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coastal towns

Beaufort, SC

Bluffton, SC

Brunswick Islands, NC

Charleston & its Resort Islands, SC

Conway, SC

Currituck, NC

Edisto Island, SC

Georgetown, SC

Hardeeville, SC

Hilton Head Island, SC

Jasper County, SC

Mount Pleasant, SC

North Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Northeast NC: Edenton, New Bern, Elizabeth City, Hertford

Outer Banks, NC

Pawleys Island/Litchfield, SC

Savannah, GA

Southport, NC

Summerville, SC

Walterboro, SC

Washington, NC

Whiteville, NC

Wilmington, NC

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Books About The Carolinas

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Edenton
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Center for Carolina Living Three centuries of history are celebrated in New Bern, where the Trent and Neuse rivers meet. Here also is Tryon Palace, historic home of North Carolina’s colonial governors, and the birthplace of Pepsi. Take a trolley tour for a full dose of northeastern Tarheel lore.
Photo courtesy of Craven County Convention and Visitors Bureau
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New Bern
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Center for Carolina Living Porch paradise. When you live in Edenton, North Carolina, you’re fronting the head of the Albemarle Sound. Could there be anything more tranquil than dusk on the sound - the second-largest body of fresh water in the country?
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development
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Outer Banks
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Center for Carolina Living Beware, all ye who go here:
Lighthouses can be addictive. This famous example at Cape Lookout is one of several landmarks along the Outer Banks, where whalers once lived and pirates once trolled. Ask a historian about the legend of this structure’s black-and-white diamond design.
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development
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outer banks mysteries and seaside stories
written by charles harry whedbee.
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Coast
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New Bern
Edenton
Elizabeth City
Hertford
The Outer Banks & currituck

 
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ortheast North Carolina has it all. The student of history is elated, the fisherman and the boater think they're in paradise, and people looking for peace and quiet can hardly believe their good fortune.

It may be next to the Graveyard of the Atlantic, but Northeast North Carolina is anything but tomb-like.

First, you've got five state parks, 11 wildlife refuges, the first national seashore, four lighthouses, a National Historic Site, and so on.

Then, you've got the towns -- starting with beautiful Elizabeth City -- one of the best small towns in America and located in a perfect setting on the Pasquotank River.

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Compass Pointe - Wilmington NC
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ext, consider Hertford, another jewel of a town, with more history than a short visit can absorb.

On down the coast is Edenton, strategically located at the head of Albermarle Sound and known for its beauty and history.

 Another river community is New Bern, a paradise for the sports enthusiast. And then, of course, like the prow of some immense ocean-going vessel, the Outer Banks reach out in front of these towns (and many more) to extend far out into the Atlantic ocean.

The Outer Banks have been a favored vacation playground for years ~ except for the hardy souls who permanently settled these islands years ago. (That includes the Wright brothers, whose relatively brief sojourn here forever changed the world as we know it.)
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Center for Carolina Living ~ New Bern Center for Carolina Living
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New Bern, North Carolina’s second oldest town, celebrates its 300th birthday in 2010. The year-long celebration will include a variety of cultural, educational and historical attractions, tours and lots of ways to have FUN!

Nestled at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, picturesque New Bern has detoured more than a few travelers heading up and down the East Coast. Whether traveling by sailboat or car, visitors are struck by the town’s natural beauty, friendly charm and historic significance.

Settled in 1710, New Bern is the second-oldest town in North Carolina. The state’s first capital was located here under Governor William Tryon, and today, the restored residence and gardens of Tryon Palace are only one of 150 historic landmarks that draw many history lovers to the area. Colonial homes, Civil War battlefields and horse-drawn carriage rides add to the historic ambiance of bygone days.

New Bern enjoys a mild climate, offering business, educational and recreational opportunities; an affordable cost of living and access to outstanding health care services, making it a first-class retirement destination. With a growing population of more than 26,000, in 2005 New Bern was ranked fifth on the list of “Top Small Retirement Towns in the Carolinas” by Retirement Lifestyles. The town was also hailed as a notable retirement haven on “The Travel Show” segment of NBC’s “Today Show.”

The birthplace of Pepsi, the small town of New Bern is also home to big businesses, like Weyerhauser Company, Moen Incorporated, Hatteras Yachts, BSH Home Appliances, Maola Milk & Ice Cream Company and Embarq.

Medical facilities, professional home care and geriatric services are abundant and varied. Craven Regional Medical Center, a 350-bed/200-physician acute care facility, offers the latest technology and services.

