Small Coastal Towns
Towns Along NC’s Northern Coast
Explore North Carolina’s colonial and maritime history in the small towns of Windsor, Edenton, Plymouth and Elizabeth City, which all boast historic districts with museums, restaurants and shopping. Followers of the Civil War trail can see where the last major Southern victory took place, the Battle of Plymouth at the Port O’Plymouth Museum and view Fort Branch, the best preserved star-shaped earthworks east of the Mississippi.
Visit Somerset Place State Historic Site, in Creswell and Hope Plantation, in Windsor, both built in the 1800’s, are excellent examples of early 19th Century plantations.
Hop aboard a North Carolina ferry at Swan Quarter for a relaxing scenic ride to the Outer Banks, a magnificent collection of wind-swept barrier islands stretching 130 miles along the coast. For over 400 years, the Outer Banks have drawn explorers and adventurers, from the mysterious disappearance of colonists on Roanoke Island, depicted in the outdoor drama The Lost Colony to the first manned flight at Kitty Hawk, remembered at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
More of North Carolina’s English heritage is evident in the romantic village names like Currituck, Corolla, Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Avon and Whalebone. At Manteo, see where the early colonists lived at the Fort Raleigh National Monument and experience the era aboard the Elizabeth II, a replica of a 16th Century sailing vessel.
Take the Currituck-Knotts Island ferry to Knotts Island to find the new world version of an old world tradition and sample wines from two of North Carolina’s award winning wineries. Dotted along the Outer Banks are four of North Carolina’s historic coastal lighthouses. You can climb to the top of two of them, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, for fantastic views of the coast and the Atlantic.
Explore the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and follow the Cape Hatteras National Seashore southward to Ocracoke Island and the quaint village of Ocracoke, accessible only by air, ferry or private boat.
In between are miles and miles of remote unspoiled beaches where you can enjoy bird-watching, hang gliding, hiking, bicycling, windsurfing and fishing in some of the best angling waters in the world. Or, just relax on your own sandy patch of paradise.
To see why visitors return again and again, contact the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (Duck, Nags Head, Hatteras and more), Currituck County Travel & Tourism (Corolla, Carova and more), Hyde County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Ocracoke Island), Plymouth and Washington County, or Historic Edenton and Chowan County and plan your Northern Coast visit today.
By Pam Watson
By Pam Watson
added: January 2, 2009
updated: January 2, 2009