The Quick Guide to Elizabeth City, North Carolina

For those who have been following me since the beginning of my blogging journey, you should know that Andrew and I are from North Carolina. Although we grew up on the opposite sides of Elizabeth City, we both lived in Elizabeth City while in college. The little town is friendly and laid-back filled with cypress trees.  Elizabeth City is a wonderful community that has been named one of the “100 Best Small Towns in America” and is ranked by Money Magazine as "one of best places to live on the East Coast." 

Andrew and I had to return back to his hometown recently for a funeral and decided to stay in Elizabeth City. Although we didn’t have much time to explore or revisit all of our favorite places, we were able to enjoy a few!

Where to stay - The Culpepper Inn


In college, my best friend lived right across from the Culpepper Inn. We would always walk by and share our love for the beautiful historic inn. The Inn is always decorated for each season and surrounded by well-mannered grounds with beautiful old live oak and magnolia trees. The property also has many camellia trees and bushes. I was never able to stay at the Inn while in college but Andrew and I finally had the chance to a few weeks ago.

As we arrived at the Culpepper Inn, it was just as I remembered it… beaming with beauty and even decorated for fall. We walked inside to meet the Innkepper who gave us the grand tour of the Inn. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it is on the inside and the backyard too.  The Culpepper Inn is truly the most well-kept secret in Elizabeth City! I wish I would have discovered this hidden gem sooner!

 Our room was beautiful, clean and cozy. We loved relaxing by the pool and enjoying the beautiful grounds. The Inn is located in the heart of Elizabeth City with downtown waterfront only a few blocks away. We were able to enjoy the weather and the convenience of the Inn by walking around the historic district.

I wish we had more time to enjoy our stay but we will definitely be back! I highly recommend everyone to stay at this beautiful Inn while in Elizabeth City. The Inn offers decorated rooms and many amenities!

Places to Eat

Muddy’s Coffee                        

It’s a true neighborhood coffee house! Muddy’s Coffee is snug and homey with well-worn couches, a kitchen table and smaller seating throughout. Coffee is fresh and made with house-roasted beans since 2000. They offer small baked goods too. Definitely worth your time while in Elizabeth City!

Toyamas Sushi

Hands down my favorite sushi restaurant ever! Toyama Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar serves delicious Japanese style kitchen food and extra fresh sushi. Excellent Japanese food is fresh, tasty and healthy. It is based upon the philosophy that food should be prepared as natural as possible.  This is how the chefs at Toyama prepare your food. The restaurant has garnered several Reader’s Choice Awards for best oriental food and best vegetarian food. It’s located in downtown Elizabeth City. I highly recommended the spicy tuna roll!

Cypress Creek Grill

The restaurant is located downtown near the waterfront and offers a little bit of everything. Here you will find some tex-mex, creole, and seafood favorites! It’s an adorable little boutique restaurant with a southern charm atmosphere. The staff is always friendly and the food is always delicious! One of my favorite dishes is the blackened chicken and pasta!

Things to Do

Elizabeth City Historic Walking Tour

All throughout college, I would spend my evenings walking the Riverside Historic District in Elizabeth City. I love the early 20th-century residential neighborhood and the beauty of the waterfront homes. I was also a little obsessed with the Nell Cropsey mystery. You can go to Elizabeth City’s library to read about the exciting story of Nell’s unsolved murder. It has all the elements of a good mystery and can be experienced first-hand in the Riverside Historic District.

Museum of the Albemarle

I haven’t been to the Museum of the Albemarle in years but it is truly has a great collection of the history and culture of the Albemarle Region.  The museum hosts a fine World War 1 exhibit and other regional collections. You definitely won’t spend the entire day there but it’s worth a quick visit!

Explore & Shop Local Shops While Strolling Down Main Street

Local businesses are the heartbeat to downtown Elizabeth City. Take a nice stroll down Main Street to shop local and capture the beauty of downtown. The first Friday of each month, there is an art walk to enjoy! Each year downtown Elizabeth City also hosts the N.C Potato Festival and a Christmas Parade! 

Have you ever been to Elizabeth City?!