Tourism for Elizabeth City, NC
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Outdoor Sports

Get Hooked on Fishing in Elizabeth City »

Get Hooked on Fishing in Elizabeth City
Swapping fish stories… So, I was talking to Fish Boy the other day.  “Few people know that Elizabeth City has the best fishing in the world–with nine separate ways to catch a fish,” he said.  “How so?” I queried.   “Well,” he said, spinning his Bass Ale on the bar, “here you have the most opportunity to fish and that’s important.”  He took a sip. “You dump your boat in early and you have a choice,” he continued.  “Weather’s good, you go on out onto the sound after the big ones. It’s blowing into the river and creeks on light tackle.  If the weather’s fantastic, you can always trailer down to the Roanoke River or even up to the Chesapeake Bay and go after the lunkers.” “Yeah,” I replied wisely. “But you gotta have a boat!”  He took a sip and grinned, “Not so landlubber,” he said.  “Within an hour or so, there’s surf fishing on the Outer Banks, pier fishing if you want to be near a beer, head boat fishing out of Manteo, and deep sea fishing at several nearby places.” “Okay, that’s eight,” I said. “Where’s the ninth?”  He couldn’t be stopped. “The best thing about it is that you can stay in Elizabeth City at Elizabeth City prices and spend your money on gas or charters,” he added. “The ninth?” I insisted.  “Well, it’s designed for conversationalists,” he noted. “It’s taking a rod and reel down to the main docks, tossin’ in a line, and talking with folks.” “Sounds like me,” I replied. “I’m no fisherman but I do like to talk.”... READ MORE »

5 Best Places to Kayak Around Elizabeth City, NC »

5 Best Places to Kayak Around Elizabeth City, NC
Elizabeth City the gateway to the Albemarle Region is rich in kayaking opportunities. We have selected five kayaking ventures from the Albemarle Region Paddling Trails you should traverse on your next visit. Late March through May and September through November are the best times to paddle in the area because these months offer warm days, comfortable nights and not many bugs.  For those of you wanting to travel light, the Pelican Marina offers kayak rentals for the Elizabeth City area.   #1 Sawyers Creek Trail –  3.5 Mile Trail Sawyers Creek trail is located on the outskirts of Elizabeth City. This tributary of the Pasquotank River, offers opportunities for kayak fishing and viewing native wildlife and vegetation. You should plan 2 to 3 hours for this excursion. We suggest using the Wildlife Boat Ramp on NC Highway 343 (GPS Coordinates: 36.331841, -76.179953) as the put in and paddling upstream 2 miles and back. Then paddle 1.5 miles downstream to Lamb’s Marina (GPS Coordinates: 36.321799, -76.175822) and have a wonderful lunch. This scenic paddling trail is easy and perfect for beginners.   #2 Big Flatty Creek Trail – 4 Miles Round Trip The Big Flatty Creek Trail, located approximately 11 miles south of Elizabeth City, begins on the open waters of the creek and goes upstream to the headwaters of Chapel Creek and Mill Dam Creek. Each creek is four miles round trip. While on this creek be sure to stop and take in the splendor of the Albemarle Sound. The best access point is at the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Boat Ramp located at 265 Shadneck Rd. (GPS  Coordinates: 36.150201, -76.132790). This access point offers 12 parking spaces. Plan on 4 to 5 hours for this trail.   #3 Newbegun Creek Trail – 8 Miles Round Trip You will be able to put in your kayak at the NC Wildlife Resources Boat Ramp at Sawmill Park located on NC Highway 34 (GPS coordinates of 36.208749, -76.173122). This area offers good parking and has a platform at water level for launching kayaks.  This intimate trail ends at the mouth of the Pasquotank River. Be sure to take a waterproof camera to capture the sights.   #4 Dismal Swamp State Park – Miles varies The Dismal Swamp State Park’s beauty, remoteness, and solitude have attracted many people over the centuries. The historic Dismal Swamp Canal offers paddlers a chance to glide through amber-colored waters while soaking in wildlife and flora eye candy. The boat ramp near the parking area gives access to the canal waters. You can rent a kayak from the park at the Visitors Center. One and two person kayaks are available for $5 per hour. Participating in the annual Paddle for the Border in early May is a fun way to experience this state park.  For more information contact NC Dismal Swamp State Park at (252) 771-6593.   #5 Merchants Millpond State Park –  Miles varies Park visitors are transported into a mysterious world of hanging Spanish moss and ancient cypress trees. Paddlers have two options when visiting Merchants Millpond State Park, venture out onto the 760-acre millpond and Bennetts Creek (5.7 miles one way) through Lassiter Swamp. If you need to rent a kayak, head to the Visitors Center as boats can be rented for $5 per hour and overnight. The Visitors Center is the launch point for rentals. If you have your own boat, you don’t need to check in at the Visitors Center. Simply head to the boat ramp near the parking area offer access to the water. When exploring the millpond we recommend going in a clockwise direction, keeping the shoreline on your left, to keep yourself oriented. It is easy to feel lost due to the numerous islands even though the millpond is small. For more information contact Merchants Millpond State Park at (252) 357-1191. Before heading out on the water Always check the forecast learn about current and forecasted weather conditions. Because the wind is a big factor for kayaks (and the weather in general) WindAlert.com is an additional tool to use along with general weather apps and forecasts.  Always be prepared!  Don’t forget to grab a quick lunch to go at one of our independently owned restaurants like Bryon’s Hotdogs, which make a pimento sandwich, a southern cuisine staple, that will make your mouth water. Share your kayaking 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... READ MORE »

