Proudly named by Forbes as “The South’s Prettiest Small Town,” Edenton NC has become the landmark destination for eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth-century colonial structures. Visiting the town of Edenton, the county seat of Chowan County, is like walking into a fairytale dream rich in cultural and historical heritage.
What makes Edenton, North Carolina a worthwhile place to visit?
Today, Edenton, North Carolina, is one of the most sought-after destination sites. Why exactly? It’s because of its sterling reputation for historic sites and its vibrant community that offers a peaceful retreat from the modern world.
That’s why it’s not surprising at all to see many people choose Edenton as their place to spend their golden retirement years. Besides the charming qualities of the town, Edenton’s pleasant environment also provides a sense of security for people of all different lifestyles and backgrounds, making it the perfect location for retirees.
A Brief History of Edenton, NC
Edenton is located in the south of Chowan County on the top of Albemarle Sound, in the Inner Banks region of North Carolina. Incorporated in 1715, Edenton was first named “Town on Queen Anne Creek”. It was changed to Edenton in 1722, after the first appointed royal governor, Charles Eden. During his time, he established Edenton as the first colonial capital of North Carolina.
One of the most monumental events in their history is the American Civil War. During this period, some historical structures survived the battles of the war and can still be seen today. One of these is the Edenton Bell Battery Cannon which fought and served during the American Civil War under the leadership of Capt. William Badham in 1862. The famous cannon still stands up to this date, placed near The Barker House in Edenton.
Things to do in the town of Edenton
Although you may have planned your trip to Edenton to get an immersive experience about its art and culture, the town also has many other attractions waiting to be explored.
What makes Edenton a great vacation destination is the town offers several fantastic activities that will make your trip a memorable getaway.
Edenton Ghost Walk
Get ready for a spine-chilling night at the Edenton Ghost Walk tour. If you’re looking for a paranormal experience, this activity is enough to make you jump in in fear. Explore historic streets as you listen to ghost tales from the past (and present!) and get an exclusive tour of haunted locations in Edenton.
The walk takes place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night for $12 per person.
Fair warning: This is not for the faint of heart.
Albemarle Fishing Charters and Regional Paddle Trails
Go fishing or go exploring at the paddle trails in the mighty waters of the Albemarle Sound. The Albemarle Regional Paddle Trails lets you discover the rivers, creeks, and streams, which you can fully access by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. While you’re out there, you can set up a camp in one of the many campsites that can be found in three different counties. Some campsites also offer barrier-free access that are suitable for those of all abilities.
The trails and campsites are open 24/7, all year round.
Attention bird enthusiasts! Edenton and Chowan County are home to some of North Carolina’s best birding trails. Make sure to bring your binoculars, notebook, or camera so you can capture this owl-mazing experience! Here is the list of bird species you might encounter on the bird trails:
Bennett’s Millpond – Anhinga, blue heron, hooded merganser, hooded warbler, prothonotary warbler, summer tanager, wading birds
Catherine and Warwick Creeks Paddle Trail – Blue heron, great crested fly-catcher, prothonotary warbler, wading birds
Edenton National Fish Hatchery – Bald eagle, prothonotary warbler, shorebirds, wading birds, wintering waterfowl
1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse
Over the years, the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse has become one of the most visited tourist sites in North Carolina. The historic lighthouse has left an impression on vacationers because it is known to be the last surviving screw-pile lighthouse in the U.S. It was greatly preserved and relocated to a spot on Edenton Bay. It’s now a historical museum that shares the legacy of Edenton’s first citizens.
The Roanoke River Lighthouse is open for tours every Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Another monumental site that has survived the ages is the Cupola House, located north of Edenton Bay. It has been standing for over two centuries now, carrying an incredible history within its walls that will not be forgotten any time soon. Now, this colonial structure stands as a tribute to those who fought to preserve the Cupola House, making it one of Edenton’s treasures.
Visit the Cupola House and learn about the history of its structure and transformation throughout the years. Open daily from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Or better yet, you can book a stay on one of these properties below and have more time to enjoy Edenton’s wonders:
|No. of Bedrooms|
|Features and Other Amenities||Nearby activities|
|The Little Cabin on the Hillside|
Right above the Chowan River and at the mouth of the Albermarle Sound.
|1 bedroom, |
|– rustic log cabin that’s totally handcrafted|
– outside fire pit
– deck/patio and balcony
|water sports, crabbing, golfing, kayaking|
|Romantic Waterfront Carriage House in Heart of Edenton’s Historic District|
Located at the prettiest historic waterfront street in Edenton
|– surrounded by shops, restaurants, art galleries and historical sites|
– private courtyard patio
– custom-made fireplace, window treatments, and garden view
|biking, kayaking, fishing|
Vacation home with the beatiful views of Albermarle Sound.
|– high speed internet for guests working from home|
– complete facilities for cooking fresh local seafood
|kayaking, fire pit, biking, fishing, golfing|
|The Creek House|
Located on prestigious Water St. overlooking the beautiful Queen Anne Creek
|– designed by internationally-known Interior designer David Stevenson|
-spacious raised ceiling living room complete with big screen tv and fireplace
|outdoor furniture and beach chairs for outside viewing|
|Waterfront Home with Pier on Albemarle Beach|
3-bedroom cottage on the Albemarle Sound near the mouth of the Roanoke River
|-50-foot pier with a large deck|
– hammock on the corner porch
|sunset-viewing, kayaking, fishing|
Chowan Arts Council and Gallery Shop
One of the best ways to have a memorable vacation is to bring home something that reminds you of your travels. You can get a simple token to reminisce on all your exciting experiences in Edenton in the Chowan Arts Council and Gallery Shop. Show your appreciation of local artists by taking home one of their impressive masterpieces at an affordable price.
The gallery is accessibility-friendly and welcomes all visitors for free. Open hours are Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Edenton, North Carolina, is a must-see destination site that you need to put on your travel list. What more do you need from a vacation? From its history, art, culture, and tourist attractions, the town of Edenton has it all! Embark on a journey with your friends and family to this spectacular location in North Carolina and see how the “South’s Prettiest Little Town” earned its name.