth boat caught the imagination of sailors and boat builders, and the regattas that followed helped put Elizabeth City on the map as a sailing destination. Today, Elizabeth City’s location on the Pasquotank River and Intracoastal Waterway—and its reputation as the “Harbor of Hospitality®”—still make it a popular stop for recreational boaters from around the world. Boaters can take advantage of free 48-hour docking at Mariners’ Wharf, comfort facilities (restrooms and hot showers) and easy access to downtown attractions, restaurants, shops and accommodations. Learn more about the history of moth boats at the Museum of the Albemarle or Moth Boat Park.... READ MORE »

Elizabeth City Outdoor Adventures »

Elizabeth City Outdoor Adventures
Even with a chill in the air, there is still plenty of outdoor fun and adventure awaiting you! Southern swamp and hardwood forest mingle at Merchants Millpond State Park, adorning the landscape with massive bald cypress trees, beech groves, Spanish moss and exotic wildlife. Three types of camping are available at family and group campgrounds, primitive backpacking sites and three remote canoe-in campgrounds reached by paddling trails.  Canoes and kayaks can be rented or visitors can bring their own for a unique paddling experience.  For more info call 252-357-1191. Flatwater kayaking and canoeing is like taking a scenic backroads cruise. In northeastern North Carolina, there’s a lot of scenery to enjoy. Feel your daily stresses melt away as you explore the Dismal Swamp State Park. Experience firsthand the lush swamp forest and get up-close and personal with the wide variety of wildlife. Both kayak and canoes are available for rent at the Dismal Swamp State Park for $5 per hour. Access is provided for kayaks and canoes beside the Dismal Swamp State Park bridge. Call 252-771-6593 for availability. You can find additional places to paddle in the Albemarle region here. Photo credit: Don Campbell Are you thrilled at the prospect of throwing a line in the water? In our waters, you can catch bass, perch, trout, flounder and more.  Our beautiful cypress lined shores are the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day of fishing. Like to fish, but don’t have a boat? Not a problem, Albemarle Fishing Charters provides the captain, boat and bait. All you need to bring is a desire to fish. If you are considering fishing in the area on your own, be sure to check the inland fishing guidelines and regulations. Want to further your photography skills? Waterfowl, deer, and many other creatures that call our area home, provide an amazing amount of photographic opportunities on a daily basis. Learn tips on how to take better wildlife photos at NC Wildlife. Readers, we can’t wait to see you soon on your own Elizabeth City outdoor adventure! Share your experiences with others by using #DiscoverECity. Happy travels!   Christina Rehklau, Director of the CVB, left the corporate world about five years ago to persuade others to take more vacation time by working in tourism. Christina is a recent northern transplant from Ohio, so she’s still working on her Carolinian accent.  To her, every day in the Albemarle region presents a new adventure and something to be explored. Follow her explorations of the area on Twitter at @CLRehklau or Instagram at @crehklau.... READ MORE »

Rainy Day at the Outer Banks, Great Day to Explore Elizabeth City »

Rainy Day at the Outer Banks, Great Day to Explore Elizabeth City
Rainy Day Ideas for Outer Banks Travelers A rainy day at the Outer Banks can make for a glum mood.  A road trip to explore other areas and things outside the norm can often provide wonderful experiences to remember. Elizabeth City is a short road trip with quite a few unique opportunities to create just such experiences.  One can’t talk about Elizabeth City without mentioning its growing arts and cultural venues worth visiting – Museum of the Albemarle, Arts of the Albemarle, Port Discover, the Elizabeth City State University Planetarium, and multiple artist studios to name a few.       But if you want to have some old-fashioned, classic fun at small-town prices, Elizabeth City has that, too. Get your bowl on at Albemarle Lanes Bowling Center. A combination old-style bowling alley with some updated technologies, Albemarle lanes is the perfect mix of yesteryear and today. They have 12 lanes of bowling, a game room and arcade, billiards and small vending concessions. It’s a family friendly place, but they do sell beer and wine coolers. You can bowl for $3.00 per game. $3.00 more if you need shoes. Catch one of their specials for even better deals. 603 S. Hughes Blvd. If you fancy yourself a billiards shark, a fan of the game, or just like to knock a few balls around the table for fun, you must visit City Cues on Colonial Avenue in downtown. City Cues was the local pool hall and hangout of the famous Luther “Wimpy” Lassiter, known as one of the all time greatest players of nine-ball. It’s still a local pool hall. No muss, no fuss. Experience a true and traditional game of billiards without arcade games or music blaring in the background. Who knows, maybe the spirit of Wimpy will inspire you. 504 E. Colonial Avenue.   In the mood for a movie with the kiddos but don’t want to spend a fortune? Check into the classic Gateway Cinemas, a two-screen, classic-style theater where admission price is always only $4.00. You can catch a first-run flick, nosh on popcorn and a drink for about ten bucks. Ten bucks. When was the last time you remember that happening? 1417 W. Ehringhaus Street.     Deborah Malenfant is a former entrepreneur and business owner. She lives in and loves Elizabeth City; and also loves the mountains. She is a freelance writer and personal blogger. Her personal motto is, “Everything is an experience.”    ... READ MORE »

