With direct access to the Pasquotank River, Intracoastal Waterway and Outer Banks, Elizabeth City is world-renowned for recreation. College of the Albemarle Fenwick-Hollowell Wetlands Trail, Charles Creek Park, Dismal Swamp State Park and Elizabeth City Bike Routes offer unique opportunities for exploring the outdoors. History is also a major part of the local culture with attractions like the Elizabeth City Aviation Trail, Museum of the Albemarle, Underground Railroad Network To Freedom and Main Street Commercial District Tour. Arts of the Albemarle, Burnim Fine Arts Center, Encore Theatre Company and Skie Art Lounge provide local arts and entertainment. Downtown Elizabeth City hosts numerous local celebrations such as the North Carolina Potato Festival, Downtown Holiday Celebration, Small Business Saturday and First Friday ArtWalk.
The construction of the Dismal Swamp Canal in 1793 drove commerce in Elizabeth City, which was originally incorporated at “Redding.” The name was changed to Elizabethtown in 1794, but due to confusion Elizabeth City became the town’s permanent designation in 1801. World War II reinvigorated local industries including shipbuilding, textiles and aeronautics. With a history dating back to the 1600s, the Museum of the Albemarle, Arts of the Albemarle and Pasquotank County’s seven National Register Historic Districts offer a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage.
Elizabeth City, NC has been named one of the 100 best small towns in America, a top retirement town and one of the best places to live on the East Coast. The seat of Pasquotank County is home to the largest United States Coast Guard base and features education as well as healthcare among its top employers. Sentara Healthcare boasts 125 years of innovative and compassionate care operating 12 hospitals including Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City. Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County School System, Albemarle School and Glad Tidings are public and private educational institutions serving K-12 students. Elizabeth City State University and Mid-Atlantic Christian University are four-year universities, while College of The Albemarle is a two-year college known at North Carolina’s first community college.
Seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation are experienced within the humid subtropical climate of Elizabeth City. The area receives an average of 48 inches of rain and 215 sunny days each year. The elevation is 12 feet above sea level.