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!

In Elizabeth City, Boating Friends Meet at Rose Buddies Receptions »

In Elizabeth City, Boating Friends Meet at Rose Buddies Receptions
As tourism director, I host Rose Buddies receptions for visiting boaters. This tradition of welcoming boaters with impromptu wine and cheese parties and roses was started by Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer in 1983. The story of the Rose Buddies receptions was one of the reasons I chose to move to Elizabeth City. I wanted to be part of a community that had a legacy of generosity and hospitality. While these receptions are a small gesture of hospitality, I was recently reminded of the impact one simple act can have on someone’s life. In October, we had the opportunity to welcome Darrell Dail, his son Carey Dail and daughter-in-law Robin Dail, traveling with good friends Jon and Teresa White. They were visiting Elizabeth City and sailing the Dismal Swamp Loop in memory of Darrell’s wife, Gladys Dail. They had planned on touring Elizabeth City and the Dismal Swamp Loop in 2013. However, Gladys was diagnosed with cancer before they could make the trip, and then passed away in January of 2015. We were honored to host a Rose Buddies reception for them. The former mayor of Elizabeth City, Steve Atkinson, was the master of ceremonies at the reception. While Fred, Joe and Gladys were not at the reception in person, we know they were lifting a glass to have a toast with us in spirit. I found out later in the journey, Darrell’s group set the roses they received in Elizabeth City free into the water in memory of Gladys. As the boating season is coming to a close, I have made many new friends, and I plan to see many of them return in the coming years. Submitted by: Christina Rehklau, Director, Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau... READ MORE »

Al Roker Takes Elizabeth City by Storm! »

Al Roker Takes Elizabeth City by Storm!
#rokerthon 2 hit Elizabeth City by storm this week when NBC reporter and weatherman Al Roker breezed into U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City on Wednesday, Nov. 11 to file a fast-paced weather update to the delight of enthusiastic fans. Talk about a amazing Veteran’s Day surprise for America’s 17th Coast Guard City! The gig, which aired live on NBC-TV media, was part of Roker’s attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the fastest time ever for reporting the weather from all 50 states. Since he began his quest on Friday, Nov. 6 in Hawaii, Roker’s been making his way across the country’s weather map by planes, trains and any other vehicle he can catch. He arrived in Elizabeth City on the #rokerthon airplane at 8:30 p.m. Fueled by adrenaline, no doubt, America’s favorite weatherman took time to greet U.S. Guard employees and their families, chat with a few folks including reporters from WNCN-TV and WECT-TV, and – of course – report the weather using a tablet to pull up regional maps and weather systems. A few minutes later – and he was outta’ there. On to his next stop and, hopefully, a world record. If he makes it, Roker will be in be twice honored. At the inaugural Rokerthon last year, he set a Guinness World Records title by delivering the weather live for 34 hours straight. You can follow Roker on the last leg of  this year’s #rokerthon, which will conclude on Friday, Nov. 13 at Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.  Here in Elizabeth City, we’re forecasting sunny skies and a successful... READ MORE »

Immerse Yourself in the World of Author Bland Simpson »

Immerse Yourself in the World of Author Bland Simpson
Elizabeth City is filled with talented people, many of whom are inspired to paint, sing, write, act or create by nature of our striking location on the Pasquotank River and Albemarle Sound. Author and musician Bland Simpson is one such individual. He grew up in Elizabeth City and has written six books chronicling life on and near the water here in North Carolina’s northeastern pocket. Simpson is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a long-time pianist for the Tony Award-winning string band The Red Clay Ramblers. He and his wife, Ann Cary Simpson, a conservationist and photographer, have just published their third book together, Little Rivers and Waterway Tale: A Carolinian’s Eastern Streams. The tome is filled with stories of those who have lived and worked on the “little rivers” that define North Carolina’s Sound Country as it meets the Atlantic. Immerse yourself in the Simpsons’ water-inspired... READ MORE »