5 Reasons to Visit Elizabeth City this Weekend »

5 Reasons to Visit Elizabeth City this Weekend
We recently had a visit from Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, the curated online wedding resource.  Chelsea wrote a wonderful blog about her time in Elizabeth City called, “5 Reasons to Visit Elizabeth City.”  The blog is written from a true visitor’s perspective and hits some highlights of the charm and fun of Elizabeth City.  Enjoy the blog and pick a weekend to come and visit, so you too can #DiscoverECity!  Be sure to stop by the visitors center and see us while you’re here!   READ MORE »

A Chef’s Life: Brad Chambers of Cypress Creek Grill in Elizabeth City »

A Chef’s Life:  Brad Chambers of Cypress Creek Grill in Elizabeth City
A Chef’s Life: Brad Chambers talks favorite foods, dedication, and those who taught him a thing or two on the way to Cypress Creek Grill Elizabeth City native Brad Chambers has a diverse gastronomic background. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of Virginia, he’s garnered over a decade of experience working in some of the region’s most popular eateries including Pineapple Café in Elizabeth City, Aqua in Duck, Metropolis Martini & Tapas in Corolla, and Blue Moon Beach Grill in Nags Head. Now as the executive chef and new owner of Cypress Creek Grill—along with his wife, Sammy, and his parents, Sandra and Leon—Chambers is responsible for overseeing the creation of the daily specials and 69 appetizers, entrees and desserts offered at the downtown Elizabeth City establishment. Here are five things you should know about Brad Chambers: At age 18, he fell in love with cooking while working at Pineapple Café. You will always find mac and cheese, pizza, and wings in his refrigerator. “The plain old Kraft boxed stuff or some made with Velveeta—you can’t beat it. The best wings are ‘pass the fire extinguisher’ variety—the hotter, the better.” He’s resigned himself to the demands of being a restaurateur. “It’s rewarding but at the same time, just plan on missing the majority of holidays and time with family and friends.” His mentors are many. “I could go on and on about teachers, coworkers, and bosses who have influenced me but Jomie Cartwright, owner of Pineapple Café, is a predominant one. Also, Kenny Sloane, executive chef and owner of Fin in Newport News, molded me into the chef I am today.” Without his invaluable staff of 32 people, he would be lost. “They are my core and backbone. Without them, I’m hopeless.”                                                                    Food photo credit- Brad Chambers Cypress Creek Grill is located at 113 S. Water St.; 252-334-9915.   Simone Cooper is a publicist and branding specialist who is also a mid-century modern fanatic. When she’s not assisting clients with messaging, you can find her hunting for furniture and housewares from the 1960s.     Liza Franco captures the moments of life that will one day be someone’s memories and links for generations to come.  Her work includes, lifestyle, commercial, fine art and portrait photography.  ... READ MORE »

Music on the Green Festival Series in Elizabeth City! »

Music on the Green Festival Series in Elizabeth City!
Are you ready to have a good time, Elizabeth City? The Music on the Green Festival series is still going strong. This is a series of free public concerts promoting the local music scene. Beginning July 26th and continuing for eight consecutive Tuesday evenings through September 13th, local and regional bands will perform at Mariners’ Wharf Park (Water Street, across from Cypress Creek Grille) from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. Music lovers can bring a lawn chair or a blanket, sit back and enjoy the concerts, as well as the beautiful waterfront backdrop. Each week the spotlight will be on a different artist; a different genre of music. There is something for everyone. Come for all eight evenings and expand your musical horizons. Keeping with tradition, the series will open with the popular local musical legend and former restaurateur, Bobby Plough. Other returning artists include The Daniel Jordan Band, Full Deck, and The Band Ryder (formerly CC and the Ryders). New entertainers include the crowd pleasing PBNJ, Fueston Bros & Co., Main Street Jazz, and Little Dickie and the Misfits. Food and drinks will be available to purchase on site provided by the American Legion Post 84. It’s a family friendly series. Concertgoers are encouraged to visit the many downtown restaurants, bars, pubs and businesses prior to and after the concerts. It is only because of the overwhelming generosity of sponsors that this event will happen. We encourage everyone to visit their businesses and help support them for supporting this wonderful event. Visit or check out Music on the Green at Mariners’ Wharf Park on Facebook for additional information and... READ MORE »

Mariners’ Wharf Film Festival- Elizabeth City’s Very Own Outdoor Classic Movies! »