Elizabeth City’s Best Places to Bike »

Elizabeth City’s Best Places to Bike
There are multiple cycling options in the Elizabeth City and surrounding areas, whether you’re looking to just tool around neighborhoods or take longer treks into the beautiful countryside. Three neighborhood bike routes ranging from a couple of miles to almost six miles have been mapped out to help guide riders in and around the city. Maps for these rides can be found at the Visitors Center (located within Museum of the Albemarle) and at the Parks & Recreation Department on Ward Street. These routes are slow-paced and great for casual riders and kids. All three rides start and end at the Visitors Center, where you can borrow a bike for free if you don’t have your own.   1. Historic Route – 2.75 Miles Round-trip The Historic Route takes you on a circular jaunt through the city’s historic commercial and residential neighborhoods loaded with Queen Anne, Eastlake, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival style homes constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.   2. Knobbs Creek Route – 2.4 Miles Round-trip The Knobbs Creek Route tracks the city’s Northside Historic District where you’ll enjoy lovely views of the Pasquotank River on nearly half of your journey. This out-and-back ride is a great choice if you want to include a family or romantic picnic as part of the plan. There’s a beautiful park at the end of Poindexter Street where you can spread a blanket, feed the ducks, and enjoy the fabulous view. The turnaround point for this ride is the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center. Take a pit stop there to play a round of par-3 golf or let the kids have some playground time.   3. River View Route – 7.2 miles Round-trip The River View Route is exactly as its name indicates – an enjoyable winding meander along the Pasquotank River. You’ll pedal through aptly named Riverside and Rivershore neighborhoods with the water in view for the majority of the ride. The longest of the three rides at around six miles, it bypasses the famous Nell Cropsey home, as well as two parks where you can stop to rest.   4. Dismal Swamp Canal Trail – 4.4 Miles Round-trip The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail ride is perfect if you want to get off the beaten track onto a more wilderness-oriented path. This trail is a paved pathway that parallels the eastern border of the Dismal Swamp State Park. The park also offers quite a few trail ride alternatives. Men’s, women’s and children’s bikes are available for you to borrow here, if needed.   If you’re a serious road rider and want to cycle some longer distances, the countryside offers an abundance of alternatives with amazing views of farmlands, waterways, and animal pastures. The River City Cycling Club can help guide you with cue sheets for many rides. No matter the ride you choose, ride safe, watch traffic and always wear a helmet. A special thanks and photo credit to Rod Sershen @madfaith00 and his family for sharing their photos.     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.”     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... READ MORE »

Kayaking Adventures in Elizabeth City »

Kayaking Adventures in Elizabeth City
The Albemarle Region is rich in opportunities to experience outdoor adventures. This week we caught up with Don Campbell, one of Elizabeth City’s local kayakers, who shared tips and info on how to have a safe and scenic waterway adventure here in the “Harbor of Hospitality.”   What’s been your experiences kayaking in the Elizabeth City Area and Albemarle Region? Don: Everywhere I have gone in my kayak has been amazing, from the Elizabeth City downtown waterfront views at sunrise and sunset to the deep end of a finger creek in primordial scenery.  I have seen all kinds of snakes, birds, turtles, deer, bears, otters and minks. I have had an eagle almost hit me with a dropped fish, and an alligator eyeballing me in a pond. Even when I am not catching fish, I always have my waterproof camera and can get a great shot of my surroundings. I highly recommend our area for kayakers and kayak fishing enthusiasts.   Where are some of the places to kayak in the area? Don: There are lots of places to kayak all around us. I launch regularly from Charles Creek Park (located on Riverside Ave) in Elizabeth City. Since I am usually launching just before sunrise, (early a.m. for lighter winds and better fishing) there are beautiful scenes across the Pasquotank River. I travel down river to Knobbs Creek and beyond, where there are lots of little side creeks to explore. There are tons of places within a short drive of Elizabeth City. The furthest I usually go is the Outer Banks and the numerous launching spots around the Sounds. I kayak in Halls Creek, Symonds Creek, Big Flatty Creek, Sawyers Creek in Camden, Newbegun Creek in Weeksville, Mill Creek and Raccoon Creek in Hertford, Queen Anne and Pembroke Creek in Edenton and the Dismal Swamp Canal. For salt/brackish water fishing I go to the Roanoke, Currituck and Albemarle Sounds.  Check out this site to learn more about the ”Paddling on the Pasquotank River and Albemarle Regional Paddle Trails.”   What advice would you give fellow kayakers who might visit here? Don: Because wind is a big factor for kayaks (and the weather in general) WindAlert.com is a great tool to use along with general weather apps and forecasts. I check numerous area web cams including the Elizabeth City Harbor Cam  and OBX web cam sites to view water conditions. Remember to always wear a personal floatation device and be prepared for water temperature conditions. When water is below 50 degrees, I also wear an exposure suit to prevent hypothermia in case I wind up in the water. Always be prepared! Where can you rent a kayak in the area? The Dismal Swamp State Park rents kayaks for your enjoyment. Access is provided for kayaks beside the State Park bridge. The kayaks can be rented for $5 per hour. Readers, we hope to see you soon on your own Elizabeth City area kayaking adventure! Share your kayaking experiences with others by using #DiscoverECity. Happy travels! (Photo courtesy of Don Campbell taken on the Pasquotank... READ MORE »