Get Rhythm and Brews, Nov. 7 in EC »

Get Rhythm and Brews, Nov. 7 in EC
Spend a crisp autumn evening sipping craft beer while listening to the sounds of everyone’s favorite local bands—it doesn’t get any better than that! Back by popular demand, Arts of the Albemarle presents its 2nd Annual River City Rhythm and Brews event, Saturday, Nov. 7 at Mariners’ Wharf Park. Over 40 varieties of North Carolina and Virginia craft beer will be available for sampling. Presented by TowneBank and AOA’s Center Society, things get rolling at 6:00 pm with live musical entertainment by Little Dickie’s Misfits and CC and the Ryders. Little Dickie is none other than Elizabeth City’s own Dickie Sanders, with the Misfits being various musicians from local bluegrass band Out N the Cold. Sharing the musical bill is CC and the Ryders. A combination of funk, rock and reggae, CC and the Ryders have been playing northeastern North Carolina for the last 20 years. Ticket prices are $25 in advance for AOA members and the military; $30 in advance for non-members; and $35 for all tickets at the door. There is also a special $10 ticket price for designated drivers, who will receive a complementary non-alcoholic beverage. Don’t miss this wonderful evening of brews and music by the moon-lit Pasquotank River. For more information, go to or call (252)... READ MORE »

SPLASH into EC’s Art Scene, Nov. 2-7 »

SPLASH into EC’s Art Scene, Nov. 2-7
Elizabeth City is becoming quite the arts destination. Arts of the Albemarle’s second SPLASH week of 2015 takes place Nov. 2-7, with artists from all over coming to town to teach classes, lecture or just plein air paint our local scenery. What is SPLASH? It’s a week-long gathering of artists, both local and far-flung, to collaborate, share and enjoy spontaneous creativity. Are you an artist or wanna-be artist? Sign up for the SPLASH Open Studio. Held in the old Super 10 store on Main Street, Open Studio is a communal work space for artists. The fee ($75 for AOA members, $100 for non-members) includes a table and space to paint all day from 9 a.m. – 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Also included is participation in Drawing Circle led by Jeff Whelan, and admission to the SPLASH Piano Bar on Thursday night. Other SPLASH Week happenings include Plein Air Workshops with Mike Rooney and a plethora of classes. Classes include painting with cold wax, abstract painting, monoprinting, French watercolor and a beginner’s acrylic class. For full class descriptions go to An Oktoberfest Cookout will be held at the home of Roger and Ursula Tolson on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 (BYOB). Artist Tunde Afolayan will give an ArtTalk, “Arts in Communities,” on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 4 pm. Also on Thursday, Christ Episcopal Church Parish Hall will host a Nurture, Inspire and Celebrate Creativity Group from 1 – 4 pm. End SPLASH week on Saturday, Nov. 7 with the 2nd Annual River City Rhythm & Brews at Mariner’s Wharf Park, from 6 – 10 pm. Local bands will be featured, along with quaffs from craft breweries and vineyards. Call (252) 338-6455, or contact SPLASH guru Carolyn Peel at (252) 338-7692,, for more... READ MORE »

Permission to Come Aboard? Yes! Tour the Elizabeth II this Weekend »

Permission to Come Aboard? Yes! Tour the Elizabeth II this Weekend
On the Elizabeth City waterfront, I spy something brown, red, white, blue and reminiscent of a seafaring era gone by. Do you see it too? The Elizabeth II, a 16th-century representative ship, sails into Elizabeth City today, with school and public tours planned through the weekend at Waterfront Park. First launched in 1984 in Manteo, N.C., to celebrate America’s 400th anniversary, the Elizabeth II is representative of ships that brought English explorers and colonists to America in the Elizabethan era. On board you can get a glimpse of life above and below deck, relayed by costumed re-enactors spinning centuries-old tales. Powered by three sails and adorned with red, white and blue accents, the wooden ship is a sight to behold whether it’s underway or docked, as it will be this weekend in Elizabeth City. Pasquotank County fourth graders will tour the ship on Friday, Oct. 23. Then on Saturday, Oct. 24, the vessel will be open to the public for free tours from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily. The voyage is sponsored by the Friends of Elizabeth II, a 501c3 non-profit organization supporting history, education and arts programs, with support from the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Elizabeth City. So come to Elizabeth City, make your way to our beautiful waterfront and step back in time with a tour of the Elizabeth II. But don’t delay! Catch her while you can. The ship will begin her return to Roanoke Island Festival Park, it’s home port, in Manteo on Sunday, Oct.... READ MORE »

