Find any angle of Edenton in any season and, more likely than not, it'll be picture perfect. The prettiest town in North Carolina is perched on the north side of Albemarle Sound like a basking swan; large columned white houses with wrap-around porches staring out at the expansive harbor and, behind them, streets of boutiques and cafes. Visitors can delight themselves learning about the historical significance of gorgeous buildings like the Baker House, Roanoke River Lighthouse, Cupola House and others. Located just over an hour from Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia, and four hours from Washington, D.C., Edenton is popular with couples on romantic weekends and honeymoons, as well as generally relaxing breaks.
The former home of Penelope Barker, who rallied 51 women together and championed the 1774 Edenton Tea Party (consider the significance: 51 women in 1774, leading a protest in a political system exclusively dominated by men), the Barker House serves as "Edenton's living room" and home to the Edenton Historical Commission. Visitors are welcome to take a free tour, relax on the white wrap-around porch overlooking the Albemarle Sound and learn about Edenton history from knowledgeable guides.
Edenton sure has a lot of old buildings! To help navigate the colorful and textured history of Edenton, from the incorporation of the town, its contribution to the role of women during the American Revolution to its significance as a major seaport, North Carolina Historic Sites has organized guided walking tours to accommodate all kinds of traveler.
by Peyton Hale/Flickr
Catch a glimpse of black bears, deer, river otters, endangered red wolves and a wide variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians in their native home at the 154,000 acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge spreads over Dare and Hyde Counties, about an hour's drive from Edenton, and is home to the Red Wolf Recovery Program, which protects 200 red wolves in captive breeding facilities. A twisting driving path winds around the park, and visitors who want to get up close and personal with the wildlife in the area can spend a few hours to a day hiking around the expansive fields and lakes.
Photo via VisitEdenton.com
This adorable, casual bistro on the cute and walkable Broad Street offers a wide variety of new American cuisine from shrimp and grits to house-smoked salmon BLT at affordable prices. A huge hit with the locals, the place is usually buzzing during the dinner rush and regular live music performances bumps it up later on in the night. Their menu is constantly updated as the seasons change, and their bartenders are always creating newer and more flavorful cocktail specials. The 309 Bistro offers a casual but innovative experience, and it's the perfect accompaniment to a movie at the Taylor movie theater, which is just down the street.
Photo via Inner Banks Inn
Stay in historic luxury at the most adorable little inn in North Carolina. With 23 rooms spread over three distinct and equally handsome and historic buildings, Inner Banks Inn has got accommodation to suit anyone's needs. The Proprietor's house is a Grand Victorian Mansion circa 1900, one of the four homes built with Edenton Brick, complete with a wrap-around porch and friendly parlor to meet other guests. The Packhouse barn, built in 1915, was original a tobacco packing house but has been restored and converted into an eight-bedroom inn. Tilly's Cottage is the oldest addition, built in 1879, as well as the only pet-friendly lodging in the complex.