Recreational facilities include golf courses, kayaking and canoe trails, hiking in the 157,000-acre Croatan National Forest and fishing and sailing in both fresh and salt waters. Arts and culture flourish as well, featuring three community theater organizations, thriving local artisans and numerous cultural and entertainment events.

New Bern’s own “River Rats” Collegiate Summer Baseball Team provides family baseball fun, and lifelong learning opportunities are available through the vibrant educational curriculum of Craven Community College.

New Bern Day Trippin' 

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Center for Carolina Living ~ Edenton Center for Carolina Living
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Edenton is at the head of Albemarle Sound, the largest body of fresh water in the U.S. other than the Great Lakes. Rows of cannon guard the beautiful waterfront parks where ships from foreign lands called regularly in the 18th Century. In his book, Cruising Guide To Coastal North Carolina, Claiborne S. Young says that Edenton is "one of North Carolina's loveliest communities, offering boaters excellent facilities."

Dating to 1722, Edenton exhibits fine period houses that include Georgian, Federal and Greek Revival architecture. A political, cultural and commercial center of the colonies, Edenton was home to two governors and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. A gas pipeline completed in 2002 has opened the area to modern economic development, say town boosters.

Shoppers stroll the quaint three-block business district filled with unique shops. And a new marina with 12 slips now offers boaters protected docking on the Intracoastal Waterway, making it a regular stop for cruise ships and national sailboat racers,

Glen and Anita Andersen moved to Edenton from Charlotte in April of 2003 and opened Acoustic Coffee in May of the same year. Their shop is reminiscent of an old coffee house and features a great cup of brew, gifts and live music on Friday nights.

“We were tired of the rat race in Charlotte, even though I had a good job and worked with super people,” explained Mr. Andersen. “My wife’s younger sister moved here three years ago and every time we’d visit, we say, ‘what a charming little town, we need to live here.’ ” The Andersens thought about what they could do, and decided that they could make excellent coffee. They took over an existing business, tore out some walls, and made the building into a coffee house. Even though neither one had been involved in retail, they felt nurtured and supported by their new neighbors, and now, they’d never leave. “It is the generosity and positive attitude that has made all the difference,” said Mr. Andersen.

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Center for Carolina Living ~ Elizabeth City Center for Carolina Living
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Paddling, pedaling and birding. It sounds as though outdoor recreation and Elizabeth City go hand in hand. And what about those Rose Buddies? This group of folks takes Southern hospitality to new levels.

When pleasure boats stop in this friendly, small harbor town, passengers are greeted by the famous Rose Buddies, who host wine and cheese receptions dockside.

Elizabeth City has been ranked one of the best towns in which to live on the Mid-Atlantic coast, according to Money Magazine. Conveniently situated between North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Southeastern Virginia, Elizabeth City has a pleasant, four-season climate, affordable housing and solid economic base.

Its central historic and business districts front the Pasquotank River. Within walking distance are 32 sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

The new Museum of the Albemarle is on the waterfront, and the new Port Discover Hands-on Science Center for Northeastern N.C. is on Main Street.

Nearby are the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, the Great Dismal Swamp Canal (a branch of the Intracoastal Waterway) and the North Carolina Outer Banks.

With a regional medical center, three colleges and two industrial parks, Pasquotank County has a diverse economy of agriculture, industry and services, and a new natural gas pipeline will help the area attract more business. The school and college systems are the largest employers in the county, and the Coast Guard complex is the largest in the United States. The public school system is among the state’s best, and Elizabeth City State University offers abundant educational programs.

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Center for Carolina Living ~ Hertford Center for Carolina Living
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With its architectural diversity and rich history, Hertford is one of the Albemarle Sound's most picturesque towns. Founded in 1758, the first land deed in North Carolina was recorded in the Perquimans County Courthouse in Hertford. Today, with the city's active Historical Restoration Association and strict covenants, the county has four historic districts, of which the downtown is one, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A walking tour affords a scenic river view of the quaint “S” bridge, Queen Anne houses, elegant coastal cottages and homes built in Colonial Revival and Federal styles. Hertford is one of 48 towns in North Carolina's Main Street Program and is a heritage Tourism Community. Hertford has the Newbold-White House, circa 1730, a colonial Quaker homestead. There are five monuments in the United States to the “colored union soldiers.” Hertford has one of them. Walking tour maps are available from the Chamber of Commerce, as well as maps to historic plantation homes.