Mariners’ Wharf Film Festival- Elizabeth City’s Very Own Outdoor Classic Movies!
Mariners’ Wharf Film Festival is a throwback to the drive-in movie feeling of watching classic movies on the big screen while outdoors! Bring your friends and family to Mariners’ Wharf and feel the breeze coming off the water on one side and enjoy charming downtown on the other side.  There is a popcorn and drink vendor on site to complete the movie experience.  You can sit right on the lush grass, or bring blankets and chairs.  This great FREE family-friendly outing is held every Tuesday at 8:30 PM from June 7th through July 26th. Here is the 2016 lineup:   June 7- Showboat (1951) Co-starring NC native Eva Gardner, she is joined by Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel. The stage musical was based on a novel begun by Edna Ferber as she rode the showboats around Albemarle and Pamlico sounds just after the turn of the century.     June 14- North by Northwest (1959) Albert Hitchcock’s Cold-War suspense classic. Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason with incredible scenery.       June 21- Cabin In The Sky (1941) The first big studio break for singer and actress Lena Horne, the film was largely ignored in the south but remains a high point of the 20th Century.       June 28- Easy Living (1937) A comedy looking at wealth and society, starring Eddie Arnold, Ray Milland and Jean Arthur.       The Quiet Man (1952) A sentimental favorite staring John Wayne and Maureen O-Hara but set in Ireland instead of the cowboy west.     Westside Story (1961) A classic that brought Leonard Bernstein (composer) and Cheta Rivera, dancer and actress to a wide audience.       The Wizard of Oz (1939) Yes, everyone has seen it sometime in their life, but it was remastered and restored in the last three to four years. See things you won’t remember ever seeing before.       Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles’ wide ranging look at broken family, love, politics and national media, but in earlier days.  ... READ MORE »

Elizabeth City Welcomes Boaters to the “Harbor of Hospitality” »

Elizabeth City Welcomes Boaters to the “Harbor of Hospitality”
The “Harbor of Hospitality” is set on the beautiful Elizabeth City waterfront and the Pasquotank River.  At Mariners’ Wharf you can choose from 14 boat slips with free 48-hour docking!   When you tie up at Mariners’ Wharf, you may find that the locals are quite helpful, most share a smile and lend a hand.  The visitors center also throws impromptu Rose Buddies parties.   Aside from a beautiful waterfront and friendly folks, you’ll find great restrooms, hot showers and free Wi-Fi!  There are also loaner bikes, which are available at the Convention & Visitors Bureau. From the waterfront, you’ll find that you are within close walking proximity to restaurants, shopping, accommodations and attractions such as Museum of the Albemarle and Arts of the Albemarle.   Mariners’ Wharf is also home to the Downtown Waterfront Market where you’ll find local baked goods, fresh produce, arts, crafts and sometimes music and performers.  The market is open on Saturdays 9am – 1pm, May through October.       If you’re a classic movie buff, come on out to Mariners’ Wharf Film Festival.  Every Tuesday night around 8:30pm, June through July there will be a classic movie playing on the outdoor screen.  Bring a blanket or chairs and join the fun!       As you can tell, Mariners’ Wharf is a pretty happening spot and extremely convenient for boaters! For the music lover’s, there is Music on the Green.  Enjoy local musicians as they entertain with outdoor concerts played at Mariners’ Wharf.  Sit on the grass, bring a blanket or a chair.  Plenty of room to dance the night away too.  Every Tuesday night 6:00pm – 8:00pm, July through September. We hope to see y’all soon! Liza Franco is a blogger and photographer, linking stories with photos to give the reader a complete vision.  Her work includes, lifestyle, commercial, fine art and portraiture... READ MORE »

Elizabeth City’s 12th Annual Taste of the Albemarle »

Elizabeth City’s 12th Annual Taste of the Albemarle
Are you ready to eat, drink and be merry, all for a good cause? Arts of the Albemarle’s 12th Annual Taste of the Albemarle is happening Saturday, June 4 on the lawn of Museum of the Albemarle from 6 to 10 p.m.  The “Taste” portion of the event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m., as you sample delicious fare from 20+ local restaurants. Wash it all down with the beer, wine, sodas and water that will be available for sale throughout the evening. Then get ready to dance with the band Out ‘n the Cold entertainment from 8 to 10 p.m. Dance the night away by the balmy breezes of the Pasquotank River after having your fill of delicious local cuisine. By the way, it’s all for a good cause. Taste is a benefit for Arts of the Albemarle, your hub for all things art in Elizabeth City. It doesn’t get any better than that! Tickets are available at the following prices: advanced AOA member ticket $20, advanced non-member ticket $25, advanced military/law enforcement/first responder ticket $20, and advanced student ticket $10 (with student ID). All at-the-door tickets (day of the event) are $25. Call AOA at (252) 338-6455 to purchase tickets. Even better—stop by the gallery at 516 E. Main Street and check out our current exhibition. See you at... READ MORE »