Meet Me at the Fair! »

Meet Me at the Fair!
When the 57th Albemarle Cratfsman’s Fair rolls around this weekend, you’ll want to be there! A one-price ticket is your admission to all three days, Oct. 23-25, at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center here in Elizabeth City. This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before with over 75 craftsmen selling and demonstrating their work. Over 50 craft categories will be represented, including leatherwork, painted gourds, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, papercraft, glass art, fishing rods, lures, metal work, wood working, dolls, basketry and so much more. Hint, hint:  It is a great place to fill your holiday gift list and get something special for yourself! When the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair began in 1959, it was designed to help hobbists (mostly women) contribute to the family income by selling handcrafts. The homemakers were already making them as useful household items such as brooms, quilts, leather goods and woven apparel. Just like back then, the current fair does the same thing, but on a much larger scale. As you enjoy shopping, you will also be entertained with the craftsmen who will be demonstrating and sharing their techniques on pottery wheels,scroll saws and work benches. Make plans to attend — and come to the fair!  Details at or call (252) 562-5441 for more information. Guest submission by Lisa Winslow, an Elizabeth City... READ MORE »

Heritage Crafts a Hallmark of Albemarle Craftman’s Fair »

Heritage Crafts a Hallmark of Albemarle Craftman’s Fair
Don’t let the name mislead; you wont’ find pom-pom pets or Popsicle houses at the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair. The long-running show, Oct. 23-25 at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center in Elizabeth City, is a showcase of traditional heritage crafts expertly designed and lovingly made by first-class artisans. This marks the fair’s 57th year. We were curious about the show’s history and participants, so we posed a few questions to Elizabeth City craftswoman Lisa Winslow, who is this year’s treasurer and publicity chairwoman. Who can participate in the Craftman’s Fair?  You must be a member of the Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild to participate in the fair, but anyone who is a quality craftsman can have their work juried in February or May of any year. If accepted into the Guild you may have a booth in the fair from then on without further jurying. There are no geographical limits to membership, but the jurying process is extensive just to make sure that we carry on the tradition of quality craftsmanship. As a craftsman’s guild, we do not allow art. How did the fair begin?  The fair began in 1959 as a way for hobbyists, especially women at that time, to be able to contribute to the family income. Many of the crafts they made were household items such as brooms, quilts, wrought iron, etc. What can visitors expect to see this year?  We have a packed house again this year with everything from jewelry to furniture and all categories in between. We also have some very interesting crafts that we haven’t had in a while such as a leatherwork, and there will be pottery artists, weavers, metal craftsmen and many more who will be participating for their first time. How long have you been a crafter and what do you create?  This will be my 26th year and I am a fiber artist. I hand-dye silk scarves and also create wool felted items. This year I will be focusing on a nature theme with my felted birdhouses and needle felted animals and creations What do you enjoy most about this event?  I enjoy the welcoming spirit of the craftsmen family, but I most enjoy the educational aspect of the fair. To see the excitement of craftsmen who genuinely love their craft and enjoy sharing the process. Part of our motto is to teach. Without that many crafts would be lost. You will see pottery wheels turning, weavers weaving and scroll saws sawing, as craftsmen inspire fair-goers to learn a new craft and carry on the tradition. The group’s facebook page has details of the show, along with late-breaking news about the attending artisans. Check it out at... READ MORE »

