WEEKENDER: Elizabeth City

Visitelizabethcity Fallphotos Museumofthealbemarle 2


Elizabeth City is a popular stop on the way to the Outer Banks in the summer months, but the waterfront town is also a great place for a family-friendly weekend trip in the fall. You’ll find cozy accommodations, a range of food and drink options, and lots of seasonal activities for kids. You can also see colorful foliage across 20,000 acres of nearby state parks. So break out your sweaters, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and enjoy a fall getaway on the coast.



Start the day with a latte at Muddy Waters Coffeehouse, or treat the kids to an apple fritter at Southern Maid Donuts. The Sandwich Market has tasty soups, salads, deli sandwiches, and plenty of outdoor seating when you need a quick and easy lunch. For dinner, check out Elizabeth City Pizza Co.—order a basic Margherita pizza for the kids and pile on the veggie or meat toppings for the adults. If you find a window of kid-free time, visit 2 Souls Wine Bar or Ghost Harbor Brewing Company to unwind over some small bites and local libations.



Also known as the “Harbor of Hospitality,” Elizabeth City has charming bed & breakfasts like Culpepper Inn and The Pond House Inn. For a more family-friendly option, there’s a Hampton Inn and a Fairfield Inn & Suites. For more unique accommodations, head to the waterfront and spend a few nights on your own private houseboat. Book all local bed & breakfasts and houseboats through Airbnb.



Families can hop on a hayride, pick a pumpkin from the patch, visit farm animals, and get lost in a tall corn maze at the Brothers Farm Pumpkin Patch. Take a leisurely stroll to peruse murals downtown, or pick up some local produce and chat with farmers, bakers, and artists at the Downtown Waterfront Market. Need to get some wiggles out? Hit the Fenwick Hollowell Trail to see a colorful display of autumn leaves, riverfront scenery, and wildlife.



The fall season in Elizabeth City kicks off with Music on the Green at Mariners’ Wharf Park (Oct. 8-10), a weekend-long celebration with live music and family fun in the waterfront downtown area. Seasonal activities like the Halloween Spooktacular (Oct. 29-30) or BOO! At the Museum (Oct. 30) are great for the kiddos, while the Arts of the Albermarle’s Halloween Ball (Oct. 29) is a chance for grown-ups to don their favorite costumes and dance the night away.