There are three waterfront parks that invite exploration – by kayak, canoe or boat -- of the beautiful Perquimans River.

A residential community called the Albemarle Plantation, built on the sound, with its own golf course and marina, now has 287 occupied residences. Jan and Wes Hostetler moved to the Plantation from upstate New York and since then have had friends follow them south to Hertford. "We came because of the people," says Mrs. Hostetler. "We stayed because of the people and the wonderful lifestyle." She has sharpened her golf game while serving on the Perquimans County Historical Association Committee and volunteering in town programs. "We've never been so busy," she says. "We've been very well accepted here. Friends come to visit and end up staying too."

For generations farming was king, but today less than 2 percent of the workforce in Perquimans County earns a living from agriculture. Boating, fishing, hunting and golf are important activities.

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Center for Carolina Living ~ Outer Banks Center for Carolina Living
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Karen and Mike McCalpin had vacationed on the Outer Banks for about six years when Karen’s “dream job” became available. “We always knew we wanted to retire to the Outer Banks one day, and I even subscribed to the local paper to stay current with the area,” Mrs. McCalpin explained. However, retirement was about seven years away for the Pennsylvania couple.

A lifelong lover of horses who has worked with nonprofits throughout her career, she received an offer she couldn’t refuse, and their plans changed accordingly. Now, she is firmly ensconced as executive director of Corolla Wild Horse Fund Inc., an organization created to protect and preserve the last known herd of Spanish Mustangs, who have called the Outer Banks home for about 500 years.

“We currently have 95 wild horses and five are available for adoption with more horses available soon,” she explained from her office in a restored schoolhouse in Corolla. (Visitors can get up close and personal with a Spanish Mustang each week at the schoolhouse.) Her husband is still working in Pennsylvania, and makes the eight-hour drive about once a week. “I took a salary cut to do this, and I know it wouldn’t be possible without the help of my husband,” she said, adding, “I just love this area and I am so grateful to be able to work for the well-being of these wonderful animals.”

The Outer Banks are called the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” because more than 2,000 ships have sunk along this treacherous coastline with its gravitating shoals and submerged sandbars. (In fact, some say the horses first arrived via shipwreck.) Lighthouse buffs can visit the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and three others along the way. The Currituck Beach Lighthouse is one of only two on the North Carolina coast that you can climb. This chain of barrier islands is surrounded by 900 miles of water, and offers glimpses of history, with abundant natural resources.

It was here that the Wright brothers made aviation history in 1903. Fishing is good all along the coastline; birdwatchers may see more than 400 species of birds.

Although visitors think of the Outer Banks as a single unit, these fragile-looking islands cover three counties. In Currituck County, the beach has been hailed by USA Today as “one of the best undiscovered beaches on the East Coast.”

Further south is Dare County, which contains many resort areas, including Kitty Hawk. Within its boundaries are the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Wright Brothers National Memorial, and the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, location of the first attempted English Colony in America, among many others.

Still further south is Hyde County, which encompasses four national wildlife refuges and includes Ocracoke Island, once home to Blackbeard (and now filled with visitors and nature-lovers).

The Banks are a natural draw for artists, painters, writers and photographers. Art galleries dot the coastline, as visitors enjoy the natural beauty, and the art that it inspires.
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Katherine Pettit has worked as a writer, magazine editor, printer and public relations consultant. The Columbia resident has published more than 200 articles in magazines and newspapers. Her writing explores a variety of subjects including travel, lifestyles, business and management. Center for Carolina Living
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Linda Ray is a freelance writer living in Raleigh. A former reporter for the Greenville (SC) News, the Triangle Business Journal and Success Magazine, Ray also is an award-winning journalist. She currently works for a number of publications, including Business North Carolina, Business Leader and The Independent. A native Michigander, she looks forward to eventually retiring in the Asheville area and opening her own gift shop. She graduated from Norfolk State University in Virginia, where she also did a stint with the Virginia-Pilot. Center for Carolina Living
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Pam Steude spent twelve years as editor of an award-winning monthly publication for the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina. She also is a professional freelance photographer. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from the University of Kentucky, and a Master of Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. Center for Carolina Living
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Byron Crowley Freelance writer/photographer Byron E. Crowley Mooresville, NC, contributes a bimonthly travel column for the Mooresville Tribune. A graduate of the University of the South at Sewannee, Crowley has been published by Blue Ridge Country Magazine, Our State Magazine and Lake Norman Magazine. Reach him at (704) 664-6627. Center for Carolina Living
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