October’s AWESOME in Elizabeth City! »

October’s AWESOME in Elizabeth City!
Welcome to October! Not only is this a great month to pull on a sweater, sip a PSL and watch the autumn leaves drift by your window, it’s a terrific time to get out about about to experience these fun fall events: Now Open! | Louis C. Tiffany: Art and Innovation Exhibit  Featuring lamps, vases, windows and glass work from the renowned American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and artifacts from the Tiffany and Company studio, the exhibit is free and open to the public for a year.  At the Museum of the Albemarle. Details at Oct. 9-10 | Historic Ghost Walk  “Bootlegging, Prohibition and the Jazz Age” is the theme of this year’s walk that is a combined house tour, history lesson and live theater with 1920’s speakeasy music and entertainment. Ghost Walk takes place from 5:30 to 9:30 pm both nights. Tickets are $12 and $10 for military and first responders. Read more at Oct. 19-25, | Elizabeth City State University Homecoming  ECSU students, alumni and fans gather for a week-long series of events to include campus tours, class meetings, concerts and the homecoming parade. A highlight is the homecoming football game featuring the ECSU vs. Lincoln University, Oct. 17 at Roebuck Stadium. View the action-packed schedule at Oct. 22-25 | To Kill a Mockingbird at COA Performing Arts Center  See the stage version of this classic American novel by author Harper Lee. The COAST Players production is staged by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois. Check for tickets and show times. Oct. 23-25 | 57th Annual Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair Don’t let the name mislead; you won’t find pom-pom pets or Popsicle houses at the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair. The long-running show, Oct. 23-25 at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center in Elizabeth City, is a showcase of traditional heritage crafts expertly designed and lovingly made by first-class artisans. See the Facebook page for updates at Through Oct. 31 | Downtown Waterfront Market  The market opened in May, but there’s still Saturdays remaining to shop for locally-grown produce, pumpkins and delicious prepared foods. Open from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. on the green at Mariners’ Wharf. See who’s coming to the market at For a complete schedule of events, check out our calendar at Pick an event (or two), hit the road and come for a... READ MORE »

Ghost Walk Returns with Bootlegging, Prohibition and the Jazz Age »

Ghost Walk Returns with Bootlegging, Prohibition and the Jazz Age
It’s time once again for your annual dose of local history! The Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association presents its 19th annual Historic Ghost Walk, October 9 and 10. This year’s combination house tour, history lesson, and live theater will feature Bootlegging, Prohibition and the Jazz Age in the Albemarle. All “ghosts” will appear at sites in Elizabeth City’s downtown historic district. Local residents coming back to life include Alvin Sawyer, northeastern North Carolina’s most notorious bootlegger, and Bennie Halstead, the state revenue officer who chased him through woods, swamps and fields for almost 50 years. The ghost of evangelist Reverend Billy Sunday returns to Elizabeth City to preach about the evils of Demon Rum. Judge I.M. Meekins will tell of his years as a federal judge in New York City, and how he brought North Carolina-style justice to liquor traffickers up north. Governor Blucher Ehringhaus will tell about the Prohibition Era and the legacy it left behind. The ghost of Josephus Daniels talks about his stint as Secretary of the Navy, and his unpopular decision to ban alcohol aboard naval ships. And anti-Saloon League worker Prudence T. Drinkwater rounds out this year’s ghostly characters. She’ll rally against saloons and their deleterious effects on families. Lips that touch liquor shall never touch hers! Ghost Walk takes place from 5:30 to 9:30 pm both nights. Tickets are $12; $10 military and first responders, and may be purchased at Arts of the Albemarle, Muddy Waters Coffee House, Soho Organic Market, and Page after Page Book Store. Check out Ghost Walk souvenirs at Ghost Walk Headquarters, 516 E. Main Street. Complementary transportation will be provided between sites, starting at the AOA eadquarters. For more information, log on to Don’t miss this signature Elizabeth City event!  Experience Ghost Walk... READ MORE »